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Daily intake?

8/17 8:51:23

Question
I keep hearing that I'm supposed to eat a certain amount of calories a day. I'm 5 feet 1 inch tall, and 101 pounds. I'm a 21 year old female. Being as short as I am, when I carry any extra weight, it shows pretty badly, so I try to stay towards the lower of my healthy weight range. I eat roughly 1100-1300 calories a day. I have had people tell me I need to eat more. Whenever I seem to go above the 1300 a day, I start to pack on more weight.

My question is, what is the right answer? I don't want to struggle with having to lose weight from being unsatisfied, but I don't want to be depriving my body either.

Answer
Hello Shana,

Your question is very common. I like to tell my clients that there is only one true fat loss formula...and it's different for everyone. Nobody knows more about your body than you...

My philosophy is calories do matter, but the quality of the food that you consume is more important. The calorie model of fat loss is seriously flawed because it makes the assumption that all calories are created equal, in other words, according to this model, it doesn't matter if you get your 1100 calories from donuts or chicken breast, the result would be the same...that's nonsense.

You probably need to eat more food, not calories. We use calorie-density to determine how healthy a food is for weight loss. Low-calorie density foods (few calories per ounce by weight) are superior to high-calorie density foods (high calorie per ounce of food by weight).

If you want to count calories, then by all means do so. I would recommend challenging yourself to eat more food within the same number of calories. You do this by eating large quantities of non-starchy veggies and lean proteins (in my opinion, you can have these in unlimited quantities). As long as you keep your starchy carbohydrate intake down to 50-75 grams per day (that would be breads, pastas, cakes, candies, rice, potatoes, etc.) Then the brain will regulate appetite and metabolism for you and you will no longer need to keep tabs on calories.

I hope that this is not confusing. If you get a chance, I teach these concepts in a free weight loss podcast on iTunes. Listening to that show will give you a much more in depth understanding of calories and how to eat for fat loss. The podcast is called Cut the Fat Podcast and its available for free on iTunes.

Please don't hesitate to ask if you have other questions...

Committed to your success,
Ray
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