Balanced nutrition is critical for great health. There are many ways to get the nutrients needed each day, but the preferred way is to minimize calories.
Nutritionists tell us that we need 15 calories per pound to maintain body weight. You need to eat 3000 calories of food daily if you weigh 200 pounds and want to remain at 200 pounds. Each pound of body weight is comprised of 3500 calories. Theoretically, if you ate 1500 calories per day – 500 less daily than needed to remain at 200 pounds – then you would lose one pound – your new weight would be 199 pounds in about seven days.
However, many of us have found that it is not that east to lose that extra one pound – and, keep it off. The 3500 calories can be accounted for with calories eaten or calories expended with exercise. Again, exercising is successful for some, as is cutting down on the calories eaten. But, it doesn’t work the same for all – and, it doesn’t remain constant in the future.
I advocate balanced nutrition (across 30+ nutrients) daily and the minimal calories needed to achieve that level. In most cases, it equates to 10 calories per pound of expected body weight. You need 2000 calories of food daily to maintain excellent health and reduce the risk of disease/infirmity as you age if you currently weigh 200 pounds. It establishes a baseline for health rather than a weight goal. If you lose 20 pounds then you adjust till you arrive at the weight/calorie requirement needed for that weight and health level.
Many of us are obsessed with weight when we should be fixated on health, especially when we pass that 40-year old mark. Restricted calories (with balanced nutrition) has shown a 25-40% increase in lifespan in many animals. Does this equate to humans? We don’t have enough studies done to confirm that eating less equates to living longer.
Animal studies with restricted calories yields longer life and a reduced risk of age-related diseases. Current studies with humans indicate the same end results, we just haven’t seen enough people living well past 110 years of age in good health. But, people are living longer in much better health than their peers.