The number of calories a person needs to consume depends on several factors, including weight, age, physical activity and gender. Generally, adults need to consume 1600 to 2400 calories per day to maintain their body weight. However, you can calculate a more specific number based on your personal body weight with a simple formula.
Calories are a measurement of energy. Your body needs energy to carry out all physiological processes and normal functioning. Although getting enough calories is important for proper health, too many calories become stored as fat. If you want to lose weight, you should consume fewer calories per day. Although most food labels list the number of calories, you can also figure out the calorie count of a food based on the amount of carbohydrates, protein and fat it has.
To figure out the number of calories you should consume, you have to determine your activity level. Someone who has a moderate level of activity would be a working person who doesn’t do a lot of exercise. An inactive person is someone who leads a sedentary lifestyle. If you are a moderately active 150-pound female, you should consume 1,800 calories per day. If you lead an inactive lifestyle, you only need 1,500 calories per day. These values are determined by taking your weight and multiplying it respectively by 12 calories for a moderately active female or 10 calories for an inactive female. Males need more calories so the formula is different for them.
If you want to lose weight, you will need to adjust your caloric intake accordingly. One pound of body weight is equal to 3,500 calories. To lose a pound a week, you would need to eat 3,500 fewer calories a week, burn that same number of calories in a week or do a combination of the two in a week. With a few simple changes, you can reduce your caloric intake. Avoid high calorie foods and beverages whenever possible and choose lower calorie options. Eliminate a high-calorie snack from your diet to help you reach your weight loss goals.
Although a 150-pound female should consume 1,800 calories per day, you may need more or less depending on changes in your activity level. If you exercise, you will need to increase your calories. The amount you increase your calories will depend on how strenuous the exercise and how many calories you are burning. You should consult your doctor or registered dietician for specific recommendations and guidelines. Other factors may also affect your recommended calories including age, medication or any conditions that you have.
Ireland Wolfe has been writing professionally since 2009, contributing to Toonari Post, Africana Online and Winzer Insurance. She obtained her Bachelor of Arts in psychology and Master of Arts in mental health counseling. She is also a licensed mental health counselor, registered nutritionist and yoga teacher.