How Many Calories Do You Need Per Day?

The increasing incidence of obesity has led many to ask how much one should eat each day to lose weight or to maintain a healthy weight. How many calories do you need per day? The answer depends on many factors and there is not one absolute answer for everyone. If you want to lose weight, you may need to reduce your intake by as much as 500 calories. However, that may also depend on your age, your height and amount of physical activity you have in a day. Experts recommend consulting a doctor for more information before undertaking a serious weight loss program.

How Many Calories Do You Need Per Day?

This table gives an estimate on the amount of calories one needs daily to maintain a healthy energy balance depending on gender, age, and level of physical activity, based on the equation given by the Institute of Medicine.

Gender

Age

Sedentary Lifestyle

Moderately Active Lifestyle

Active Lifestyle

Child

2-3 yrs

1,000 cal

1,000-1,400 cal

1,000-1,400 cal

Female

4-8 yrs

9-13 yrs

14-18 yrs

19-30 yrs

31-50 yrs

> 50 yrs

1,200 cal

1,600 cal

1,800 cal

2,000 cal

1,800 cal

1,600 cal

1,400-1,600 cal

1,600-2,000 cal

2,000 cal

2,000-2,200 cal

2,000 cal

1,800 cal

1,400-1,800 cal

1,800-2,200 cal

2,400 cal

2,400 cal

2,200 cal

2,000-2,200 cal

Male

4-8 yrs

9-13 yrs

14-18 yrs

19-30 yrs

31-50 yrs

>50 yrs

1,400 cal

1,800 cal

2,200 cal

2,400 cal

2,200 cal

2,000 cal

1,400-1,600 cal

1,800-2,200 cal

2,400-2,800 cal

2,600-2,800 cal

2,400-2,600 cal

2,200-2,400 cal

1,600-2,000 cal

2,000-2,600 cal

2,800-3,200 cal

3,000 cal

2,800-3,000 cal

2,400-2,800 cal

Notes:

Reference: Institute of Medicine Dietary Reference Intakes macronutrients report, 2002

Sedentary lifestyle: light physical activity in typical day-to-day life

Moderately active lifestyle: physical activity equivalent to walking 1.5- 3 miles per day at 3-4 mph, in addition to the light physical activity

Active lifestyle: physical activity equivalent to walking > 3 miles per day at 3-4 mph, in addition to the light physical activity

You can click into the following link to calculate the amount of calories you need daily, based on your gender, age, weight, height, and physical activity level:

http://walking.about.com/cs/calories/l/blcalcalc.htm

Watch a Video: How Many Calories Should I Eat a Day? How Many Calories Should I Eat to Lose Weight?

 
 
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