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2000 Calories

Food Politics Logo About mid-October, I started to seriously focus on losing a little weight. Through a combination of portion control, quality control, and some cardio work I’ve managed to shave off a few. I also think I’ve got a sustainable plan to keep it off and keep going in the right direction.

Per usual, in the course of doing something like this, you start to pay attention to food labels. They’re all baselined to a 2000 calorie diet. This got me wondering. Why 2000 calories? Based on what reasoning?

Turning to Google, I landed on Marion Nestle’s blog Food Politics. She’s got a pretty substantive post on where the 2000 calorie diet came from. Interestingly, 2000 calories is 20% below the low end of the scientifically determined average caloric requirement for males. Which means if you’re a guy, calorie counting with food labels, probably leaves you with quite a bit of wiggle room. I’m not particularly fastidious about counts, but I’m trying to stay away from the some of the sneakier high calorie items that are easy to get hooked on. I’m looking at you Starbucks Banana Nut Loaf. An extra yogurt or two, won’t bust the budget though.

Nestle closes with the following advice about caloric intake:

As to how many calories you personally need, I think they are too difficult for most people to count accurately to bother. The bottom line: If you are eating too many, you will be gaining weight.

The best advice I can give is to get a scale and use it. If your weight starts creeping up, you have to eat less.

I’ve already taken her advice and it’s working to good effect.

Oh yeah, Nestle’s got a good bit of credibility on the subject. Go Bears!!

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