How many calories are required per day to lose weight?

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Understanding calories

Calories indicate the unit of energy that a person derives from the food or drinks they consume. In other terms, calories are the unit of measurement in energy form, unlike length or weight measurement. It is the amount of energy gained from food or drinks.

The more calories a food has been directly related to the energy we get. The calorie count in food varies.

The calorie requirement for every person differs depending on the demographic factors.

The average calorie requirement for men is approximately 2000 to 2500 per day, depending on their weight.

How many calories to consume?

This is a question asked by a large number of people around the world. The answer to this question is that the calorie requirements vary from person to person. A one size fits all approach does not work with calories.

If a person wants to gain, lose or maintain their body weight, it entirely depends on calories. Understanding how calories work for the desired results is mandatory.

Losing weight

The standard dietary recommendations explain that a person needs to reduce their daily calorie intake by 500 or 600 calories per day to help them lose weight without developing health issues. In other words, if a person is supposed to consume 2500 calories per day, they need to reduce it to 2000 calories. 

However, it is important to understand that losing weight is a slow and gradual process. Patience and consistency are required to see the desired results.

Gain weight

If a person is keen to put on some weight, they need to follow the exact opposite logic of losing weight. If the normal recommendation for a person is 2000 calories, then they need to consume 2500 calories to gain a few kilos. Taking advice from a dietitian will be helpful.

Maintaining weight

The daily calorie intake must be maintained for having a healthy weight over a period of time. For example, if the daily recommendation for a person is 2000 calories, they are supposed to consume 2000 calories.

How to cut down on calories to lose weight?

A calorie deficit will enable a person to lose weight. However, this should be achieved without depriving the body of nutrients. Therefore, it is necessary to make conscious choices of what they consume. Eating more nutrient-dense whole foods like 

  • Fruits
  • Vegetables
  • Grains
  • Meat and
  • Eggs are beneficial to the body.

Apart from consuming this healthy food, a person needs to be mindful of what not to eat. Eliminating the following food from the diet will serve good. Restricting oneself from

  • Sugary food and drinks
  • Processed food
  • Food high in sodium and 
  • Refined carbohydrates can have a positive health impact.

Calorie Chart

The average recommendations of calorie intake are as follows

Age Calories required
2- 4 Years 1000-1500 Calories
6-9 Years 1200- 1900 Calories
10- 13 Years 1400- 2200 Calories
14- 18 Years 1900- 2500 Calories
19 – 35 Years 2000- 2500 Calories
36- 60 Years 1800- 2300 Calories
60 Years and above 1900- 2100 Calories

It is important to understand that the above table is a standard recommendation for healthy individuals. However, the needs may vary from person to person.

To sum up

For most people, losing weight is a tough process. Adjusting calorie intake can make a difference. It is important to know that calories are a unit of measurement for the food we consume. 

Having a small calorie deficit can help a person to lose weight. Having a small surplus can help a person to add weight. A dietitian can help a person to understand their daily calorie requirements, macros, and micronutrients and help them to maintain a healthy weight.


The Information including but not limited to text, graphics, images and other material contained on this blog are intended for education and awareness only. No material on this blog is intended to be a substitute for professional medical help including diagnosis or treatment. It is always advisable to consult medical professional before relying on the content. Neither the Author nor Star Health and Allied Insurance Co. Ltd accepts any responsibility for any potential risk to any visitor/reader.

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