Recommended Calorie Intake for Women

Mayuri Kulkarni Apr 23, 2019
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Calories are required to perform the daily activities. When calories are consumed excessively or beyond body's requirement, they are converted to fats. Vice verse can cause weight loss. This write-up provides a brief information on recommended calorie intake for women.
These days, everyone of us has become calorie conscious. Calories are considered as strong foes during a weight loss program. Food packets indicate the number of calories contributed by each of the ingredients. However, we should keep in mind that calories are not bad, but what is bad is the amount of calories that we consume.

Recommended Daily Calorie Intake for Women

The amount of calories to be consumed depends on a number of factors, which include physical activity, age, height, weight, gender, genes, etc. Hence, we can say that daily calorie requirement varies from person to person.
However, the calorie intake for women can be calculated based on two factors: physical activity and basal metabolism rate (BMR). Keeping a count on the calories consumed can be quite frustrating for all those girls and women trying to lose their weight. On an average, the recommended calories per day for women is 2000 calories.

Formula to Calculate Recommended Calories for Women

A number of researches and studies have been conducted to find out the exact amount of calories that are required by a woman's body. Harris-Benedict formula is one of the popular methods to calculate daily calorie requirements.
The formula calculates your daily calorie intake depending on your BMR and the physical activities or exercise that you perform. BMR is nothing but the speed of resting metabolism in your body, i.e. the amount of calories you require to run the body functions when at rest.
The physical activities are divided into 4 categories: sedentary, lightly active, moderately active and very active. The formula to calculate BMR for women is given here:

BMR = 655 + (4.35 x weight in pounds) + (4.7 x height in inches) - (4.7 x age in years)
OR
BMR = 655 + (9.6 x weight in kilos) + (1.8 x height in centimeters) - (4.7 x age in years)
Once BMR is calculated, the next step is to multiply a factor that is associated with the physical activity level. Use the multiplying factor for the given physical activity level.
  • Sedentary - Less or no exercise, Desk job : 1.2
  • Lightly active - Light exercise, 1-3 times a week : 1.375
  • Moderately Active - Moderate exercise, 3-5 times a week : 1.55
  • Very Active - Hard exercise, 6-7 times a week : 1.725
So, if your BMR is 1800 and physical activity level is sedentary, then daily calories needed are, BMR x 1.2 = 2160. Besides knowing the normal calorie intake for females, it is also necessary to know the amount of calories that carbohydrates, proteins, and fats should contribute.
A balanced diet should consist of 50-60% carbohydrates, 20-30% proteins, and 20-30% fats contributing together, to the daily calories for women.
Knowing the daily calorie requirements for women can help you to either gain or lose weight. If you are trying to gain weight, then you must consume more amount of calories than required. While if you are trying to lose weight, then you must be eating less calories than required. Thus, respective changes in daily calorie intake should be made.
One should keep in mind that eating just the required amount of calories is not enough, rather the sources of these calories should be healthy so that all the nutritional requirements of the body are fulfilled.
Disclaimer: This is for informative purposes only, and should not be used as a replacement for expert medical advice.