How Many Calories Should You Eat Per Day?

Calories to Eat Per Day

Excess calorie intake can, truly, cause some extra and unwanted weight. But, do you know calories are one of the energy sources our body requires every day? Nutritionists always suggest a fixed amount of daily calorie intake for different genders and age groups taking an individual’s health history and other factors into account.  

Calories can cause extra weight if taken in excess amounts than suggested for a healthy person. So what would be the right amount of daily calorie intake for you? Let’s learn here: 

In general healthy adult males are said to have 2,000-3000 calories a day, whereas adult females can take 1,600-2,400 calories a day as per the U.S Department of Health. This calorie intake number also depends on the person’s age, size, height, overall health, lifestyle, metabolic strength, and activity level. 

If a person consumes more than the suggested healthy calorie count, he or she may gain weight. Similarly, if a person limits the amount of suggested calorie intake, they will lose weight, fat, and muscle mass.

daily calorie intake

 But on a weight loss journey, the limitations will be different for males and females. As both male and female have different body type, muscle mass, and metabolic strength, we have specified an ideal calorie intake for males and females of different age group: 


There is a general rule: reduce 500 calories from your daily calorie intake to gradually maintain the current weight or gradually reach the targeted weight. This rule helps to lose 1 pound body weight a week. Yet, your calorie intake number will depend on different lifestyle and circumstances like:

  • An active woman, who walks at least 3 miles per day or exercises, can consume 2,000 to 2,300 calories a day to maintain the current weight. If the goal is to lose weight, 1,500-1,700 calorie intake is helpful. 
  • Young women in their early 20s are required to have a higher amount of calories. For maintaining a particular weight, 2,200 calories a day is the ideal count. 
  • Women over the age of 50 require moderate or fewer amounts of calories. For maintaining the current weight along with moderate activities, 1,800 a day is enough and 1,300 calories a day if the goals are weight loss. 

However, these recommendations are not for pregnant women or women who are breastfeeding.  


  • Young men between the age of 19 to 25 commonly have higher energy requirements. An average of 2,800 calorie intake per day is essential for maintaining the current weight. If they are active, the count must soar up to 3,000 calories per day. If weight loss is the goal, 2,300–2,500 is an ideal count for daily calorie intake.
  • Men, 26 to 45 years, who are moderately active can consume 2,600 calories for weight maintenance. For weight loss, 2,100 calories per day are ideal for losing 1 pound per week.
  • Men, 46 to 65 years, with average activities can consume 2,400 calories a day. Energy requirement decreases as we age. Thus, after 66 years, the calorie intake for men will come down to 2,200 counts per day or even fewer as per the health condition.  

How Many Calories Should Children Take Daily? 

The answer to this question depends on children’s energy requirements, age, size, metabolic strength, and activity level. The general number of calories for average toddlers is 1,200–1,400, and 2,000–2,800 a day for moderately active teenagers. However, an active teenage boy may require a higher amount of calories. 

Growing children are often active in playing games and doing curricular activities. Thus, the focus should not be on the calorie count but their nutrition with healthy food options. When they take healthy food, their body will gain essential nutrients, and they will perform better.

Quick Facts

  • You can reduce and maintain your weight properly if you begin the day with a big breakfast.
  • The brain uses around 20% out of the total energy in the human body.
  • Apart from age, bone density and muscle fat ratio, too, affect ideal caloric intake. 
  • Calories taken from healthy foods like fruits and vegetables, are helpful and work better than calories taken from a pop snack. 
  • Sweet snacks or foods are not only the sources of calories, but various fruits and veggies may also contain it. This is why people who are on their weight loss journey exclude various food items from their diet.