What Should My Daily Calorie Intake Be

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How Many Calories Should You Eat For Lunch Or Dinner


The number of calories you should eat for lunch or dinner varies based on many factors, including your personal preferences.

For example, while some people may enjoy eating a large lunch and smaller dinner, others may decide to distribute their calorie intake more evenly.

Therefore, because everyones needs and preferences are different, its best to find what works for you and stick to it when planning your meals.

Predicting Weight Loss In A Calorie Deficit Is It Really That Simple

The equation sounds simple enough, and one may think that just by eating very few calories, one can maintain a calorie deficit and lose weight. But it is not so.

For starters, if you eat too few calories, you will always feel hungry and tired. It will also slow down your metabolism and make losing weight difficult. You may start losing muscle mass, which is not good for your health.

Another crucial point is that everyone responds to a diet change differently, depending upon their metabolic health. So it is very difficult to predict individual weight-loss results accurately.

A simple trick is to figure out how many calories you burn every day and follow a calorie deficit of 300 to 500 calories for a healthy weight loss.

The number of calories that you burn every day, i.e., your total daily energy expenditure , depends on several factors, like, sex, age, height, weight, body composition, and physical activity level. Our calculator uses the Mifflin St Jeor equation to calculate your basal metabolic rate and then calculates your TDEE by taking into account your physical activity levels.

We then use this information to provide an estimate of the time it would take for you to reach your target weight by following your chosen calorie deficit.

Remember as you lose weight, your TDEE changes, and so does your recommended calorie intake.

How Many Calories Should You Eat To Maintain Your Weight

How many calories you should eat per day to maintain your weight depends on a variety of factors, including your:

  • Body weight
  • And a few other variables

Thus, the number of calories you need to maintain your weight is very individual, and also changes over time. That said, you can usually arrive at a decent estimate of your current calorie needs using just your body weight and activity levels.

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How Many Calories Do Adults Need

Reviewed April 2021

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Many factors affect how many calories adults need. Some factors you cannot control. For example, your age and height. Activity level, on the other hand, is an example of something that impacts calorie needs that you can control.

Most people do not need to count calories. One way to ensure that you are eating enough but not too much is to get in tune with your body. We all have individual hunger and fullness cues. Try to get in touch with your personal cues. They are a helpful way to determine when and how much to eat:

  • Weakness, shakiness and irritability may be signs of hunger for many people.
  • Pacing yourself is an ideal way to assess fullness. For example, slowly eat half of your meal and then take a pause. Give your body a chance to begin to digest the food and think about how good it is to feel comfortably full and satisfied

That said, for those who are curious about the number of calories they need, there are lots of simple ways to find out.

Go with an Estimate

Calorie needs for adult women range from 1,600 to 2,200 per day. For men, the estimates range from 2,000 to 3,200 per day. The low end of the range may be better for you if you get little to no activity throughout the day. If you are very active throughout the day, the high end of the range may be more reflective of your needs. However, as we age, our calorie needs decrease.

Use an Online Calculator

Do the MyPlate Math


How Many Calories Should You Eat On Average

Energy In: Recommended Food &  Drink Amounts for Children

The number of calories you should eat per day depends on numerous factors, including your age, sex, height, current weight, activity level, and metabolic health, among several others.

When trying to lose weight, its important to create a calorie deficit by consuming fewer calories than you normally do or by exercising more. Some people choose to combine the two, eating a little less while being more physically active .

Still, its important to ensure that youre eating enough calories to provide your body with the nutrients it needs, even if youre trying to lose weight.

The most important part of any weight loss plan is sustainability. This is why many experts recommend small calorie reductions to promote sustainable weight loss.

For example, many fad diets recommend restricting your calorie intake to around 1,0001,200 calories per day, which is not enough for most healthy adults.

Cutting your calorie intake too drastically not only causes several serious side effects but also increases your risk of nutritional deficiencies. It likewise results in metabolic changes that make long-term weight maintenance difficult (

1,6002,000 calories

Calorie needs for women can depend on their age, size, and activity level.

Most women between the ages of 1930 require 2,0002,400 calories per day to maintain their weight.

Women over age 60 generally require fewer calories and typically need to take in around 1,6002,000 calories per day to maintain their weight .

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Do Your Maintenance Calories Change

Maintenance calories are the number of calories that won’t cause weight loss or weight gain – they serve to maintain the current state. The maintenance calories value depends on two major factors – basal metabolic rate and physical activity level . Changes in both those factors can cause your maintenance calories to change.

PAL change is pretty intuitive – if you exercise more, you’ll burn more, and if you stop moving, you’ll burn and need fewer calories.Change in the BMR is more subtle, and you can’t address it as easily. Your BMR depends on your sex, age, genetics, your hormonal state , the temperature of your body, and the temperature of the environment. We do impact our activity level – e.g., HIIT workouts increase our BMR for some time, even after the workout.

