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Daily Calorie Needs

American Heart Association Recommendations for Calories

Unless you are actively losing or gaining weight over a period of time, you are consuming the calories it takes to maintain your current weight.  To lose weight, you need to cut back on calories in and increase calories out.  Before you can decide how many calories to substract, you need to know your average daily intake of calories and then compare that number with the ideal number of calories your body needs to maintain energy balance.  

Using the following formula to quickly calculate about how many calories you need on an average day to maintain your weight, multiply your current weight by the values shown.  (Most people experience a decrease in metabolism at middle age, which is why you should subtrac 10 percent of your total calories if you are over 50 years old.)  The final adjusted total is your baseline, or the numbers of calories you'll subtract from in order to reach a daily calorie intake that will allow you to lose weight.

Multiply current weight in pounds_________________ X 10  =  Base Calories

Multiply current weight in pounds_________________

                                                   If not active: X  3  = _____________

                                        If moderately active:  X  5  = _____________

                                                If very active:   X 10  = _____________

 Add Base + Activity Calories  = Total Calories to Maintain Weight

If you are older than 50 years, subtract 10% of that total.

If you cut back 500 calories a day, you lose one pound per week.

Institute of Medicine Recommendations for Calories 

Estimated amounts of calories needed to maintain energy balance for various gender and age groups at three different levels of physical activity. The estimates are rounded to the nearest 200 calories and were determined using the Institute of Medicine equation.  If you are trying to lose weight, it is generally safe to have as little as 1,200 calories. It is not recommended by most nutritionists to go below this level as you will not meet your nutritional needs. 

Gender

Age (years)

Sedentary

Moderately Active

Active

Child 2-3 1,000 1,000-1,400 1,000-1,400
Female 4-8
9-13
14-18
19-30
31-50
51+
1,200
1,600
1,800
2,000
1,800
1,600
1,400-1,600
1,600-2,000
2,000
2,000-2,200
2,000
1,800
1,400-1,800
1,800-2,200
2,400
2,400
2,200
2,000-2,200
Male 4-8
9-13
14-18
19-30
31-50
51+
1,400
1,800
2,200
2,400
2,200
2,000
1,400-1,600
1,800-2,200
2,400-2,800
2,600-2,800
2,400-2,600
2,200-2,400
1,600-2,000
2,000-2,600
2,800-3,200
3,000
2,800-3,000
2,400-2,800

Mayo Clinic Daily Calorie Recommendations For Weight Loss

Weight in pounds         Starting calorie goal

Women

1,200

1,400

1,600

1,800

250 or less

X

 

 

 

250 to 300

 

X

 

 

301 or more

 

 

X

 

Men

1,200

1,400

1,600

1,800

250 or less

 

X

 

 

251 to 300

 

 

X

 

301 or more

 

 

 

X