How Many Calories Should I Eat for My Height and Weight?

Medically Reviewed on 12/15/2020

Calories I should eat for my height and weight

The number of calories you need in a day depends on several factors.
The number of calories you need in a day depends on several factors.

The number of calories you need in a day depends on several factors. These include:

  • Your age
  • Your gender
  • Your height
  • Your weight
  • Your level of physical activity
  • Any specific condition such as pregnancy and breastfeeding
  • Whether you need to lose, maintain, or gain weight
  • Any disease conditions you may have

The number of calories may considerably vary for people of the same height, weight, and age depending on their levels of physical activity. Physical activity levels are divided into three types:

  • Sedentary: Sedentary lifestyle means the person has a routine that includes only the physical activity of independent living.
  • Moderately active: This means a lifestyle that includes physical activity equivalent to walking about 1.5-3 miles per day at a speed of 3-4 miles per hour, in addition to the activities of independent living.
  • Active: Active lifestyle includes physical activity equivalent to walking more than three miles per day at a speed of three to four miles per hour, in addition to the activities of independent living.

Estimates for the average calorie requirement of a person are based on the estimated energy requirements or EER equations. These equations use reference heights (average) and reference weights (healthy) for each age-sex group. They do not provide the estimates for special situations, such as pregnancy and lactation or other health conditions. Thus, you must seek help from an expert to know what calorie requirements are suitable for you. The reference height and weight vary for children and adolescents. In the case of adults, the reference man is 5 feet 10 inches tall and weighs 154 pounds, whereas the reference woman is 5 feet 4 inches tall and weighs 126 pounds.

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Medically Reviewed on 12/15/2020
References
Dietary Guidelines. Appendix 2. Estimated Calorie Needs per Day, by Age, Sex, and Physical Activity Level. 2015-2020. https://health.gov/our-work/food-nutrition/2015-2020-dietary-guidelines/guidelines/appendix-2/#footnote-1

Calorie Control Council. Healthy Weight Calculator. https://caloriecontrol.org/healthy-weight-tool-kit/assessment-calculator/