Calorie needs are determined by several factors other than weight, including, age, height, physical activity level and gender. Someone who weighs 200 pounds may have different needs depending on any variations in these factors. A registered dietitian can help you determine exactly how many calories you need to eat and may help you develop a specific meal plan customized to your individual needs. There are some guidelines, however, that you could use to determine your general daily caloric need.
Ideal vs. Adjusted Body Weight
Your ideal body weight is determined by gender. As described in the Florida Dietetic Association's Manual of Clinical Nutrition, women should multiply five pounds for every inch in their height that is over five feet and add that to 100 pounds. For example, a woman who is five feet and five inches tall should weigh, roughly, 125 pounds. Men multiply six pounds for every inch they are over five feet and add that to 106 pounds. For example, a man who is six feet tall should weigh around 178 pounds. In addition, a variation of 10 percent either above or below the calculated weight is generally considered healthy. According to Nutrition411, adjusted body weight takes into account a 25-percent change in actual body weight to account for fat mass that is metabolically active. Some calculations used to determine the number of necessary daily calories are based on ideal, adjusted or actual body weight.
A healthy adult with a body weight of 200 pounds and lives a sedentary lifestyle will need around 2,000 to 2,300 calories each day based on the Mifflin-St. Jeor equation, which has been touted by the American Dietetic Association as being one of the most accurate determinants of energy needs. Younger adults in their 20's or 30's will need calories on the higher end of the scale, whereas older adults will need fewer calories. You can determine your specific requirements by entering your age, gender, height, weight and activity level into the Mifflin-St. Jeor equation as outlined by the ADA Evidence Library or the Florida Dietetic Association's Manual of Clinical Nutrition.
Moderate Physical Activity
For 200-pound adults who have a moderately active lifestyle or participate in some form of physical activity, the energy needs are slightly higher with daily caloric needs around 2,400 to 2,600 calories. Like with all calorie-need determinations, gender, age and height will also determine where on the scale your specific needs may fall.
200-pound adults who live a very active lifestyle, which may include intense daily physical activity, require around 3,000 calories daily. While most adults fall in the sedentary or moderately-active categories, very active individuals will burn more than they eat and are likely to lose weight too quickly. In these instances, they should increase their daily calorie needs to help maintain a healthy body weight.
Larissa Gedney began writing professionally in 2006. She has been published in Today's Dietitian magazine and several local newspapers and professional publications. Gedney is a registered dietitian who received her bachelor of science degree in nutrition/dietetics from Simmons College in Boston and her master of science degree in nutrition from Rosalind Franklin University.