Just like gas fuels a car, we need calories for energy. But we don’t come with a gas tank and can sometimes struggle with finding the right balance for our optimal performance.
According to a recent survey, 85% of adults did not know how many calories they should be eating each day. Your exact calorie need depends on several factors such as your age, activity level, and height.
Luckily, the USDA saves us from having to do math and figures out everything for us at http://www.mypyramid.gov/mypyramid/index.aspx. After plugging in some basic information and stats, you receive a personalized profile which includes your ideal number of calories, a breakdown of the food groups and your target servings, and helpful hints on hitting those targets. The site also offers other useful tools such as a meal planning worksheet, games and coloring pages for kids, and a more detailed assessment of your diet and physical activity level called the MyPyramid Tracker.