We all know that no two human beings are the same and that we are definitely not a one size fits all kind of species. Thus, there are several factors that affect how we lose weight or how we gain weight. These factors include our diets, our lifestyles, our shapes, our sizes, the way our bodies store fat, and of course our ages.
Our ages affect pretty much more than how we lose weight or how we gain weight. It also has a profound effect on our calorie requirements. By age 40, maintaining a healthy weight is much more complex than simply consuming just enough calories to support the body’s needs.
The US Department of Health and Human Services has a recommended calorie intake for different ages of people, depending on whether their lifestyles are active or sedentary, and this table should be the building block of any diet plan any person goes on.
Girls aged 5 to 10 who live sedentary lifestyles should consume around 1,400 calories a day, while those aged 20 – 25 with the same lifestyle should aim for 2,000 calories, and those aged 25 – 50 with sedentary lifestyles should aim for 1,800 calories.
If you are a woman aged 50 and above who is mostly sedentary, you should be consuming only 1,600 calories a day.
If you are a woman who falls within the ages of 25 to 50 and has a more active lifestyle, it is recommended that you eat around 1,800 calories a day, and this decreases to 1,600 calories a day if you are aged 50 to 80.
For men with sedentary lifestyles, and aged 40 to 60, around 2,200 calories a day is the recommended calorie intake. Men of the same age with more active lifestyles can take 2,500 calories or more per day.
A simple calculation
From the above, we can safely deduce that the older you get, the fewer calories you need.
We can also safely deduce that the more active you are, the more your required calorie intake.
In fact, women with moderate activity levels can eat an additional 200 calories a day as compared to their more sedentary contemporaries, increasing to 400 a day for an active lifestyle. Also, men can add an extra 200 calories a day for moderate activity levels and an additional 400 to 600 calories if they are more active.
Finally, women need just a little fewer calories than men do.
So, do you maintain a sedentary lifestyle, or do you consider yourself a more active person? This is the point at which you need to rate your physical activity levels to determine just how much calories you should be consuming once you reach 40.
Rating activity levels can be somewhat tricky. For example, if you run four times a week but sit down to work for seven hours each day, your activity level might not be better than that of a person who walks to work every day but does no or very little formal exercise.
Tailoring your diet
You should always remember that whatever age that you are, your calorie requirements will be lower than that of someone who is active if you have a more sedentary lifestyle.
You should also always remember that as you grow older, your calorie requirement drops.