How To Interpret Your Bmi

Healthy weight: Overweight Obese

Based on theNational Academy of Sciences 2002 Energy Recommendationsfor Adults.

Between 20 to 50 percent of your dailycaloric needs are determined by physical activity.The remainder are burned through basic body functionssuch as breathing, circulating blood and keeping cellsfunctioning.

“It’s easier to get up the will-powerto turn down a 900 calorie double-burger with cheeseand sauce and opt for a 400 calorie chicken sandwichor salad when you know your entire daily needs areabout 1600 calories,” says Joan Carter, a CNRC registereddietitian and instructor of pediatrics at Baylor Collegeof Medicine in Houston.

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Got Your Calculated Nutritional Needs

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Using Weight Loss Calculators

Estimating Daily Caloric Intake using Harris Benedict Equation

Whether your goal is to lose weight, gain weight, or maintain your current weight, a weight loss calculator can help. The calculator uses your sex, weight, height, and age to determine the number of calories you need to fuel your body for daily activity.

Then it adds the calories needed to gain weight or subtracts the calories required to help you lose weight. It can figure out how many calories you should eat to maintain weight as well.

Inputting accurate information can help determine your daily caloric needs. If you’re unsure how active you are during the day, keep an activity journal for a week or look at data from your fitness tracker to get a quick estimate.

Next, the calculator will ask you about your goals. It’s important to be realistic during this step. Your goal weight may differ from an ideal or “perfect” weight. Try to set goals that you believe are attainable. Once you reach your goal, you can always set a new one.

If you are trying to lose weight, a healthy rate of weight loss is 0.5 to 2 pounds per week. If you are trying to gain weight, adding 1 to 2 pounds per week is a healthy goal.

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The Difference That Age Makes

Its important to realise that, unless we are massively active, our calorie needs reduce as we get older. So, all other things being equal, a 30-year-old man will burn quite a lot more than his 55 year old dad.

Thats why many of us end up with so-called middle age spread. Our calorie needs reduce but we dont adjust our calorie intake downwards to match them.

How Do You Split Calories Between Meals

I revealed one popular way to split calories between meals at the beginning of this article:

  • 200-400 calories for breakfast
  • 500-700 calories for lunch
  • 500-700 calories for dinner

Since the total daily calories will vary depending on the person, its honestly up to you how you want to split the calories. If you like a larger lunch, then maybe go with a lighter breakfast. Or if you want all your meals to be about the same size, split the calories evenly for breakfast, lunch, and dinner.

In general, as long as you hit your daily calorie goal and as long as you are eating healthy food, you will likely begin to see results. To lose one pound per week, youll want to reduce your daily calories by about 500, assuming youre eating enough to maintain your current weight. To lose two pounds per week, reduce your daily calories by 1000. Again, consult a doctor or licensed nutritionist before significantly altering your diet.

If youre exercising, youll burn more calories per day and wont need to cut your total calories as much as if you werent exercising. Also, dont forget to factor in calories from supplements like protein, creatine, and meal replacement drinks or bars.

If youve ever wondered, how many calories should I eat in a day? know that your daily calorie needs also depend on your weight, age, and eating habits, so if you have any specific concerns about your calorie intake, consult a nutritionist or your doctor. Harvard Health has these guidelines.

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Reduce Your Intake Of Refined Carbs And Ultra

The term refined carbs refers to grains that have lost their bran and germ, including white bread, pasta, crackers, and white rice. It also includes sugar and other sweeteners.

Refined grains typically lack fiber, which supports weight loss by decreasing your appetite and increasing feelings of fullness .

Eating fewer carbs, including fewer refined carbs, may also promote weight loss by altering levels of specific hormones that regulate your appetite, such as peptide YY .

While a low carb or ketogenic diet definitely isnt right for everyone, replacing refined carbs with a variety of nutrient-dense, fiber-rich carb sources such as whole grains, root vegetables, nuts, seeds, and legumes may be beneficial.

Its also best to avoid ultra-processed foods, which include fast food, packaged snacks, candies, and sugary beverages. These items not only pack refined carbs but also preservatives, sugars, unhealthy fats, salt, and other ingredients you should limit in your diet.


Eating more protein, exercising, staying hydrated, and limiting your intake of refined carbs and sugary beverages are a few simple ways to decrease your daily calorie intake.

Facts On Calories Intake And Use

Daily Calorie Intake: How Many Calories Should I Eat a Day?
  • The brain requires around 20 percent of the energy used in the human body.
  • Having a heavy breakfast could be useful in weight reduction and maintenance.
  • Factors such as age, bone density, and muscle to fat ratio affect the ideal calorific intake.
  • Eating a 500 calories rich food consisting of fruits and vegetable is more beneficial to the body and keeps you fuller as opposed to a 500 calorie snack.

