How Many Calories Does the Average American Eat in a Day?

When it comes to counting calories, there’s plenty of myths and misinformation. And since something as simple as your morning Starbucks drink can secretly be a calorie bomb, keeping an accurate intake is tough.

The calorie is a paradox: It’s simple, yet complicated. Men and women have different needs, and your individual needs will vary depending on what your weight loss (or maintenance) goals are.

Calories in, calories out?

Happy woman eating green apple.

Understanding calories isn’t always easy. | iStock.com

Before we tackle the tough subject of caloric needs, this myth is worth putting to rest. Many people believe that as long as you’re burning more calories than you’re taking in, you’ll lose weight. Others swear that calories from some sources are better than others. The truth is, it’s complicated.

While it’s true that burning more calories than you consume is the key to weight loss, the calories you consume also influence the number of calories you expend. For example, if you eat a meal that’s high in protein and other energy-boosting nutrients, you’ll have the stamina to burn off more calories in the long run than you would if you ate the equivalent amount of calories in donuts.

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