Amy, what is the suggested calorie intake for men and women? Does it change with large and small framed people? I am trying to set up a diet for my family and the three men are 6'1-6'5, while myself, daughter and youngest son are all small framed. Thank you.

Suggested calorie levels vary a lot based on someone’s gender, age, height/weight, goals (weight loss vs. gain), and activity levels. A man that is 6’5” will likely burn many more calories than a small framed girl. I would first recommend that you go to the “Nutritional Needs” calculator on the Old Orchard website. From here you can enter you/your family‚Äôs information (age, weight, weight goals and activity levels) to find out approximately how many calories each should be consuming per day. Each member of your family may have somewhat similar goals when it comes to weight so it is nice to have it individualized to help determine an appropriate calorie level for each.

Once you obtain this information you can start doing some planning. Have your family begin checking the labels of various products to become familiar with how many calories are in each serving. Then it will be up to you and your family to stay within your suggested calorie range. If your desire is to lose weight, you will need to factor in some calories burned from physical activity (there is also a “Calorie Burner Counter” calculator on the website as well!) Keep in mind that you will lose a pound a week if you can subtract ~3500 calories from your diet. This can be a combined approach using calories burned from physical activity and a reduction of calories consumed.

To further help you count calories, many restaurants have begun releasing nutritional information for their various menu items. This may help you make a healthy decision and stick within your calorie range when you eat out. However, please remember that the calories listed next to various menu items may just be an estimate, so try to avoid overeating at the meal. Finally, when you prepare meals or try new recipes, keep your family informed about approximately how many calories are in various dishes. This can help them stick to their calorie goals as well!

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