How many calories should you eat per day? It depends on whether you want to lose, gain, or maintain weight. This calorie calculator will calculate your daily calories needed for maintaining, losing, or gaining up to one KG per week.
Enter your height, weight, age, and gender to calculate your current daily calories burned and the required calories needed to decrease or increase your body weight by half a kg, or 1 full kilogram per week.
How Many Calories per Day?
How many calories should you eat per day? The answer is between 2,000 to 2,500 calories per day for the average person. Most health professionals recommend that men eat 2,500 calories (10,465kJ), and women eat 2,000 calories (8,368kJ) per day. The Australian government recommends that adults eat 8,700kJ (2,079 calories) per day. If you want to lose weight, you probably have to eat less than this. To find out exactly how many, use our calorie calculator!
So why use a calculation based on an energy burn formula instead of just playing it by ear and eating until you feel full? Because there is a disconnect between what you want to eat and what your body actually needs. Your instinct, based on millions of years of evolved adaptation to food scarcity, is to eat as much tasty food as possible. To regain control of your weight, we have to exert our intellect over our blind instincts. The formulae used in this calculator represent the combined intellects of thousands of scientists studying nutrition over many decades.
Finding YOUR Balance
You can get a much better recommendation for your circumstances with this calculator and the other calcount tools. Since no one is truly average, and we all have different aims, we should not all eat the same amount of calories per day. If you are already at a healthy weight and want to maintain your current body, make sure that you don’t eat too much, or too little! If you need to lose weight, you probably need to eat less than the recommended amount, at least for a while.
In fact, you may need to eat significantly less in order to lose weight. Use calcount’s Calorie Deficit Calculator to configure specific targets. It is a more advanced tool which includes time to reach a weight loss goal and downloadable content.
Taking things a step further, you must record and monitor what you eat every day. It is easy to lose track over time unless you keep a daily record. You can do this with calcount Calorie Tracker. The app is made for Australia and includes goals for per day intake of macro nutrients like protein and fat. Keeping a record of your caloric intake is the best way to succeed with weight loss.
Read on to learn more about your calorie calculator result and what it means:
Calorie Calculator supports Weight Control
Your results are displayed as the number of daily calories you need to eat each day in order to change your weight, in kilograms. To keep things simple, daily calories for weight loss of 500 grams and 1 kilogram per week are shown. The tool also functions as your daily calorie intake calculator to show your maintenance calorie count. Additionally, the calculator shows food energy values for weight gain and the amount burned through Basal Metabolic Rate.
Weight Loss Calculator
To lose weight, you need to have a good idea of the number of calories you use for doing your normal activities on an average day. Our calculator shows what this value is for you, based on your numeric inputs and your selection of current activity level. It is the number of calories needed to maintain your current weight.
Weight loss is achieved by consuming fewer calories than needed. However, the specific required number depends on a person’s rate of metabolism. For most people, counting on the average daily calorie intake is not very useful. Each person has an individual caloric requirement. Factors such as age and gender have a big impact on calorie burn rate.
Of the main factors, age is the one that will change over time, no matter what else happens to the person.
How Many Calories a Day, by Age
Use this handy calcount Calories by Age calculator to get an idea of how many calories a day you should eat by age. Age matters when it comes to the rate of calorie burn, because our metabolism naturally slows as we grow older.
Ageing bodies Slow Down
Age is an important factor when it comes to calorie burn, for the simple reason that it affects the speed at which your body uses the calories you eat. This rate of energy use can be thought of as the “metabolism”. More specifically, the key change with age is a reduction in the Basal Metabolic Rate.
Even though the body is constantly repairing itself, things just do not get fixed “good-as-new”. There is a gradual build-up of cellular detritus and harmful substances at the smallest scales which negatively affect essential functions. Things like telomeres get shorter. Processes just fall apart in the end. This gradual and general degradation leads to a measurable decline in the speed at which the body extracts energy from food.
