October 23, 2018
Excited Man Clenching Fist While Using Weight Scale

Your Daily Calorie Count

by Berkeley Wellness  

To lose a pound a week—a reasonable goal for many people—you must take in about 500 fewer calories a day, on average (or 3,500 a week). You can do this by eating less, moving more, or a combination. That leaves the question: How many calories do you need to maintain your current weight, so you can calculate how many you need to lose weight?

Many factors affect the rate at which your body burns calories: your age, size, how much muscle and fat you have, and how active you are, plus genetics. The chart below gives a very rough idea of daily calorie needs for an average 50-year-old man and woman, based on how active they are. For people over age 65, the numbers would be about 10 percent lower. For younger people, about 10 percent higher. Two online calorie calculators for weight maintenance and weight loss (based on your age, body size, and activity level) are CaloriesCount.com and caloriecount.com/tools/calories-goal.

Activity Level Men (175 lbs) Women (140 lbs)
Very Light 2,150 1,635
Light 2,350 1,800
Moderate 2,560 1,960
Heavy 2,900 2,200

Note: Very light means mostly sedentary. Light means light activities/exercise a few times a week. Moderate means brisk moderate exercise most days. Heavy means vigorous exercise and/or manual labor every day.