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Daily Calories Based on Age & Sex (Gender)

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Article by Diet Bites


Safe weight loss prescribes decreasing calories while increasing activity.  

Although activity is vital to over all health and longevity, the amount of calories consumed by the body has a greater impact on weight than activity levels.

Example in Motion:

Betty enjoys a dozen donuts throughout the day with the caloric value totaling 2400.  

She decides to skip her meals because she has let loose on the donuts today. She decides to grab a tall glass of milk to enjoy with her last two donuts of the day. Her milk calories total 320 for two cups.

At day's end, Betty has consumed 2720 kcals in total.

Age & Activity Enter the Fitness Equation

Betty is an older adult and doesn't get much exercise. Her recommended energy consumption by the USDA is about 1600 kcals daily - and this is an averaged number; if she were at an active state her body would of course, require more energy to meet its nutritional needs.

In order for Betty not to gain weight, she will need to burn off more than 1000 calories; this is based on her 2720 total for the day.

This feat is just about impossible to accomplish through activity- and if she were to do such, would the donut splurge really be worth it?

Here are some more calorie consumption recommendations from the USDA which are based on age, gender and activity levels:

Current Age or Gender

Activity Level

Daily Caloric Needs

Seniors averaged 1600
Children averaged 1600
Women inactive 1600
Men inactive 2200
Women moderate 2200
Men moderate 2400
Women active 2800
Men active 2800
Teenage Girls averaged 2200
Teenage Boys averaged 2800
Pregnant, Lactating Females averaged 2200 - 2800


How to Lose Weight Safely

If you are trying to lose fat, it's important to keep in mind that you will need to burn 3500 calories per day in order to lose one pound.

This formula applies to all individuals because while all foods and beverages are not created equal where energy values are involved, a pound of weight is always based on 3500 kcals.

Trimming 500 kcals per day from your eating plan will generate about a one pound per week of fat loss.

When we view the above energy needs, where many individuals are concerned there just isn't a lot of room for caloric management. For example, there is a vast difference in the 1600 and 2000 kcal plans. That 400 additional kcals is enough for an entire meal. When the energy values jump to 2400 or 2800, this begins to equal one fourth, one third and one half the additional values of the lower end eating plans.

This is one key reason why it is so difficult for shorter women, older individuals as well as those who are unable to exercise to meet an 'active lifestyle' find it so difficult to shed the fat. The stomach of a smaller, older or less active individual isn't that much different than the stomach of a larger person. And it's continually begging to be filled when temptation is part of the fitness equation.

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