For a more detailed explanation of the metabolism and the other factors which affect it, read our Calorie Counter page.
In addition to the slowing basal metabolic rate, advancing age is often associated with a general slowdown in activity levels as lifestyles change. It is not unreasonable to assume that a 21-year-old is likely to have a more energetic day-plan than a 56-year-old! Reduced activity means that less energy is needed throughout the day, leading to a feedback loop which facilitates a reduction in muscle-mass and metabolism.
If you are “getting-on” in years, you can break the loop, defy the trend, and prolong your faster metabolism rate by exercising regularly. If possible, do activities that make your muscles work hard.
Increased muscle mass is the surest way to keep your metabolism relatively high as you age. Exercising will not stop you from ageing, but it will keep you healthier for longer!
Calories a Day by Age Table
To get a credible answer for the question “How many calories a day should I eat by age?”, we can apply average heights and healthy weights to generally accepted Estimated Energy Requirements (EER) equations. Thus, this tool will work very well for people who are of average height, healthy weight, and do not do any exercise other than normal day-to-day activities.
If you do more exercise than a sedentary person, you can use this table to estimate your required calories by age:
|Men, High Level Exercise||Women, Moderate|
|Women, High Level Exercise|
|76 and up||2,200||2,400||1,800||2,000|
This is a simple tool, primarily designed to shed some light on what effect aging has on daily calorie intake requirements. If you want a more detailed calculator which factors in your exact height and weight as well as your age and gender, head on over to the calcount Calorie Calculator.
To dig even deeper and find out what your recommended macronutrient intake is (and much more), explore our Calorie Tracker.
Different Lifestyles and Activities
Metabolism rates are determined by many factors including age, physical activity, exercise level, genetics, body size, and gender. Every person’s result depends on their unique characteristics.
Therefore, you need to input your specific details into the calculator. The calculator will then provide you with your daily calories to maintain, lose, or gain weight.
Calorie Counting your way to Weight Loss Success
So you know how many calories you need to lose weight and you also know your personal caloric requirement. But, how do you actually succeed in sticking to the calculated daily calories for long enough to achieve meaningful weight loss?
Science shows the Way
Today, we are buffeted with many different sorts of weight loss advice and information, and it can get confusing. But after you consume all the information and advice there is out there, you are going to eat some food. A bowl of noodles, a plate of salad, a cup of tea. That food has calories, and they are going to affect your body weight in some way. You will gain fat if you have too many of them.
Energy intake is the purpose of food and the reason for fat. Calculating your calories is therefore the only practical and objectively measurable way of controlling how much fat your body builds. There are a thousand complications, as we discuss here, but you can take control through calorie calculation.
Calorie calculations can even predict the amount of time you will need to lose a specific amount of weight.
Follow this simple guide to manage your body weight:
Decide upon a Goal
Goalposts. You need goalposts when you get serious about weight loss. Pick a weight target in kilograms (the more realistic the better). if a person is overweight, a calorie shortfall of 500 calories per day will cause weight loss of about half a kilogram of mostly fat per week. Also, bear in mind that many credible nutritionists advise against trying to consistently lose more than one kilogram per week.
Your Body is Always Changing
Finally, understand that your body is not a simple machine. You will not lose exactly 500g/week for every 500 calorie shortage! Actual caloric intake will always be an estimate in practice. Losing the lbs of old fat is not an exact science!
Plan your System
Armed with a weight loss goal and a calorie target, how will you hit the mark every day? With so much complexity in modern life, it can be overwhelming to even think about controlling your kilojoules.
If you are at a loss about how to win at weight loss, we have three words for you: calcount Calorie Tracker. Calorie Tracker is our FREE tool for tracking your calories and recording progress towards your weight loss goal. It allows you to be precise and clinical about the foods and macros (protein, carbs, fats) you choose.
First, find out how many calories there are in the food you ate (or will eat), use our Food Search Box for this. Then, record the meal in your personal Food Diary (Meal Tracker) in the Calorie Tracker.
