|Michael Phelps eats close to 12,000 calories per day. (Assocated Press Photo)|
Many Americans believe that if you exercise, you can eat whatever you want. This is 100% not the case, unless of course you are Michael Phelps. However, Phelps is known to exercise 5 hours a day for 6 days per week. Whatever he eats (and that is a lot!) needs to be in alignment with his caloric demand when exercising. If he doesn't eat enough to replenish the calories he has burned, Phelp's body and muscles will not recover properly.
There is a reason why some people can eat more foods per day than others. Calorie requirements depend on an individual’s age, height and physical activity level. I personally don’t count calories but I believe it’s important to be aware of how much goes into my body so I can maintain my weight and have enough to meet my caloric demands. Below is a bar graph showing the estimated calorie requirements for adults by their gender, age and activity level:
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