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Calorie Calculator: What Are Your Daily Caloric Needs

By Dr. Josh Axe, DC, DNM, CN

This calculator is for informational purposes only. You should consult a healthcare provider before making any health decisions.

Whether youre hoping to maintain your current weight, or to lose or gain weight, knowing the amount of calories to consume each day is an important piece of information to have.

Wondering, How do I calculate my ideal calorie intake? Lucky for you, there are loads of calorie calculators available online, most of which use one of several formulas that have been shown to be relatively accurate in predicting peoples calorie needs.

The beauty of these calculators is that they do the math for you all you have to do is plug in information such as your height, gender and activity level, and youll be given unique daily calorie targets based on your goals.

What A Weight Loss Diet Might Look Like

Many weight loss diets donât take individual health concerns into account. Before starting a hypocaloric diet, we recommend taking stock of any chronic illnesses you might suffer and their side effects. To help you, we prepared a list of foods for you to plan breakfast, lunch, and dinner in a healthy, low-calorie way:

  • Breakfast: Start your day with a bowl of yogurt with sugar-free cereal, or a spinach omelet with whole wheat toast. Not an egg or dairy person? You might like a piece of whole wheat bread or toast with turkey or ham. If not, you can go for an oatmeal, banana, and strawberry smoothie.
  • Lunch: For lunch, you can choose between oven-roasted chicken paired with rice and vegetables, or grilled fish with vegetables au gratin. Soups and stews with cooked lentils and rice are also good options.
  • Dinner: For dinner, you can opt for cream of zucchini or chicken soup. You can also have two slices of whole wheat toast with mozzarella cheese or eat a bowl of sugar-free cereal.

Keep in mind: This list is just a reference. Always consult a specialist who can customize your diet plan with the foods that can best help you lose weight and lead a healthy lifestyle.

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How Many Calories Should You Eat For Breakfast

The number of calories that you should eat for breakfast depends on many factors, including your daily needs, personal preferences, health goals, and overall diet.

While many people find that consuming one-third or one-fourth of their total daily calorie intake for their morning meal works for them, others may need to adjust this amount based on their individual needs.

How Many Calories To Maintain Weight Should I Eat

HOW TO CALCULATE YOUR CALORIE INTAKE PER DAY | why low calorie diets donât âworkâ?

Have you ever wondered how many calories to maintain your weight? Assuming that you exercise an average amount, and that your BMI is within a healthy range, multiply your weight in lbs by 15:

weight * 15 = kilocalories to maintain weight

If you use SI units, multiply your weight in kilograms by 33:

weight * 33 = kilocalories to maintain weight

Remember that when using our calculator there’s no need to know all of the differences between units. Just give us your weight – either in pounds or in kilograms – and leave the counting to us!

If you’re curious about weight unit conversion, feel free to use our weight converter there you can find all you’d ever like to know on the topic.

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A Few Basic Weight Loss Tips

In addition to cutting calories, there are several steps you can take to lose weight in a sustainable, long-lasting manner:

  • Practice mindful eating.Mindful eating involves limiting mealtime distractions and paying close attention to your dishs texture, taste, and smell. Plus, this practice may reduce food cravings and promote long-term weight loss (
  • Stock up on healthy foods. Following a healthy diet is much more challenging when you have a kitchen full of processed foods that are high in sugar and calories. Instead, stock your fridge with plenty of nutritious ingredients and healthy snacks.
  • Find support. Studies show that social support may aid weight loss. Find a friend or family member with similar goals, join an online weight loss forum, or check for support groups in your area to set yourself up for success .
  • Try meal prepping. Many people find that meal prepping is a convenient way to eat well and save time. Pick one or two days to prepare your meals ahead of time so that you can enjoy delicious dishes all week long.


In addition to decreasing your daily calorie intake, the tips outlined above may support long-term weight loss.

What To Know About Food And Exercise

You can eat whatever you want and lose weight if you stay within your calorie range. That said, it might be hard to stay in this range if you don’t eat nutritious foods.

Plus, empty-calorie foods don’t provide your body with the nutrients you need to live an active life. And when you eat junk food, you’re likely to get hungry more often and overeat. Conversely, healthy foods help you to feel strong, energized, and satiated.

Additionally, all calories are not created equal. Calories from nutritious food sources will help you feel full longer, fuel your daily activity, and improve your well-being. Empty calories can leave you feeling hungry, increase your food cravings, and even increase fatigue. You’ll find them in processed foods that contain added sugars, trans fat, excess fat, and calories. They may provide energy but not the fiber, vitamins, and minerals you need.

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