Are you over 40 and striving for a healthier, more active lifestyle? If so, you're not alone! Many adults in this age group are increasingly embracing fitness and wellness as a way to enhance their quality of life. Forever Active, your trusted personal trainers, are here to guide you through one of the most critical aspects of your journey - calorie intake.
Calorie intake plays a pivotal role in maintaining a healthy weight, boosting energy levels, and supporting overall well-being. In this comprehensive guide, we'll delve into the world of calorie intake for adults over 40, offering expert advice, practical tips, and real-life examples to help you make informed choices for a healthier you.
Understanding Calorie Basics
Before we dive into specifics, it's essential to understand the fundamentals of calories. Simply put, calories are units of energy derived from the foods and beverages we consume. Our bodies use these calories to perform various functions, including maintaining vital processes, supporting physical activity, and repairing tissues.
As we age, our calorie needs change due to several factors such as reduced metabolism and muscle mass. This makes it crucial to tailor your calorie intake to your unique requirements. Forever Active personal trainers emphasise the importance of making informed choices when it comes to your daily calorie intake.
Calculate Your Basal Metabolic Rate (BMR)
Your Basal Metabolic Rate (BMR) is the number of calories your body needs at rest to maintain basic functions like breathing and digestion. Calculating your BMR is a vital first step in determining your daily calorie intake. Here's a simple Calculator for you to use. We recommend using the “Harris-Benedict (Revised) BMR equation setting. If you want to do the calculations yourself, we have provided them at the bottom of this post.
Let's take Jane as an example. She's a 45-year-old woman who weighs 68 kg and is 160 cm tall. Using the calculator, her BMR is: 1377.
Now, go ahead and use the calculator to get your BMR.
Set Your Goal
Once you know your results, you can tailor your calorie intake to achieve your specific fitness goals. Here are common objectives and how to adjust your calorie intake accordingly:
1. Weight Maintenance
If your goal is to maintain your current weight, your daily calorie intake should match your Total Daily Energy Expenditure (TDEE). In Jane's case, she is moderately active so this means consuming approximately 2,134 calories daily.
2. Weight Loss
To shed pounds, create a calorie deficit by consuming fewer calories than your TDEE. A safe and sustainable weight loss goal is typically 0.5 to 1 kg per week, which requires a calorie deficit of 500 to 1000 calories daily. Jane might aim for 1634 to 2134 calories per day.
Forever Active Tip: Combine calorie reduction with regular exercise for optimal results.
3. Muscle Gain
If you're looking to build muscle, you'll need to increase your calorie intake slightly to provide the energy required for muscle growth. A small surplus of 250 to 500 calories above your TDEE is recommended. Jane's target range would be 2384 to 2634 calories per day.
Make Informed Food Choices
Calorie intake isn't just about quantity; quality matters too. Forever Active advocates for a balanced and nutritious diet that includes:
1. Lean Proteins
Proteins are essential for maintaining muscle mass and promoting satiety. Incorporate lean sources like poultry, fish, tofu, and legumes into your meals.
2. Whole Grains
Choose whole grains like quinoa, brown rice, and whole wheat pasta for sustained energy and fibre to aid digestion.
3. Fruits and Vegetables
Fruits and vegetables are rich in vitamins, minerals, and antioxidants. They also provide essential fibre for digestive health.
4. Healthy Fats
Include sources of healthy fats such as avocados, nuts, and olive oil to support heart health and overall well-being.
Forever Active Tip: Portion control is key. Be mindful of portion sizes to prevent overeating. And if you have to have those fries from time to time, have them, enjoy them, but maybe have half fries and half salad as an alternative. It’s also a good idea to incorporate the 80% rule we discussed in our recent post on longevity, i.e. stop eating when you’re 80% full, helping maintain a healthy weight.
Monitor and Adjust
If your goals change or you encounter plateaus, don't hesitate to adjust your calorie intake accordingly. Your body's needs evolve, so your calorie intake should adapt as well.
Forever Active - Your Trusted Fitness Partner
Forever Active understands the unique needs of adults over 40 when it comes to calorie intake and overall wellness. With experienced personal trainers and a commitment to your success, we are dedicated to helping you achieve your fitness goals and lead a healthier, more active life.
Calorie intake is a fundamental aspect of your health and fitness journey, especially as an adult over 40. Understanding your BMR, factoring in your activity level, and setting personalised goals are key steps in managing your calorie intake effectively. By making informed food choices and monitoring your progress, you can achieve your fitness aspirations.
Remember, Forever Active is here to support you every step of the way. With our expertise and your dedication, you can embark on a journey towards a healthier, more active you. Let's make the most of every calorie and keep moving forward, together! Sign up for your free personalised training session and see if we are a good fit for you .
Forever Active - Your Partner in Wellness and Fitness.
DIY: Calculate Your Basal Metabolic Rate (BMR)
BMR = 655 + (9.6 x weight in kg) + (1.8 x height in cm) - (4.7 x age in years)
BMR = 66 + (13.7 x weight in kg) + (5 x height in cm) - (6.8 x age in years)
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