How Many Calories You Should Really Consume In A Day

We've only got a week left until Halloween, meaning candy-corn season is coming to a close — so many treats, so little time. Thankfully, we have SciShow's new video to help us figure out how many daily calories we should actually be taking in.
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To begin with, the video explains what a calorie is: The ones listed on nutritional labels are actually kilocalories, meaning they're equivalent to about 1,000 of the calories used in chemistry. Because each of those chemistry-calories measures the energy needed to raise the temperature of a single gram of water by one degree Celsius, an apple with 95 calories contains the energy needed to increase the temperature of an entire liter of water by 95 degrees Celsius (203 degrees Fahrenheit). Pretty toasty.
Figuring out how much of that energy you actually require on a daily basis can be tricky, because those needs are different for everyone. What we do know are a few of the factors that determine how many calories you need: your age (calorie requirements are actually at their highest in our mid-20s), gender (on average, women have less muscle mass to fuel than men do), and lifestyle (more physical activity means more calories need to be replaced). However, the most important thing is to balance what we take in and what we burn off. But, that doesn't necessarily mean we want every day to hit net-zero. Instead, we should aim to have our long-term patterns more or less even out.
Figuring out what works for us (calorically and otherwise) continues to be important as we reexamine our relationships with food — here and around the world. But, that doesn't mean we shouldn't enjoy an extra Reese's peanut butter pumpkin while we still can.
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