How many calories should a woman over 40 eat daily?
With age, both men and women notice that the same pair of jeans or a dress that once fitted well no longer fits well. And, this more so happens to women mostly in their 40’s. Once a woman hits her 40’s, the chances of her piling on weight is high and to shed that weight becomes very difficult. This is because the metabolism slows down making it harder to shed the excess weight. Also, estrogen levels start falling in the 40’s (peri-menopause and menopause) which contributes to weight gain. A sedentary lifestyle and poor dietary habits can further compound the issue. How to lose weight is the primary concern for most women during this phase. This is a time when many women get into weight loss programs or weight management programs to shed the extra pounds. They are looking for quick weight loss solutions. One thing that all women need to remember here is that very low calorie diets offer only short term weight loss and can have a negative impact on the overall health. Qualified nutritionists for women give food plans which are healthy and inclusive of essential food groups with sufficient calories to assist in health and weight-loss goals.
Research suggests that after the age of 30 one starts losing muscle mass and the lost muscle is replaced with fat mass. Losing muscle slows down the metabolism as muscle keeps the metabolism pumped up. Women and men both struggle to lose weight or be in shape in their middle-age years. Women experience hormonal changes and menopause due to which there is weight gain and fat accumulation that takes place, especially around the abdomen. Due to the change in weight, many women start becoming conscious of their calorie intake. But the question that most of them have is how many calories are good enough for them to lose weight and maintain good health. Let us help you understand the calorie needs of women to manage weight and good health.
CALORIES REQUIRED PER DAY FOR WOMEN
In reality, humans aren’t a one size fits all species. We are all in different shapes & sizes and have different lifestyles and dietary habits. So, what works for one would not work for the other. Scientifically, a person’s caloric requirement is based on metabolic rate, age, height, physical activity, current weight, and the heath goal.
To lose weight there has to be a negative energy balance wherein the intake of calories has to be lesser than the caloric output. Counting calories but choosing the wrong foods will not help in maintaining good health along with weight loss. It is therefore very important to consult a nutritionist for women who could help chalk out a fat loss program which is healthy and sustainable. A detailed structured diet plan with a proper exercise routine along with other lifestyle modifications will help in achieving the set health goals.
The caloric requirement of a women after the age of 40 can vary between 1200 kcals to 2000 kcals per day depending on her lifestyle and the physical activity she performs. For women who are over-weight or obese and wish to lose weight, a low calorie diet of 1000 kcals - 1400 kcals would be ideal. A regular physical activity has a great impact not only on weight loss but also on overall health.
NEGATIVE EFFECTS OF CALORIE RESTRICTION
A restriction of minimum of 500 kcals per day is needed from the total current intake for losing weight. Extreme restriction of calories with the intent to lose weight faster is never a good option as with very less caloric intake one starts losing muscle instead of fat. This is because the body starts breaking down muscle to provide the energy needed to carry out the bodily functions which leave one with poor muscle mass. It also causes many nutrient deficiencies which reduces immunity and poor bone density which increases the risk of fractures.
BEING OVERWEIGHT OR OBESE
Being overweight or obese increases the risk of developing diabetes, hyperlipidemia, hypertension, fatty liver, osteoporosis, etc. As discussed earlier, it becomes difficult to manage weight after the age of 40 and the chances of developing these conditions increases. The risk is further increased with no change in the lifestyle. Hence, it would be prudent to keep a watch on the total calorie intake by eating a well balanced diet in controlled portions.
Tips for a balanced diet –
Emphasis on fruits and vegetables in the daily diet
Include whole wheat grains like cereal grains, beans and lentils in the diet
Focus on lean meat, fish, eggs and nuts
Prefer low fat milk and milk product
Limit intake of saturated fats, cholesterol, foods with added sugars, salt and alcohol. Avoid trans fats and processed and packaged products.
There are a lot of women’s nutrition guides available around on internet, magazines and books about what a woman has to eat in her 40’s. However, all the available information is generic and not personalized. Women at any age need good nutrition and a professional nutritionist for women can help them plan a well balanced diet with the necessary calories along with an exercise regime to sail through the different life phases in a healthy manner.