Why an Eating Disorder Therapist Will Never Tell You How Many Calories to Eat?

 

One of the most frequently asked questions I get as an eating disorder therapist is how many calories my clients should eat per day. The short answer, which 

I will talk about in greater detail below, is that there isn’t a one-size-fits-all number of calories that will work for every person. Each individual has a different metabolism, activity level, food preferences, etc., so there’s no single calorie number that will be perfect for everyone to eat every day in order to reach their weight loss or muscle gain goals.

The Math Behind Diet Calorie Counting

To figure out how many calories you should eat, take your current weight and multiply it by 11. If you weigh 150 pounds, that means eating roughly 1,650 calories a day.
 That’s just a baseline. On average, women in their 20s need about 2,000 calories a day to maintain their weight (and men typically need about 2,500). 
But you have to tweak those numbers based on your lifestyle. In order for calorie counting to work long-term for losing weight and keeping it off (which is what most people want), it needs to be flexible enough for your body and lifestyle changes over time.

The Problem with How Many Calories Should I Eat A Day?

There’s no universal right number of calories, and if there was, it would change depending on your body size, activity level, and many other factors. Dietitians, doctors, and health experts can’t recommend a specific number of calories for you to eat each day because they don’t know how active you are or what your body needs.
 It’s impossible for them to say Here is a magical number of calories that will lead you towards success. That’s why dietitians ask so many questions and want you to track things like how much water you drink in a day or whether or not you’ve been feeling lightheaded or moody. This helps guide their recommendations but also ensures that everyone has their own diet tailored specifically for them.

What Actually Matters When It Comes to Losing Weight

Despite what they say, most dietitians won’t tell you exactly how many calories your body needs. In part, that’s because it varies from person to person and food choice to food choice. However, there are a few constants when it comes to losing weight and keeping it off. 
By changing up your perspective on what matters in weight loss, you can learn about some of these key truths that will change how you live for good: 1. Physical Activity Really Is Important 2. The Abs Diet is Bullshit 3. Weight Loss Isn’t Linear 4. The Best Thing to Do Is Make Lifestyle Changes 5.

The Final Word on the Right Number of Calories

If you aren’t an eating disorder therapist, chances are pretty good that you’re not a doctor and won’t be calculating your patients’ caloric intake.
 There is no magic number of calories (or anything else) per day that will help you lose weight or improve your health in any way. The same goes for exercise – there is no specific amount of time or activity that will guarantee success on any front. 
And if you think about it, why would we expect there to be? Humans are all different sizes with different goals and lifestyles. What might work for one person might have no effect on another.

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