Keep Counting and Calculate Calories Daily
Now that you have a target, a plan, and a system, all you must do is the hard part. Live your life, eat food, and stay within your calorie target. If you go over your target, do not despair! Life happens. When the sun rises, just pick it up from where you left off. Meal by meal, day by day, week by week, you will lose weight if you stick to your Calorie Calculation.
When things like your weight, lifestyle, or age change, just recalculate and keep going. Many obstacles will arise, but never stop fighting the fat!
Started Running or Workouts? So Eat More!
People often make the mistake of combining a new workout regime with a restrictive diet. Restricting too many calories whilst at the same time drastically increasing your activity level will switch your body’s compensatory (hormonal) systems on with unpredictable results. You will feel unbearably hungry, your weight will yo-yo, and the miserable sensation will probably cause you to quit trying.
Instead, you should eat (a little) more when you start working out more, in order to stay within your maintenance calories. Get used to a more active lifestyle. Then, you can start cutting calories to lose fat whilst maintaining and building muscle mass.
Not interested in weight loss? To gain weight, simply eat more than your Maintenance Calories. This can easily be achieved by eating foods with high energy density per gram of weight. Foods like mayo, cookies, milkshakes, and the like will make it easy to gain fat. Use our Food Search Box to discover high-calorie food options which can increase your calorie intake to levels beyond your Maintenance Calories.
The extra body mass will be mostly fat unless the higher caloric intake is accompanied by heavy exercise like gym workouts, in which case it will be mostly muscle. Care should be taken to eat foods high in protein if muscle growth is the desired result.
How does a Weight Loss Calculator work?
Through decades of scientific study using techniques such as indirect calorimetry, biologists have progressively devised formulas to calculate basal metabolic rate. Since it is impractical for the average person to undertake a calorimetry exam, we can simply apply one of these calorie calculation formulas to the metrics of the individual and get a viable estimate for that person.
Our Calories Calculator uses the widely accepted Mifflin St Jeor formula to determine weight loss, so you may be confident that the results are credible and actionable. It is the same formula that many doctors of medicine will use in a consultation about fitness, weight loss and exercise.
The formula uses the information you input to get an accurate estimate of your Resting Metabolic Rate (RMR), and thereby work out how many calories you use per day. Numerous peer reviewed clinical studies, carried out at prestigious institutions like the Mayo Clinic, demonstrate the formula’s validity.
RMR and basal metabolic rate are similar concepts, but we do not need to get into the precise nuanced differences here.
Suffice to know that most current providers of nutrition services prefer the Mifflin St. Jeor formula over older formulas like the Harris-Benedict formula.
Used Calorie Calculator, Got my Calories, now what?
To lose weight, you will need to eat fewer than your Maintenance Calories. Exactly how many per day depends on many factors including exercise level and body composition, but generally a reduction of between 15 and 20% will result in weight loss. For a more detailed and personalised calculation, use our Calorie Tracker app.
Start counting! Use Calorie Tracker to set a target and generate a personalised meal-by-meal calorie plan with a macro-nutrient breakdown. Then, keep a personal online diary to monitor your meals, daily calorie intake, mood, water consumption, weight and measurements. It is free and easy!
If you are planning to exercise more, perhaps by joining a gym or buying a bike, good! But remember that nutrition is the most important thing to consider about weight loss. Exercise training is great, so do your workout, ride your bike, start being active, but always monitor your foods.
Watching the Foods you eat, day-by-day
Calorie control is a day-to-day practice, you need patience and steadiness. One meal, snack, and drink at a time. If you know how many kilojoules you are putting into your body every day, you know what you will weigh at the end of the week. By counting calories, you will soon start to find an eating routine that services your needs perfectly.
