Thursday, December 20, 2012

How Accurate are Online Calorie Calculators?

I looked online for a calorie calculator today because I'm trying to figure out how many calories I should eat each day. How accurate are these online calculators? I am a 21 year old female, 5'6" tall and 118 pounds. The answer was 1800 calories a day, but I am full when eating just 1600 calories. Should I continue eating more even though I am full at 1600?  Thanks, Donna L.

Hi Donna,

Many of these calculators work on scientific formulas that can very closely estimate your calorie needs based on your height, weight, gender and age.
The 1800 calorie level is the estimated amount necessary to maintain your weight, but is also based on your activity level. If you are more active you may need even more calories to maintain your weight. If you consume fewer calories you are likely to lose weight. 

You have to play around with the numbers a bit, as everyone is different. 

If you find you cannot maintain your weight with what you are eating, there are a few ways you can do this. One is to get less exercise (not usually recommended!) and another is to try to get more calories in. If you need to eat more calories, but get full too soon, consider cutting back a bit on high fiber foods like raw vegetables and replace them in softer form (cooked vegetables, soups or juices); or consider adding calories in the form of beverages like milk or juice.
There are  commercial high-calorie beverages like Boost, Ensure, and Carnation Instant Breakfast drink that can add 200 or 300 calories a day to your intake, bringing your calorie level right to where you need it.

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