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Hi! I am asking about approximate caloric intake. I am a 5’4″ female and weigh about 115, active with workouts (4-5 times per week, 45-minute workouts. Cardio + strength + abs training). My goal is to build muscles, especially the abs. I normally do not eat too much. What is your recommendation according to the information above?
Your current estimated energy needs are in the range of 1800-2000, depending on your age. Those numbers are from equations. Your personal body chemistry is unique so your actual calorie requirement may be different. Normally I’d say increase calories to build muscle, but for abs it’s usually a matter of definition and toning. Since you say you don’t eat too much, packing on calories isn’t a good idea. Focus on those workouts and supporting them with adequate nutrition. See our articles Fuel your Workouts to Maximize Your Results and Eat Like This to Help Maximize your Recovery and Results for more on eating right for your exercise bouts.
– Debbie J., MS, RD
This article should not replace any exercise program or restrictions, any dietary supplements or restrictions, or any other medical recommendations from your primary care physician. Before starting any exercise program or diet, make sure it is approved by your doctor.
Some questions have been edited for length and/or clarity.