Use the Calories Calculator as you develop and change. More active lifestyles use more energy because fitness promotes the metabolism. Older people require less energy. Men need more calories than women, since they have larger muscle mass. Does it seem like you work out more in summer than in winter? Is exercise a big or small factor in your weight loss project?
Compare your results with different inputs. People change, it is therefore interesting to see how their calorie counts change with them. In many cases, that one extra weekly gym workout is what tips the scale for the result you want.
Tools and Tips for the whole Family
Use the Food Search Box to work out which foods and what size portions to eat and drink so that your personal calorie count is achieved. Then, monitor your weight loss, BMI, and physical measurements with Calorie Tracker.
Browse through our Posts for tips on calorie counting, how to keep the fat off, nutrition, and wellness. Our site goes beyond the nutrition label to help every person who wants the good health result that comes from counting calories.
More comfortable with kilojoules rather than calories? Just use our handy Cal to kJ converters to use daily kilojoules instead of calories. If you want to find your healthy weight, check out the calcount BMI Calculator.
Remember that, as your weight and muscle mass changes, your calorie requirements change along with it. For best results, recalculate your required calorie intake at regular intervals as you change your fitness and/or exercise level, lose, or gain weight.
Calorie Calculator FAQ
How Many Calories did I Eat Today?
The easiest way to find out how many calories you ate today is to use a food calorie calculator like calcount. Record the food you ate, and the calculator will display the calorie amount, based on the food nutrition database.
How Many Calories do I Need?
The number of calories you need depends on your basal metabolic rate and your lifestyle activity level. Enter your height, weight, gender, age, and activity level into the calorie calculator to get your instant result.
How Many Calories Should I Burn per Day?
The number of calories you should burn per day depends on your current requirements and you weight loss or weight gain goals. This calculator will give you a calorie target you need to maintain, lose, or gain weight. Assuming you eat more calories than your target, you should aim to burn enough calories to reach your calorie target.
How Many Calories do I Need to Lose Weight?
Most people need to eat about 1500 calories per day to lose weight. This is because most people eat at least 2000 calories per day and if you want to lose weight, you need to burn more calories than you eat. The calculator on this page shows you how many calories you burn each day, so aim to eat less than this to lose weight.
How Many Calories are in Food?
The number of calories in food depends on the type and quantity of the food. Different types of food have different amounts of calories. The calcount food database allows you to find whichever food you want to know about and see how many calories there are in different amounts of it.
How Many Calories should I Eat Per Day?
Each day, you should eat enough calories to balance the calories lost throughout the day. If you want to lose weight, you should eat less than what you lose. To gain weight, eat more calories than what you use. This calculator will show you how many calories you use per day, so that you can get a daily calorie target.
How many Calories should a Woman eat per Day?
The average woman should eat 2,000 calories per day. Use this calorie calculator to get a more specific target based on your own body, rather than the average woman’s body.
How Many Calories Per Day to Lose Weight?
Generally, most adults will lose weight if they eat 1500 calories per day. However, each person is unique, so it is best to get a more specific calorie target for yourself. Use calcount to get your own calorie target based on your body and lifestyle.
How Many Calories Per Day to Lose Weight Fast?
In general, a calorie shortage of 500 per day will result in weight loss of half a kilogram per week. The relative speed of weight loss depends on many different factors, but broadly speaking the bigger the calorie gap between “calories-in-and-calories-out”, the faster you will lose weight.
How Many Calories are Needed to Maintain Weight?
The number of calories needed to maintain weight depends on how many calories are burned each day. To maintain weight, a person needs to balance calories eaten with calories used. The first result on this calculator is the number of calories you need to maintain your current weight.
How do I Calculate my Calories?
You can calculate your calories with our fast and free calorie calculator, or you can use the manual formula on this page. You need to know your height, weight, age, gender, and approximate exercise level to calculate how many calories you need.
How to Calculate Calories in Food
The easiest way to calculate calories in food is to use our calcount database to look up the food then select the amount. The calories are displayed in the Nutrition Facts panel. You can add the food to your meal tracker to see how all of the food you eat adds up towards your daily calorie target.
