Question: I’m trying to get in shape, but don’t know how many calories I should eat every day. I’m a woman in my late 50s, am 5-foot-4, and weigh about 160 pounds.
Dr. Hibberd’s answer:
Calorie recommendations vary by individual, as well as your level of daily activity, metabolism, and underlying medical conditions. As a middle-aged woman, with a height of 5-foot-4, your ideal weight should be 120 pounds.
To lose one to two pounds per week, you should aim to limit your daily diet to about 2,000 calories. You also need to start an appropriate physical exercise program to help you reach your goal. Muscle tissue must be preserved to maintain long-term weight control.
Don’t try a starvation diet or try to drop 1,000 calories a day. I would advise a medical consultation before starting any diet, just to be sure you don’t have any conditions that require special attention. Underlying conditions often flare up when you start a weight-loss regimen.
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