Calorie Conspiracy: Are you being misled by government guidelines?




Government guidelines suggest the following guidelines for our daily calorie intake:

Men: 2500 calories per day

Woman: 2000

Children: 1800

We know this stuff, right?


But what are we actually burning each day? I mean, really?

Take me for example – I have just had my results back following a private health screening whereby I had my own personal metabolic biometrics assessed.

Now, I am pretty fit these days. and because I workout 3-5 times per week I have a higher than average muscle mass for a woman. Aside from my workouts or set aside exercise, I am pretty active with my kids all day, and rarely sit still until the 8-9pm mark …

So you will probably assume that I must burn a lot of calories then, right?

Well, I’m quite surprised to learn that my personal burn rate is only 2000 calories per day. Just 2000!

That’s the national average, encompassing all woman of different activity levels.

And what’s more, my personal calculation also informs me that without my 3-5 workouts each week, my body would only burn 1560 calories per day. Meaning that If I didn’t work out as I do ( and trust me – I work my ARSE OFF!), I would almost certainly be gaining weight each month because most days, I absolutely eat a lot more than 1560 calories.

I am really shocked about that.

So according to our government, 2000 calories is the recommended safe and healthy limit for all women – but I am probably way more active than the national average person; way more active than say, someone who drives to their desk job every day, to then drive home, and sit down to relax in the evening with a boxset – I mean, what’s that person burning? not 2000 calories, that’s for sure. Yet that person will probably be comfortable knowing that they are staying within the safe guidelines, and then possibly wondering why, year on year, the weight is creeping in.

The national government guidelines ARE WRONG people. And we are all consuming way more than we should be. Possibly without even realising.

Its little wonder the national average obesity levels are higher than ever and on the rise.

After reading my biometric results I did a little online research, and I was surprised to learn the following from lots of different health websites –

Here is a rough daily calorie burn estimation for people with different activity levels :

(Lets say, your a 140lb 35 year old woman)

If you are – Someone who leads a sedentary lifestyle with little activity. You sit at a desk all day, and then on the couch all evening – you will be burning an average of just 1620 calories per day.

If you are – someone who is slightly more active. Perhaps you walk a little each day, clean the house every day etc, then you will probably be burning around 1850 calories per day.

If you are – moderately active and rarely sit still, you will be burning around 2090 calories per day.

If you are – very active. Maybe you do a labour intensive job all day and then run a marathon at the weekend, you will probably be burning at a rate of 2320 calories per day.

Now, I don’t know about you, but I’m pretty shocked at that.

So where are you on that scale – do you think that the government guidelines are terribly misleading?

I’d love to hear your thoughts on this below so all comments will be very gratefully received.

Obviously, it’s worth pointing out that everyone biometric burn rates will differ depending on muscles and body fat ratios etc. The more fat your body is carrying, the less metabolically active tissue you have, therefore the less you will burn each day regardless of activity level. If you have a lot of muscle, you will burn more than someone else without etc, etc.

Thank you for reading.







4 comments on Calorie Conspiracy: Are you being misled by government guidelines?

  • Charlene

    *Gulp* I”m 140lb but I’m 34 so I get some more calories right? I do find that people are shocked by how much they have to reduce their calories to actually loose weight and this is probably a big part of the reason why.
    Charlene recently posted…It’s competition time! Lessons from the changing room floorMy Profile

    • Anna (author)

      Oh yes, you must be entitled to at least 7 extra calories per day for being only 34! (I turned 35 last Tuesday. Damn it!)
      Calories really do mount up quickly don’t they? I think that we as a nation/first world country have become so used to our pretty indulgent ways on the food front, when compared to say, the 1950’s – we have so much foodie freedom. Its no wonder we are getting fatter and fatter with so much sugary choice. Give it another 50 years and we may have learned some constraint!
      thanks so much for reading and commenting. Ax

  • @adadcalledspen

    Really interesting read. Thanks, as I didn’t know a lot about this subject. I need to up the amount of exercise I do. Or reduce the amount of biscuits I eat. Or both.

    • Anna (author)

      Ha! I’ve heard that doing both may turn out to be a winning combo! Trouble is, biscuits really are such wondrous things aren’t they? … I say this as someone who has consumed at least half a pack of chocolate digestives in the car today. Whoopsie. Only about 9 hours of hard cardio and I can burn those bad boys right off …
      Thank you for commenting. Ax

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