Do you know how many calories you need per day? The answer varies. However, if you want to maintain a healthy weight, it is important to watch your calorie intake. You should to have a target range for the calories you need per day.
According to the 2015 Dietary Guidelines for Americans, adults in their 60s and older should adjust their calorie intake according to their level of activity.
If you’re not active: Aim for at least 1,600 calories per day. Consider yourself inactive if you don’t intentionally exercise or at least do some moderate to brisk walking every day.
If you’re moderately active: Strive to eat around 1,800 calories per day. Moderate activity is defined as walking between 1.5 and 3 miles per day at a pace of 3 to 4 miles per hour, in addition to going about your regular life, according to the guidelines.
If you’re active: Eat about 2,000 calories a day. You’re active if you walk more than 3 miles a day at 3 to 4 miles an hour, in addition to your regular activities, according to the guidelines. If you workout three days a week or more, you’re likely in this category.
You may notice that you were encouraged to eat a little more in your younger years. That’s because, as people age, they tend to be less active. As a result, certain bodily processes, like your metabolism, slow down, explains Jessica Cording, R.D., a dietitian in New York.
Older adults are also more likely to have lost some muscle mass, which reduces the number of calories your body needs. Muscles require a lot of calories to maintain, says Sonya Angelone, R.D.N., a spokesperson for the Academy of Nutrition and Dietetics. This is one reason why strength training is highly recommended for older adults.
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