How many calories do you need?

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How many calories should I eat a day?
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Recommended intake

Finding a Balance

There are vegetarian and vegan sources nuts, beans, and soy are a few , as well as lean meat, poultry, fish , and dairy. Most Americans get enough protein but could choose to get it from leaner sources, so you may already have plenty in your diet.

Your exact protein needs depend on your age, gender, and how active you are. Make friends with good fats. The better choices are those in fish , nuts, and seeds, and olive oil or coconut oils. Those have unsaturated fats -- polyunsaturated or monounsaturated fats, specifically.

Fill up on fiber. You can get that from vegetables, whole grains, fruits -- any plant food will have fiber. Some have more than others. Top sources include artichokes, green peas, broccoli, lentils, and lima beans. Among fruits, raspberries lead the list.

If you eat times a day, it could keep hunger at bay. You could split your calories equally across all of those mini-meals, or make some bigger than others. What About Meal Replacements? These products will control your calories. One easy way to lose weight quickly is to cut out liquid calories, such as soda, juice, and alcohol. Replace them with zero-calorie drinks like lemon water , unsweetened tea , or black coffee.

Diet drinks will save you calories, compared with sugary beverages. You might think that fasting is a quick way to drop pounds. Some involve skipping all food. There are also fasts where you eat every other day.

During the first days of your fast, you may feel hungry and grumpy. You may also get constipated. Drink lots of water and take a daily multivitamin.

You should also tell your doctor, especially if you take medications that will probably need to be adjusted. No matter how you kick-start your weight loss, the best way to keep it off is with long-lasting lifestyle changes, like a healthy eating plan and physical activity. You want to drop pounds, now. And you want to do it safely. There are many ways you can do this, without cutting calories too much. Rather than finding the closest parking spot you can, park a distance away and walk the rest," recommends Wasiak.

Bikini Olympia Ashley Kaltwasser. You might not think of raking as exercise, but it builds upper-body strength and burns calories quickly.

Lunge into the movement to work your lower body as well. A post shared by Collin Wasiak collinwasiak on May 5, at 6: Take the time on a low-key weeknight to make something special and healthy. Cooking for just half an hour will burn up calories, helping you keep your evening calorie balance in check.

It's the fit way to socialize," says Kaltwasser. Here's one from fitness competitor Wasiak: A great way to burn calories and boost strength is to bring a forearm grip to work and whenever you have a moment, do a set of squeezes.

Do this exercise times per day and you'll have way better grip strength, which also means better gym performance. Plus, of course, more calories burned every day. Cycling is a great way to make your lower-body stronger.

It makes your heart and lungs stronger too. Hit the road for a bike ride after dinner. It doesn't have to be hard, either!

You might not even break a sweat. Instead of doing your usual straight-set workout, try supersetting two exercises back-to-back, resting only after you finish both moves. A post shared by Collin Wasiak collinwasiak on Jun 5, at 5: He adds that for a real challenge, you can also do a "compound set" by combining a multijoint and a single-joint move.

In this case, they should work the same muscle group, like dumbbell presses and dumbbell flyes for chest. OK, we didn't say they'd all be fun. But washing floors is a great way to work your core, upper body, and lower body and will help you add more movement to your day.

And your floors will finally be clean. Cutting your lawn each week is a great way to build exercise into your lifestyle. Use a push mower, and you'll burn calories in just over 30 minutes. Writing a check to the gardener just won't cut it. Tennis is a fast-paced game that does more than burn calories. It also boosts your hand-eye coordination and strengthens your core, lower body, and arms. Your pet needs exercise, too! Take your dog out for a walk each night after dinner and watch your fat burn go up.

The fresh air will give you energy, and you'll be more ready to work hard when you return. In the winter, the extra sunlight will also be good for your mood. Bowling is a fun activity to do with friends while you burn calories at the same time. Unfortunately, if you load up on nachos and beer while you play, this doesn't count as calorie-burning. Beach volleyball is a great lower-body workout. The sand is harder to push against than solid ground.

It's a perfect hot-weather calorie-burning activity. Skipping rope is fun, and it can burn major calories because your shoulders, arms, and legs are all working hard. If you need a break from your usual cardio, this is a great choice. For those of you who want to triple your calories burned and make a strong weight-loss effort, here are 10 more activities to choose from. Most of these are nearly full workouts in themselves, so try to plan them for an off day from your strength-training sessions.

Few activities burn as many calories as cross-country skiing. Skiing works your legs, core, and arms while making you break a sweat during the cold weather.

And since you'll probably be going for longer than just 18 minutes, you're really going to amp up your weight-loss. On warmer days, rollerblading is a great way to get some exercise. It works your quads and glutes to the extreme, and helps you torch calories quickly.

Just make sure you know how to stop! If you're looking for a challenge, a rock-climbing class might just be the perfect fit. You'll strengthen all the upper-body muscles while boosting your core strength as well. It's common to spend a couple hours at the climbing gym, so the total number of calories burned will likely be much higher than

What are calories?