Woman, seated on couch, looks at her phone
miniseries / E+ via Getty Images

Investigating the 2,000 calorie diet

Understanding and talking about calories can be difficult and overwhelming, especially when you are trying to conceive (TTC). It can be hard to know exactly how to think about calories in your day-to-day life. While everyone and every body is different, below are some key points to keep in mind. 

Where did the 2,000 calorie recommendation come from?

When the Food and Drug Administration (FDA) began regulating food labels, it recommended a range for average daily calories requirements. Health professionals and consumers were allowed to vote on a couple of options. 2,000 was the most popular number. Your individual calorie needs may vary from this and even on a day to day basis! 

Counting calories

For most people there is no need to calculate calories. In order to have healthy food intake and develop healthy habits, your go-to guide for how much you should eat in a day can be based on your feelings of hunger and satisfaction. Calorie ranges are a tool to help us quantify energy and overall nutrient intake, but there are risks associated with counting calories, including mental and emotional stress and disordered eating due to fixation on food and/or calorie intake.

Other factors to consider

As is the case with health indicators like the number of hours you sleep and move each week, what works for some people might not work for you — that’s just how it goes! When you think about the amount and types of food that will nourish you, try to focus on factors beyond nutrition labels. Some examples may include:

  • How much you’re moving throughout the day
  • Your energy levels
  • Feelings of satisfaction/fullness after eating
  • Feelings about your body
  • Feeling of hunger or sense that you’re eating restrictively  

Is my diet restrictive? 

There are many risks associated with a low calorie diet (<1600), including not able to meet nutrient needs to support fertility and pregnancy. If you’re worried you might be eating restrictively, reach out to your provider or a therapist. 

The bottom line 

Finding a diet that nourishes you and leaves you feeling satisfied can be complicated for some, but you don’t have to do it alone. Seek out a registered dietitian and/or healthcare provider who can direct you to one. They will help you understand how to best support your specific needs as you are TTC and beyond!

Reviewed by the Ovia Health Clinical Team


Related Topics

Get the Ovia Fertility app
Get our app at the Apple App Store Get our app at the Apple App Store Get our app at the Google Play Store Get our app at the Google Play Store