How Many Calories do I Burn per Day?
The average adult burns 2000 to 2500 calories per day. However, the number of calories you burn per day depends on your body size, age, gender, and general activity level. Input these variables into the calcount calorie calculator to find out how many you burn.
How Many Calories do I burn when I Do Nothing?
The average adult burns between 1200 and 1500 calories per day when they do absolutely nothing but lie in bed motionless all day (this is your Basal Metabolic Rate).
How Many Calories do I Need to Burn to Lose Weight?
To lose weight, you need to burn more calories than you eat, so that your body fat resources are used up. Therefore, you need to know how many calories you eat before you can work out how many you need to burn. Our calcount calorie calculator and calorie tracker can help you to do both!
How Many Calories do I Need to Gain Weight?
To gain weight you need to make a calorie surplus. You can do this by eating more calories than you use daily. This calculator shows the number of calories you need to eat to gain 500 grams, and one kilogram per week.
How Many Calories do I Eat per day?
If you are an average adult, you probably eat between 2000 and 2500 calories per day. Use our calcount calorie calculator to get a more accurate number based on your current weight, height, gender, and age. Better yet, use the calorie tracker to record how many calories you actually eat per day.
How Many Calories do you Burn per Day?
Most people burn between 2000 to 2500 calories per day, but many people burn much more or less than this. This calculator can give you an accurate estimation of how many calories you burn per day, based on your body profile.
How Many Calories are in a Kilogram of Body Weight?
The number of calories in a kilogram of body weight depends on whether the weight is made up of fat, muscle, bone, or other body tissue. One kilogram of pure body fat tissue contains about 7700 calories.
How many Calories should a Man eat per day?
The average man should eat about 2500 calories per day to maintain an average weight. You can get your own specific daily calorie target by using the calorie calculator on this page.
How Many Calories to Lose 1 Kilogram?
Eating between 1500 and 2000 calories per day will result in a 500-calorie deficit for most people. Maintaining a daily calorie shortage of 500 for two weeks will enable the average person to lose 1 kilogram. Find your own specific calorie target with the calcount weight loss calculator.
How Many Calories should a Woman eat to Lose Weight?
Most women will lose weight by eating 1500 calories per day, but the speed and amount of weight lost depends on your body type and lifestyle. Use the calculator on this page to find your own specific daily calorie target.
How many Calories should I eat a Day by Age?
From age 19 to 25, women who exercise moderately should eat 2200 calories per day. This should reduce to 2000 calories from age 26 to 50, and 1800 calories per day thereafter. Men who exercise moderately should eat 2800 calories per day from age 19 to 25, then 2600 calories from age 26 to 45, then 2400 calories from 46 to 65, and finally 2200 calories per day from age 66. Note that these are average recommended values; for a more accurate result use our calcount calorie calculator.
How Many Calories Should I Burn?
If you are a healthy weight, you should burn exactly as many calories as you eat over the course of a week or so. You should burn more than you eat if you need to lose weight and eat more than you burn if you need to gain weight. This calculator can give you an accurate estimate of exactly how many calories you should burn for either scenario.
How Many Calories should I Eat per Meal?
Taking a balanced, steady-state approach, you should eat 20% of your calories for breakfast, 30% for lunch, 30% for dinner, and 20% as snacks. However, some people prefer a less balanced pattern to trigger different hormonal responses. Ultimately, weight loss or gain depends on total calories eaten per day. Use this calorie calculator to get your own daily calorie target.
How Many Calories are needed to Lose Weight?
The average person needs between 2,000-2,500 daily calories to maintain their weight, and they need 1,500 to 2,000 calories per day to lose weight. This is because a shortfall of 500 calories per day will result in weight loss of about half a kilogram per week. Our calcount weight loss calculator will give you an accurate estimate of your specific daily calorie target to lose weight.