(Dr Waseem Razzaq, )

Through this article we are going to learn how one can maintain his\ her desired body weight through taking appropriate amount of calories. Whether you're trying to lose weight, gain weight, or stick to your current weight, you might be tempted to look up the suggested calories per day for your gender, age, and activity level.

What are calories and how you get them :

All parts of the body (muscles, brain, heart, and liver) need energy to work. This energy comes from the food you eat. Unit of this energy is calorie. If your body get more calories than it actually needs to work, your body will tend to gain weight as extra calories will store in the body in form of fat. Because men generally have an overall larger body (both height and weight) and greater muscle mass than women, they also have increased caloric needs compared to women. Women need fewer calories than man, but in many cases, they have higher vitamin and mineral needs.
The average-sized, moderately physically active 30-year-old female needs about 2000 calories per day while her male counterpart needs about 2800 calories per day. Even if they were the same height and weight, the Dietary Reference Intakes (DRIs) approximate that the man burns about 400 calories more per day than the woman. As an average a man needs 2000 to 3000 calories/day and a woman needs 1600 to 2000calories/day depending on their age, height, weight and physical active status. Thus man will also require higher total intake of each of the macronutrients i.e carbohydrates, fats and proteins. We would discuss below how much each macronutrient gives energy/calories to your body:

1. Carbohydrates: 45 to 65% of calories should come from carbohydrates, 1 gm carbs give 4 calories and thus for 2000 calories diet must include 225 gm to 325 gm carbs. Foods like bread, roti, rice, potatoes, sugar, fruits and vegetables are best sources of carbohydrates.
2. Fats: 20 to 35 % of calories should be from fats, 1 gm fats give 9 calories and thus diet with 2000 calories should include 44 to 77 grams of fat per day. Butter, ghee, vegetable oils, seeds and nuts are best sources of fat.
3. Proteins: Adults should get 10 percent to 35 percent of their calories from proteins. Like carbohydrates protein also gives 4 calories/1gram. For 2000 calories diet 50 gm to 175 gm proteins should be included in daily diet. Meat, fish, chicken, eggs, beans and legumes and dairy products are best sources of protein.

To keep yourself healthy and smart you must know how much calories are required by your body , we are giving below a simple formula through which any one can calculate how much his/her body needs daily calories intake:

• Daily calories need for individual with active life style = Body weight in pounds multiply with 18
• Daily calories need for individual with moderately active life style = Body weight in pounds multiply with 16
• Daily calories need for individual with sedentary life style = Body weight in pounds multiply with13
If your body weight is according to your age and height and you are satisfied with your weight, then for maintaining your weight you must calculate your calories requirement and take accordingly and if you are overweight and want to lose weight then you will need to decrease your calories intake. We suggest women to decrease calories intake to 1000 -1200 calories and men to decrease their calories intake to 1200-1600 calories/day.

At the end a sample diet plan to maintain body weight is given below this would be helpful for persons who feel it difficult to calculate and take calories as per methods mentioned above in this article . Persons who need/want to lose weight, should follow diet plan for weight loss, for this purpose already published article of the author (Best Diet Plan for Weight Loss) would be very helpful and effective.

Let’s start with diet plan to maintain body weight, please follow following guidelines for getting best results:

1. Eat and chew slowly
2. Follow food timing
3. Follow food rotation
4. Drink plenty of water
5. Only 4 tea spoons of sugar/day are allowed under this diet plan,
6. Up to 3 small roties or pita of same size/day to male and up to 2.5 rotis or pita of dame size/day to female are allowed and off-course this amount must be decreased on the day when there are rice or pasta etc on the menu. 2 slices of bread would be equal to one roti.
7. Use brown/raw sugar instead of white sugar
8. Use pink Himalayan salt instead of ordinary salt

Within five to ten minutes of waking up, take a glass of honey water with lemon (mix 1 teaspoon of honey in a glass of warm water adding the juice of half a lemon). After having honey water you would need to go for at least a twenty minutes of exercise / physical activity ( mandatory), it may be any kind of exercise of your choice or simply a walk, after having exercise Pre-breakfast may be taken .
1. Pre-Breakfast: Take any of following fruit as a pre-breakfast:
o Orange (one)
o Grapefruit (half)
o Apple (one)
o Seven Almonds
o Small serving of mixed fruits
Within half hour you can take your breakfast,

1. Breakfast (1st main meal): Select any of following for your breakfast
o Omelet/fried egg with whole grain bread/ roti plus green tea .
o Homemade chickpeas or meat/chicken/fish curry with whole grain roti plus green tea
o Stuffed pratha with green tea.
o 2 kabbabs/ piece of chicken roast or 2 sausages with a slice of bread plus green tea
o Greek omelet with 1 whole egg plus 1 egg white, 2 ounces feta cheese, 1 cup spinach leaves, 2 ounces sliced black olives plus green tea or black coffee.

Pre- Lunch snack should be taken at 10 am to 11am
2. Pre-Lunch Snacks: Select any one of the following snacks
o Apple
o Guava
o Banana
o Peach
o Small serving of mixed fruits
o Mixed nuts and seeds
o Fruit yogurt without sugar.
o few apricots
o Small serving of strawberries or cherries.

Lunch timing would be between 12 pm and 02 pm
3. Lunch (2nd main meal): Followings are choices for lunch on one to be chose
o Beans/ Chickpeas salad
o Chana chat/ Dahibarhey
o 2 shami Kabab/ Seekh kabab with slices of cucumber and tomatoes
o Lentil soup plus fresh vegetable salad
o Corns (Dry roasted or boiled) and glass of buttermilk/ lassi

Evening snack should be taken at 04 pm
4. Evening Snacks: For evening snacks followings are the choices
o Mixed fruits
o Large serving of water melon/melon
o 9-10 peanuts plus a cup of black coffee or green tea
o 5-7 almonds plus cup of black coffee or green tea
o Coffee or tea with milk

Dinner timing must be between 06 pm to 09 pm and preferably at least 2 hours before going to bed
5. Dinner (3rd main meal): Choose any of the followings
o One to two small sized roties with curry or gravy prepared with chicken/beef/mutton/fish/beans/lentils plus a small serving of yogurt or homemade pickle
o Large serving of lentil/beans curry with small serving of boiled rice and half cup of plain yogurt
o Pasta with meat/chicken and veggies or biryani/palaowith fresh vegetable salad and yogurt (only once in a week)
o Fish/chicken or beef steak with cucumber and tomato salad with a slice of whole grain bread or pita.


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