Based on a 2,000 Calorie Diet ...

This seems to be the standard on packaging displays giving you the percentage requirements of various vitamins/minerals/protein contained in the food product. The implication is that people who need more or fewer calories also need more or less of those other items. I’m wondering how this works.

Are these other requirements strictly proportional to the caloric requirements? Hard to see why that would be so. So I’m wondering if perhaps a person with higher caloric requirements needs more of those other substances, but not strictly proportionately so (and conversely for people with lower requirements). And further, whether this might vary by the specific vitamin/mineral/protein.

The implication of the above would be that people who use more calories for whatever reason (bigger, faster metabolism, more active, etc.) might be able to maintain diets which are less “healthy” (in that they are less rich in nutrients per ounce and per calorie), and conversely for those who need fewer calories.

Though it might be that it also varies based on the reason you need more/less calories.

My guess is that they’ve only extensively studied people with normal caloric intakes, and that they therefore don’t know what the proper recommended amounts are for people with other consumption levels.

I move a lot more than 99% of other garmin fitness device users and don’t scale up my nutrients. I aim for grams of protein based on my bodyweight, eat some fruit and veggies and then a crap load of whatever the hell I feel like. It is hard to keep weight on otherwise.

I eat more “empty calories” now than I did when morbidly obese. Not too many carbs without fat though or I just bounce through the next day and it becomes annoying.

The ratio often suggested is 40/40/20 (protein/carbs/fat) but at 4 calories a gram for the first two I would wind up with much more protein than my body needs (about 280 g for a 72kg body, yelp) and be bouncing off the walls from the carbs. At 9 calories a gram fat is much easier to use fill the gaps.

The 2000 calorie regimen was based on a based of healthy adult females. Males were assigned an average of 2500 calories because they were heavier. From what I remember, the RDAs were scaled up proportionally across the board.

They were not meant to be exact needs for any particular individual. Nor did they have to be. They were mere guidelines meant to ensure that given those minimums people would not suffer from deficiencies. The idea was to steer the average person in the general public with a standard diet toward somewhat healthier balances.

People can do well on hugely different types of diets. Pretty much every major variation will give a person the necessary minimums. Avoiding excesses is also important, though whether that means fats or sugars or proteins is highly controversial.

No one set of numbers can possibly work for the entirety of the population. Most people probably have absolutely no idea how many calories they eat daily in the first place. I sure don’t. If I don’t know the calorie count how I can I possibly scale up anything? I can’t. But the RDAs aren’t for that so why should I care?

I should mention that 2000 calories is actually well above what my body would require if I was not controlling several serious issues with relatively extreme exercise. It is an unfair figure for most women that will result in an unfair figure :wink: I wish they’d stop using it as the standard.

Body size is essentially the only thing that affects caloric usage. Activity level is mostly irrelevant. Research shows that extremely active hunter-gatherers use about the same calories per day as sedentary Westerners.

This is why exercise contributes very little toward weight loss.

See how much effort is involved in burning as little as 400 calories on a treadmill and then look up how many calories in an average “innocent” turkey sandwich (pretty close to 400 calories).

The “pie hole” is the key to losing weight. Stay away from the frig and out of the kitchen.

That may be true under most circumstances, but it’s quite possible to lose weight through heavy exercise. Consider your typical long distance runners/swimmers/cyclists. They usually consume 5000 to 10000 Kcal/day and yet are thin as rails.

Can you imagine all of the charts you’d need to print on the back of a cereal box if you had to cover everyone from a 90-pound ballerina to a 300-pound defensive tackle? There wouldn’t be any room left for the kiddie-puzzle.

“Free Inside! Pre-programmed tablet computer to calculate your nutritional information!”

Seriously, activity is irrelevant? Cite please.

My cite is at the link in my post. Click on the word “cite”. I agree, it’s quite a surprising finding.

I remember seeing this study when it came out. Saying “activity level is mostly irrelevant” is overstating the study, but I do agree that it’s highly counter-intuitive that the authors didn’t find a stronger correlation between activity level and total energy expenditure (TEE) in the populations they studied. But the main things they expected to see correlation with were walking distance and nursing infants. It definitely warrants further research to understand at what level of activity TEE begins to respond. Running 20 miles a week? 50? 100? Biking? Swimming?