The average daily recommended energy allowance for the ordinary woman is 1500 – 2,000 kcal (kilocalories) and for a man is 2000 – 2,500 kcal.
kcal – grams
4 kcal = 1 gram of protein
4 kcal = 1 gram of carbohydrates
9 kcal = 1 gram of fat
Average nutritional needs for adults
Daily servings from the food groups;
Good carbohydrates = 3 servings per day
Protein = 4 servings per day
Fruit and vegetables = 5 servings per day
Milk / dairy foods = 2 servings per day
foods containing fats = 1 serving per day
- 6 teaspoons of sugar = 25g
- Try and drink water at least 3 – 4 times a day.
Limit or cut out sugars in your diet, latest medical advice is no more than 6 teaspoons of sugar per day.
fruit is a good way to replace sugar in your diet.
So lets talk about the dreaded takeaway or fast food outlets, these should be a no no or an occasional treat. They are not part of a staple diet. If you are opting for a takeaway or a meal out try to chose the healthier option on the menu. Or limit to once a week.
Fizzy drinks need to be removed from anybodies diet, this includes so called diet or zero calorie drinks. They are addictive, and encourages you to eat more as they increase appetite.
Fruit juice is a better choice, try diluting it to reduce sugar intake. I find adding extra fibre to my diet helps, you can add fibre to your juice, smoothie or shakes to help process the sugar and decrease appetite.
There has been a lot of debate about fats and sugars in the media lately, fats are good for you and sugar is bad. Then other debates about good fats and bad fats. Lets just clarify all excess, doesn’t matter if that excess is protein, carbohydrates or fats, will turn into excess fat in the body if you are eating over your calorie count, which I discussed earlier.
Healthy fats are important for the body
- Fat is a concentrated source of energy – 1 gram of fat contains 9 calories, much more than a gram of protein or carbohydrate which both contain 4 calories per gram. The body can pull on its fat reserves during lean times for energy, converting fat into glucose.
- Fat provides a cushion to help protect our vital organs – without fat our organs would be more prone to damage. Furthermore, fat acts as an insulator, helping us to maintain the correct body temperature.
- Fat enables our bodies to process vitamins A, D, E and K, which are all fat soluble and vital to good health.
- Like amino acids in protein, fat contains essential fatty acids (EFA’s). These EFA’s are, as their name suggests, essential to good health and likely to help the heart and immune system. The human body cannot make its own (synthesize) these EFA’s and therefore has to get them from consumption of fat.
- Some fatty acids – like omega 3 – may provide other health benefits such as complimenting the cognitive processes of the brain.
Healthy weight loss;
The healthy way to lose weight and reduce body fat is to cut calories by 15%. This modest decrease minimizes any drop in metabolic rate or muscle mass. Bad dieting causes metabolic rate to slow down, this is called ‘starvation response’. This means the body stores fat and calories rather than burning them for energy. Glycogen stores are quickly depleted causing tiredness and can break down muscle tissue.
Losing weight the healthy way by cutting your calories by 15% you should expect to lose 0.5kg per week, slightly more with exercise.