How many calories should you eat per day? Calculator and MENUS

calories to eat per day

Medically reviewed and approved by Nataniel Josue M.D.

The average number of calories you should take in per day is about 2000 for women and 2500 to men. These amounts are an approximation because each person needs different intake according to their metabolism, weight, height, age, and daily physical activity.

Table of Contents

How many kcal should a woman have a day?

According to the Diet and Health Committee of the National Research Council (USA), the average caloric intake for a woman of 55 kilos and up to 50 years old should be around 2,000 kcal. For women between 51 and 75 years old, the average is 1,600 and 1,800 kcal for those over 75.

In this article, we will develop each point in particular so that you know the calories you need according to your goal:

  1. Losing weight.
  2. Maintaining weight.
  3. Gaining weight.

Weight gain or obesity are some of the most prominent topics of the present era. If you want to live a happy life, you must have an average weight. It is essential to keeping you healthy and active.

When it comes to a healthy weight, you need to be careful about your caloric intake. Each bite matters, and therefore you have to be cautious about the number of calories you consume. This article discusses all the aspects of how many calories you should eat per day.  

Calorie calculator

how to calculate calorie intake

How do I calculate my calorie needs? Next, we will leave you with a calculator based on the Harris-Benedict formula, which we consider to be the most accurate. How to use the calculator? This calculator is straightforward to use, and you have to enter five values:

  1. Firstly your sex.
  2. Secondly, your age.
  3. Then your weight ( NO COMAS, round up the number).
  4. Then your height (also NO COMAS).
  5. Finally, the type of physical activity you do every day.

To conclude, you must press the button "calculate."


How to interpret the results of the calculator

Once you press the calculate button you will get three results:

Calories to lose weight

As you've seen from the number of calories, it is recommended for you to lose weight, but you shouldn't starve yourself.

On the contrary, the ideal is to spread those calories over at least 5 HEALTHY meals; this point is essential. DO NOT GO ON A TOO DRASTIC DIET.

If you look at it, the difference in calories between maintaining your weight and losing it is 500 kcal per day.

Is it enough to burn 500 calories a day? That is the most recommended amount to lose weight in a sustainable and risk-free way for our health.

How much weight can you lose in a week? If you strictly apply the calculator's result, you can lose about 1 kg per week.

Do not be hasty. The rate of weight loss is ideal for impeccable health and does not affect your body.

Calories to maintain weight

The resulting number is the range of calories you should take in to maintain your current weight. You can spread your intake as you see fit, but we always recommend 5-6 light and healthy meals.

Calories to gain weight

That is the point I like to emphasize the most. As I said in the first result if you look at the calories' variation to maintain your weight is about 500 kcal per day. That will get you to have a sustained and not too drastic weight gain.

Now I recommend that you combine this increase in calories with bodybuilding exercises. This combination will make you gain not fat but muscle.

This muscle mass will make you get a nice body and a more aesthetic and striking figure.
In the final chapter of this article, we will give you a few examples of diets specifying each meal's nutritional value.

What Are the Calories?

A calorie is a unit of energy, and it is the amount of energy you gain with each bite of the food. So, it is related to the food as well as physical activity for energy consumption. Every person is different, and everyone has a different metabolism. Therefore, the calorie intake is unlike for all depending upon the metabolism, age, gender, and health condition.

How Are Calorie and Weight Loss Related?

  • If you want to maintain your weight, the calories must be equal to the calorie out. If you are eating 2000 calories, you have to burn this many calories either by workout or any activity, and your weight will remain the same.
  • If you want to lose weight, then the calorie-out should be high than the calorie-in. When you eat less and burn more, you will automatically reduce your weight.
  • Finally, if you want to gain weight, then the calorie-in must be higher than that of calorie-out. That is how you can maintain, lose, or gain weight by considering the caloric intake.

How Many Calories Should You Eat Per Day?

It is not easy to answer this question because several factors are there. Everyone has a different metabolism, gender, age, and health condition, so the caloric amount varies from person to person. You can calculate the caloric amount by using a calculator.

But there is a limit provided by the 2015-2020 Dietary Guideline for Americans that women must consume 1600-2400 calories, and men should consume 2000-3000 calories. But if you want to lose weight, then both women and men should reduce the calorie intake to 1500 and 2000 calories, respectively.

How many calories should a woman eat a day to lose weight?

