Published On By Rachel Nall

How Many Calories Should I Consume To Lose Weight?

Your calorie intake relates to your body’s energy needs to maintain a healthy weight. Monitoring and reducing your calorie intake may support your weight loss efforts.

However, watching over the number of calories every time you eat could be confusing and tricky. Age, metabolism, sex, size, activity level, etc could also impact your calorie consumption.

This exclusive article mentions methods that could help reduce your calorie intake. Continue reading to understand how many calories you can eat to promote weight loss.

What is Calorie?

Calories are units of measurement needed to quantify the energy content consumed from foods and beverages. These units represent the energy provided by carbohydrates, fat, and protein present in the diet.

Consuming fewer calories than the body burns every day is necessary to lose weight. It creates a calorie deficit, prompting the body to use stored energy (fat) for fuel.

Medical treatment, hormonal imbalance, genetics, and age are some examples of factors that can impact weight loss. Many factors can influence weight loss or the inability to lose weight.

How Do I Calculate How Many Calories I Need?

Calorie needs for weight management may require considering factors such as age, sex, height, weight, and physical activity level.

You can calculate how many calories you need by using the Mifflin-St Jeor equation, which may consider your resting metabolic rate (RMR), physical activity, and the thermogenic effect of food.

It may also include calorie needs, medical status, and lean body mass, which might impact your daily calorie requirements.

5 Methods To Reduce Calorie Intake

  1. Avoid Sugary Beverages

    Limiting the intake of sugar-sweetened beverages, such as sodas, fruit juices, and chocolate milk. These beverages are often high in calories and added sugars, which could contribute to excessive weight gain and health issues.Your brain doesn’t consider liquid calories the same as solid calories, meaning consuming sugary drinks may not make you feel as full or satisfied as eating solid food. Consuming liquid calories could lead to overeating and an increased calorie intake.

    Studies have shown that drinking sugary beverages is associated with a higher risk of obesity. These beverages provide empty calories, which cause an imbalance in blood sugar levels over time.

    The harmful effects of sugar might lead to other issues apart from weight gain. Consuming excess added sugars from sugary beverages might lead to an increased possibility of heart disease, liver problems, and type 2 diabetes.

  2. Consume More Protein

    Protein intake could increase feelings of fullness, curb appetite, and fight cravings, potentially supporting weight loss.

    It may also help fight your pesky cravings. As per a study, high-protein foods may boost satiety while suppressing your appetite.

    Maintaining a high-protein diet may prevent unwanted weight regain and help preserve muscle mass, which may help manage a healthy metabolism and enable the body to burn more calories.

  3. Limit Ultra-Processed Foods And Refined Carbs

    Consuming refined carbs like white rice and sugary snacks might rapidly spike blood sugar levels. Increased sugar levels could cause raised hunger, cravings, and excessive weight gain.

    Ultra-processed foods are high in added sugars, unhealthy fats, and artificial additives while being low in essential nutrients. These foods are often addictive and can cause heart problems and diabetes.

    Unprocessed foods rich in nutrients and fiber, such as fruits and whole grains, will provide you with essential nutrients, keeping you fuller for longer hours.

  4. Resistance Training

    Resistance training, like compound lifting, might help develop lean muscle mass, which could stabilize metabolic fluctuations that you might experience during calorie-restrictive diets.

    Resistance training could help you burn more calories during and after your workout. Cardio exercises like walking or jogging primarily burn calories during the activity.

    Resistance training may promote muscle growth, increasing overall calorie expenditure throughout the day. It is called the afterburn effect or excess post-exercise oxygen consumption.

  5. Getting Enough Water

    Drinking adequate water is essential for optimal health and promoting weight management. Proper hydration helps with improved brain health, weight management, and a reduced risk of kidney stones.

    However, drinking water before meals may help reduce hunger and lower calorie intake, especially with a healthy diet. It could help you feel fuller before your meal time, which could help you gain adequate control over your calorie intake.

Average Calories To Consume In A Day

Based on suggestions from the U.S. Department of Agriculture’s 2020-2025 Dietary Guidelines for Americans, determining how many calories you should eat on average is crucial for weight reduction.

People assigned female at birth (AFAB)

Considering the average calorie intake recommendations for females at birth (AFAB), it is essential to understand the daily calorie requirements based on age. For AFAB women aged 19-30 years, the recommended daily calorie intake ranges from 1,800 to 2,400 calories.

The recommended intake is slightly lower for those aged 31-60 years, ranging from 1,600 to 2,200 calories per day. AFAB females aged 61 years and above are advised to consume between 1,600 to 2,000 calories daily.

Age Group AFAB (calories)
19-30 1,800-2,400
31-60 1,600-2,200
61+ 1,600-2,000

People assigned male at birth (AMAB)

For people assigned male at birth (AMAB), the daily calorie requirements vary based on age and level of physical activity.

