By Ask Rachel
Dear Rachel: I want to go on a diet, but I don’t want to overdo it. How many calories should I aim to eat each day?
Answer: Eat at least 1,200 calories a day, says nutritionist Maye Musk, author of Feel Fantastic: Maye Musk’s Good Health Clinic. If you eat fewer calories than that, you may not get the nutrients you need and your body could go into starvation mode. This will slow down your metabolism, which will in turn slow down your weight-loss efforts. Plus, you will likely feel tired and irritable. “Plan a healthy diet of fruit, vegetables, low-fat dairy, whole grains and lean protein,” says Musk. A food diary will also help you keep track of exactly what – and how much – you eat each day.