A study published in The American Journal of Clinical Nutrition indicates that a woman must ingest an average of between 1200 and 1500 kcal to achieve sustained fat loss over time. More calorie-restrictive diets can have the opposite effect and promote weight regain.

Remember that these figures are an average. It would be best to use the calculator I have put above and found out your caloric intake.

Can I Eat Whatever I Want and Still Lose Weight?

what to eat daily, calories per day

This statement could have been wrong in the past, but you can eat whatever you want and still lose weight according to several new studies. Whenever you try to lose weight, you are putting in a lot of hard work. 

Accepting fitness is a long-term journey, and the most challenging thing is clocking time at the gym and rejiggering your diet. Eating fewer calories is more important than burning calories to lose weight from a biological perspective. What you eat matters more than how much you eat! 

Can I Eat More If I Exercise Every Day?

What is the fastest way to lose weight and get in shape? Exercise has a way of making any individual hungry; being hungry means consuming more calories than we burned out. Training is necessary to lose weight or getting toned armslegs, or even your back, so eat as much as you want (not exceeding your need calorie intake.) Eat whatever you want, but don't forget to exercise. 

No matter how overweight you are, any person can achieve their goal of getting optimal body weight without changing their eating habits. And with no exaggeration, this is only possible with adequate exercise. 

You may be interested in "Master how to get in shape at home without equipment"

Should I Join A Diet Program? 

Every person has different lifestyles and different needs. So, it is not possible to have a perfect diet program for every individual. The best diet program is the one that you can stick to.

You will never get your desired weight loss goals as long as you try to change everything at once. I recommend a vegetarian diet; it is very flexible (you can eat eggs, mil, etc.)

Joining a diet program to lose weight and improving your health is good, but it can be quite overwhelmingly in some cases. So, the best way to do it is to have a do it yourself program! This program is best for every person who wants to lose weight and want to improve their health. 

You may be interested in "The vegetarian diet, the most complete guide for beginners."

Are All Calories the Same?

Health and weight loss are more than just consuming and burning calories. Yes, calories matter a lot in weight loss, but it is also a fact that all calories are not equal. When it comes to heath, different calories have different effects. That is one reason why, regardless of calorie intake, other foods affect body processes.

Different studies also show that other foods do not absorb the calories the same. Only about three-quarters of the calories are absorbed when individuals take fiber foods like vegetables and nuts. We excrete the remaining calories from the body without any use.

What If I Don't Lose weight?

Don't panic if you are not losing weight even though you are taking a perfect diet and are exercising regularly. Many factors contribute to weight loss success, so don't stop and continue your plan until you start to get your desired results. 

Weight loss depends on the foods that you are eating and on the hormones. It's also has a significant effect on your water intake and that how much your body retains. It is also possible that you lose fat but gain muscle at the same time. Consult your doctor and evaluate your eating and exercising habits to get the desired results!

Calories Intake Based on Activity

  • You always need perfect calorie intake stability to match your metabolic rate and physical activity level if you want the ideal physique or just a nice body shape.
  • If you are very active or exercise vigorously for more than one hour like fitness, you need more calories than routine. Women require 2000 to 2500, while men require 2500 t0 3000 calories.
  • on a moderate level of activity, women require 1900 while men need 2500 calories per day
  • Slightly active individuals require 1700 calories for women while 1900 for men.
  • Sedentary lifestyle, women require fifteen hundred, while men need 1800 calories per day.

How Many Calories Should You Eat on Average?

  • Infants up to two months of age are required fifty to sixty calories as they have a low activity level. Toddlers need 1000 to 1300 calories per day, and it depends upon their weight, size, and physical activity. Children above two years need 1300 to 1400 calories per day as they are more physically active. The calorie intake also depends upon their weight, height, size, and age.
  • Eating right is very necessary during pregnancy. For a pregnant woman with average weight, the virtuous number of calories is about 1,800 calories per day during the first three months. She can take almost 2,200 calories per day during the 2nd while 2400 calories in 3rd trimester. There are no hard and fast rules for pregnant women's calorie intake because they require more energy than training days. Similarly, lactating and nursing mothers also need more calories as compared to regular days.
  • The average daily intake of calories usually depends on age, gender, metabolism rate, and physical activity among women and men. According to the Canadian Institutes of Health Research, physically active women require 2000 calories on average, while men require 2500 calories. inactive men and women need less than 1500 hundred calories

Different Diet Plans for Various Calorie Intake 

2200 Calories Per Day

Breakfast (488 Calories) 