The calorie needs of AMAB people differ depending on their age. The recommended daily calorie intake ranges from 2,400 to 3,000 calories for those between 19 and 30 years old, 2,200 to 3,000 calories for those between 31 and 60 years old, and 2,000 to 2,600 calories for those aged 61 and above.

Age Group AMAB (calories)
19-30 2,400-3,000
31-60 2,200-3,000
61+ N/A


When considering the daily calorie requirements for children, it is vital to consider their age and gender.

The following table provides an overview of the recommended daily calorie intake for children based on their age and assigned gender at birth:

Age Range Assigned Male at Birth (AMAB) Assigned Female at Birth (AFAB)
2-4 years 1,000-1,600 calories 1,000-1,400 calories
5-8 years 1,200-2,000 calories 1,200-1,800 calories
9-13 years 1,600-2,600 calories 1,400-2,200 calories
14-18 years 2,000-3,200 calories 1,800-2,400 calories

However, cutting a child’s calorie intake might increase their chances of nutritional deficiencies, body growth, and an unhealthy relation with food or an eating disorder.

It is crucial to approach calorie management for children with caution and consult a healthcare professional or registered dietitian for expert advice.

Benefits of Calculating Daily Calories

Calculating daily calories can help improve overall health and manage weight effectively.

  • Increased awareness: Tracking your calorie intake may help you become more aware of your eating patterns and behaviors. You can identify areas where you may be overeating or making unhealthy choices by knowing the number of calories you consume daily.
  • Numerical focus: Calculating daily calories provides an objective metric that you could track and monitor to create a sense of control and accountability.
  • Weight management: You can create a calorie deficit that could promote fat loss by accurately tracking your calorie intake and ensuring it aligns with your weight loss goals.

Some Weight Loss Methods

  • Practice mindful eating: Mindful eating includes paying attention to the sensations and signals of hunger and fullness while eating. It might reduce your food cravings and promote long-term weight loss.
  • Eat more vegetables and fruits: They are low in calories but high in fiber and may support your weight loss goals. Combining a variety of fruits and vegetables into meals and snacks could make you feel satisfied and full even while consuming fewer calories.
  • Stock up on healthy foods: Following a nutritious diet could help you make proper food choices. It may help in reducing the temptation to reach for unhealthy options.
  • Find support: Social support might assist in weight loss. You can join a weight loss group, seek support from friends and family, or work with a healthcare professional to overcome unhealthy eating habits.
  • Try meal prepping: Meal prepping may help you plan and prepare meals in advance, which might help people make healthier weekly choices. It is time-saving and reduces the possibility of relying on unhealthy takeout or convenience foods.

Disadvantages Of Counting Calories

Counting calories might be a valuable tool for weight loss, but it’s essential to stay aware of some potential drawbacks:

  • Disordered Eating: Research shows that young adults who use calorie-tracking apps may be more at risk for developing disordered eating patterns that could lead to eating disorders.
  • Health Risks: Limiting too much calorie intake can harm your health and slow your metabolism. Eating too few calories may also lead to nutrient deficiencies and other adverse health effects. It’s crucial to consult a registered dietitian to determine a safe and appropriate calorie intake as per your specific needs.
  • Neglecting Balanced Diet: Calorie counting can help create a calorie deficit for weight loss, but it’s essential to consider the quality of your food. A well-balanced diet is required for the body to function properly.

Frequently Asked Questions

  1. Can counting calories disrupt eating patterns?
    Yes. Counting calories can potentially have a negative impact on your eating patterns. However, instead of focusing on only your calorie count, try to consume a well-rounded diet with proper nutrition.
  2. Does Cutting Calories Too Much Make It Harder to Manage Weight Management in the Long Term?Cutting too many calories could make it challenging to lose weight in the long term as it slows down your metabolism, making it difficult to sustain weight loss efforts.
  3. Is 1200 calories enough for my day?Consuming 1200 calories might suit some people depending on their age, sex, weight, and lifestyle. However, others may need more than 1200 to support their energy and nutrition intake. You should consult a dietician to understand your calorie and nutritional needs for optimal body function.


Determining the suitable calorie intake for weight loss is crucial to achieving effective results. You can consider the methods and precautions mentioned in the article to avoid health hazards.

It would help to stay mindful when making healthy food choices, as people most often neglect the nutritional value while tailoring their calorie intake. Neglecting nutritional value could lead to deficiencies in the body, hindering your weight loss efforts.

Thus, it is crucial to prioritize a well-rounded diet rather than focusing solely on calorie consumption.

However, sustainable weight reduction requires a comprehensive approach that combines balanced nutrition, regular exercise, and overall lifestyle adaptations.

  • The information in this review is for informational purposes only and should not be considered medical advice.
  • It is not recommended to disregard/delay seeking professional medical advice or treatment because of what you read or accessed through this review.
  • The results may vary from individual to individual.
  • It is recommended to consult your doctor for any underlying medical conditions or if you are on any prescribed medicines before trying any product or tips.

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