A calorie is a measure of energy – specifically, it is one unit of energy. Some say the answer to How many calories should I eat? is simple.

They say, since a calorie is one unit of energy, you should only eat as many calories as the amount of your activity. But how many minutes or seconds of activity is equal to one calorie or on unit of energy. There is no one answer because everyone’s body is different.

Everyone has a different body weight, different genes and different eating habits. Some people can afford a wide array of healthful foods while others can’t. The answer to the question is very complicated. Possibly the most complicated question to answer in the world of dieting. But, there is hope to finding the answer that suits your specific body weight and physical setup.

What You Need to Do

To discover the right amount of calories for you, you will have to assess yourself and you eating habits. First, go to the scale. See how much you weight. If you are comfortable with your weight, the answer to the question may be a little easier than you expected, but, if you aren’t comfortable with your weight, the answer to the question is more difficult. If you’re wanting to lose weight, the question isn’t necessarily How many calories should I eat?

Rather, it’s How many calories should I eat to lost weight? This question is for another time and place as it usually requires a personal trainer and not a mere article.

So, assuming you are happy with your weight or your weight has stayed static for quite a while, weight yourself. After, get on the internet and look up weight/calorie charts. There are many useful charts available made by doctors and physical trainers that offer sound advice on how many calories you should eat based on how much you weight. The easy part is finding how many calories are suggested that you should consume based on your weight.

The hard part of the matter though is adhering to that amount of calories. More times than not, people are overeating and going over their respective calorie limit. For instance, if you are 190 pounds and require about 2,000 calories like me and have never looked at a weight/calorie charts, chances are you are eating more calories than you need to. What does this mean? You are in danger of eating too much and gaining more unneeded pounds.

Once you find out how many calories you should be eating based on your original weight, the next step is to drop your calorie intake down to that amount of calories. Because I know and you know, you aren’t eating the recommended amount of calories based on your weight. I know because I’ve been there before. The process of achieving the daily digestion of the right amount of calories doesn’t happen overnight.

So don’t get your hopes up. For instance, if you weigh, like me, 190 pounds, and you are currently eating 2,500 calories instead of 2,000 calories, you’ll want to eat 100 calories less each day each week. Or, in other words, the first week you’ll want to eat 2.400 calories a day and the second week you’ll want to eat 2,300 calories a day. It’s a gradual process that takes time. And the time is worth it. When you’re eating the recommended amount of calories for your weight, you’ll feel better and won’t be tempted to binge eat because, if you’re eating right, you’ll be satiated all the time and not have that urge.

Staying on Course

So, once you have looked at a weight/calorie chart and discovered the amount of calories that are right for you, you’ll want to stick to eating that amount of calories each and every day until your weight fluctuates. Therefore, you’ll want to diet in a way that satisfies you and fills you. If you ate out a lot at fast food chains before looking at the weight/calorie chart, you may feel the need to eat greasy food to satisfy your hunger. Don’t though.

I tell you now, there are many foods out there that can satiate you and keep you below your calorie limit. So, say you like chicken nuggets from your favorite fast food place. Chances are, if you like chicken nuggets, you like chicken. There are literally thousands of recipes out there that offer directions on how to prepare a great chicken dish.

And, don’t fret, just because it’s not fast food doesn’t mean it can’t have its share of fat. Just a different kind of fat. Oils like olive oil will give your food that fried, buttery flavor that you are used to. Only olive oil is better for you than the artificial fats many fast food chains use.

The next to staying on course is motivation. Find something that inspires you to eat right, whether it be a woman, a job you care about, or your general self-respect. Eating the proper amount of calories will not only keep you at a constant weight, it will keep your head in order.

If you stay on course, you won’t have to worry about gaining weight like you previously did. Your body will be the same the next week as it was the previous week if you stay on course. Also, you can find new and unique ways to stay on course whether it be in the form of a new cuisine, a new restaurant or a new favorite health food.

Look for new health foods every week that don’t contain a lot of calories, but satisfy you at the same time. I can think of a few off the top of my head that I can offer: pomegranates (a great fruit that offers a grainy crunch), cranberries (a sweet snack that easily does away the desire for candy), and walnuts (a nut that is subtly sweet and also offers a sufficient amount of fat and fiber that makes you feel full). Stay on course and keep the body you love!