  • 1/2 cup maple-Nut Granola 
  • 1 cup nonfat plain Greek yogurt 
  • 1/2 cup blueberries 
  • One medium orange 

Morning Snack (245 Calories) 

  • 5 Tbsp. hummus 
  • Four medium carrots 
  • 1 cup cut cucumbers 

Lunch (518 Calories) 

  • Apple and Cheddar Pita Pocket 
  • One entire wheat pita cycle (6-1/2-inch) 
  • 1 Tbsp. mustard 
  • 1/2 medium apple, cut 
  • 2 oz. Cheddar 
  • 1 cup blended greens 
  • Cut pita down the middle and spread mustard inside. Load up with apple cuts and cheddar. Toast until the cheddar starts to soften. Include greens and serve. 
  • Four pecan parts 

Afternoon Snack (331 Calories) 

  • 1/2 medium apple, cut 
  • 1/2 Tbsp. nutty spread 
  • 1/4 cup maple-Nut Granola 
  • Dip apple cuts into nutty spread and granola. 

Dinner (507 Calories) 

  • 1 Moroccan-Style Stuffed Pepper 
  • 2 cups spinach 
  • Sauté spinach in 1 tsp. Olive oil with a touch of salt and pepper. 
  • 1 cup cut carrots, steamed 

Night Snack (101 Calories) 

  • 2 Tbsp. Chocolate chips, ideally dull chocolate.

1800 Calories Per Day

Breakfast (421 Calories)

  • Two servings Baked Banana-Nut Oatmeal Cups
  • Two clementine

A.M. Snack (190 Calories)

  • One medium apple, sliced
  • 1 Tbsp. peanut butter

Lunch (440 Calories)

  • 1 serving Veggie & Hummus Sandwich
  • 1 oz. Cheddar cheese

P.M. Snack (182 Calories)

  • One medium banana
  • Ten roasted unsalted almonds

Dinner (592 Calories)

  • 1 serving Sheet-Pan Chicken Fajita Bowls with 1 cup cooked brown rice

1600 Calories Per Day

Morning (454 Calories)

  • 1 Avocado,
  • One large banana,
  • Cashew toast,
  • 200ml glass of semi-skimmed milk.
  • Slice avocado and mix it with some cashews and banana. Spread the mixture onto the toast.

Lunch (418 Calories)

  • One link precooked chicken sausage (3 oz)
  • 1 tsp garlic salt
  • 1/2 cup cooked lentils
  • A bit of fennel, finely diced
  • 1/2 Granny Smith apple, finely diced
  • 1/2 stalk celery, finely diced
  • 2 cups arugula
  • 1 tsp olive oil
  • 1 tsp red wine vinegar
  • 1/2 tsp Dijon mustard
  • Heat a pan and spread some garlic salt on it. Mildly heat chicken sausage on it and then stir for 120 seconds. Turn off heat and mix fennel, celery, apple, and arugula. Whisk some oil, vinegar, and mustard on top.

Snack 4 PM (359 Calories)

  • 1 cup baby carrots
  • 1/2 packet of baked cheese "crackers."
  • 1 Tbsp peanut butter
  • 1 Tbsp chocolate chips

Dinner (517 Calories)

  • BBQ chicken salad (2 serving)

Desert (209 Calories)

  • Peanut butter 
  • Celery

Final Thoughts 

eat what you need, calories per day

If you want to live a healthy life, you should be very careful about caloric intake. Don't eat without knowing its consequences. I have articulated all aspects that you must know about calories and weight loss through calories.

You always have a weight loss plan based on the desired calories. It will help you shed off extra pounds without putting any side effects to your health.

If you want more information about how to eat visit our nutrition section.

[author] [author_image timthumb='on'][/author_image] [author_info]The article was reviewed and approved by Nataniel Josué Alvarez. Medical Doctor graduated from Medical School Universidad Nacional Experimental Francisco de Miranda. Área Ciencias de la Salud. •Awarded winner IV Science Fair of Research Methodology - April 2012 •Recipient of Asesor Estudiantil Institucional Scholarship •Thesis: Relationship Between Parasitosis, Anemia and Hygiene Habits in patients aged 20 yo 70 years old in Amuay, municipality of Los Taques, Falcón State, Venezuela •Thesis: Intervention Plan in Rural Healthcare in Monte Verde and La Puntica sectors, of the Amuay Community, Los Taques parish, Los Taques municipality, of the Falcón State, Venezuela. During the period March 2018 - July 2018[/author_info] [/author]