How many calories do I need?
Every woman is different and if you’re at a healthy weight and engage in regular physical activity, eating around the same number of calories each day will help with weight maintenance. If you need to gain weight, increasing the number of calories you consume each day by around 250 may help you slowly and steadily gain weight. If you need to lose weight, decreasing your calorie intake by 250 per day (along with moderate exercise) may help you achieve a healthy weight. Always talk to your healthcare provider about specific diet and exercise changes.
The plan below provides approximately 2000 calories per day, which may be a good target for healthy, moderately active women thinking about getting pregnant.
Canada's Food Guide: Healthy Eating Recommendations. https://food-guide.canada.ca/en/healthy-eating-recommendations/ Published 2020. Accessed April 2021.
Institute of Medicine Food & Nutrition Board 2006. Dietary Reference Intake: The Essential Guide to Nutrient Requirements. In: Otten, J.J., Hellwig, J.P. & Meyers, L.D. (Eds.). Washington, D.C.: National Academy of Sciences.
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