Weight LossNutrition

Weight Loss Calories for Women – How Much Should You Be Eating?

Discover weight loss calories for women – we’ll help you figure out how much you should be eating to lose weight in a healthy, controlled and sustainable way.

For so many women out there, weight loss is, and probably has been for some time, a big focus. For many of us, we exercise and alter our eating habits specifically to drop a few pounds. And since it’s such a big for so many, the lines have become a little blurred on what it really takes to lose weight.

In fact, so many of us even turn to extreme lengths or fad diets to drop a few pounds, only to gain it all back again. Obviously, this kind of yo yo affect isn’t a satisfying or healthy way to live. So, if you’re serious about losing weight and living a healthy lifestyle, you really should know your weight loss calories for women.

The internet is full of myths surrounding weight loss. If you look it up, you’ll come across tons of contradicting advice telling you to do all sorts of crazy stuff.

But, there’s only one thing you need to know when it comes to weight loss and really, it’s very simple. You need to consume less energy than you spend on daily activities and exercise.

Research has shown that calorie management is the key to lose weight in a healthy and controlled way. All diet plans out there ultimately come down to keeping your caloric intake lower than your daily needs. (1)

But, how many calories should you be eating to help you lose weight in a healthy and sustainable way?

Here, we’ve rounded up everything you need to know about weight loss calories for women and how you can keep track of them to lose weight effectively.

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What is a Calorie?

The first thing that comes to mind is what exactly are calories? Is it cake? Or guilt? Well throw that away! Calories are usually associated in our minds with diets and restriction, but in reality, they’re absolutely essential to a healthy body and lifestyle.

So, finding your weight loss calories for women means you’ll be able to find the right level of calories to be both healthy and lose weight sustainably.

Calories are a measure of the amount of energy in food. Your body has an energy demand for all functions, and the calories from food are responsible for fulfilling this demand.

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Every time an organ does it’s job (like your heart beating, your lungs breathing) or you move (even typing on your laptop) that requires energy and calories from food are there to provide that energy.

So how does that play into weight loss? These three rules are all you need to know:

  • If your daily caloric intake is equal to your energy requirements, weight is maintained.
  • If your intake of calories is greater than what you spend, the extra calories are stored in the body (this can be as fat or as muscle depending on your exercise levels and your macro intake, but you can find out more about that here), and hence your weight increases.
  • Similarly, if you take fewer calories in than required, your body burns stored fats for energy, and you lose weight.

How Many Calories Should Women Eat Per Day?

Finding your weight loss calories per day depend on many factors, including age, metabolic health, activity levels, and genetics. So, there is no perfect number for weight loss calories for women, because every woman is different. We’ve provided some average numbers below, but it’s always best to find a more exact number based on your height, weight and activity levels. We’ll go through that in the next section.

Generally, if you reduce 500 to 1000 calories per day from your normal diet which you expect to use through overall activity, you can lose about 1 pound (0.45kg) of weight in a week. (1)

To maintain weight, an average, moderately active woman between the ages 25-50 needs 2000 calories a day. To lose 1 pound per week, reduce this intake to 1500 calories. (2)

Young women and those with a more active lifestyle require 2200 calories a day to maintain weight. To lose 1 pound per week, the intake should be 1700 calories.

Older women require relatively fewer calories. To maintain weight, average women over the age of 50 require 1800 calories a day. To lose one pound per week, reduce this intake to 1300 calories.

In a nutshell, weight loss calories per day depend on how active your lifestyle is. Women who are on the go all day long can safely consume more calories than those with lesser activity.

Weight Loss Calories for Women

When calculating your weight loss calories for women, it is important to become familiar with BMR and TDEE.

BMR, or Basal Metabolic Rate, is the amount of energy required by your body to just keep it functioning. It is the number of calories that your body needs even if you do absolutely nothing.

Total Daily Energy Expenditure (TDEE) is the actual amount of energy you use in a day. TDEE is based upon your BMR, but it also takes into account your daily activity.

Your TDEE is the actual calorie usage of your body. Once you’ve calculated your TDEE, you can then plan your diet according to your goals.

To calculate TDEE, first off calculate your BMR using the following formula:

BMR = 655 + (9.6 × weight in kg) + (1.8 × height in cm) – (4.7 × age in years)

Now, you can calculate your TDEE based on your lifestyle:

  • Sedentary lifestyle, not too much activity = BMR × 1.1
  • Light Activity e.g., playing sports 1-3 times a week = BMR × 1.275
  • Moderate Activity e.g., playing sports 3-5 times a week = BMR × 1.35
  • Intense Activity e.g., going to the gym 3-5 times a week = BMR × 1.525

Once you’ve calculated your TDEE, you now know how many calories you should take per day to maintain weight. For gaining or losing weight, you can alter these numbers to achieve your desired goals.

But hold on.

Many people think that to lose weight quickly, it’s best to starve yourself, as this does reduce your calories below your TDEE. However, this kind of restrictive diet can often lead to cravings and binging and when you do lose weight, so often it’s gained back again very quickly. It can even make you ill. From us, it’s a big no.

The goal when going for weight loss is to sustain it. You may get faster results by restricting your diet below the line, but such weight loss won’t last.

Instead, slow and steady wins the race. Honestly trust us, not only does it mean you’re more likely to build healthy habits that reap real reward, you’re far more likely to keep the weight off and stay healthy too. It’s the best way to go.

To lose weight healthily and get long-term benefits, we recommend you to cut down your TDEE by 15-20% at most.

Weight Loss Calories Per Day: TDEE × 0.85 – 0.8

How do I Reduce My Calories for Sustainable Weight Loss?

Should I eat before or after Exercise

Once you’ve calculated your weight loss calories for women, it’s  time for you to plan your diet. Planning is essential – it’ll help you stay on track and watch what you’re eating in advance. Here are some tips we’ve got for you to cut down on your calories:

First and foremost, you have to keep in mind that what we’re aiming for is sustained weight loss. As mentioned earlier, rapid weight loss doesn’t serve well in the long term. Therefore, our goal is to lose weight gradually and in a healthy manner. That’s why it’s important that, when you find your weight loss calories for women, that you stick to them for the long term.

To cut down on calories, you have to reduce your intake of food. This may look challenging, but certain strategies can be helpful.

Eat Foods That Are More Filling:

When eating less, many women are often left feeling hungry, and this can eventually lead to them going back to their old eating habits. Thinks sweet treats, potato chips and all those cheat foods. We’ve all been there.

To prevent this and to stick to your weight loss calories for women, we recommend you to eat more satiating foods aka, foods that have been proven to make you feel fuller for longer.

Certain foods are more filling than others and make you feel less hungry, these are usually high protein foods. By adding leaner proteins to your diet, you’ll stay fuller for longer, while consuming fewer calories. It’s a must for anyone who’s looking to cut down those calories in a healthy way.

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Some foods with a high satiety value include:

  • Legumes
  • Nuts
  • Oatmeal
  • Eggs
  • Yogurt
  • Fish
  • Boiled Potatoes
  • Vegetables and fruits
  • Lean proteins – chicken etc.

Some women also find that glucomannan, an ingredient often found in weight loss supplements, helps them to stay fuller for longer, and help them reduce their food intake at meal times. If you were thinking about checking it out, our review of Leanbean found it had optimal levels of the ingredient.

Adopt Healthy Eating habits

Another way to effectively reduce food intake in your diet after you find your weight loss calories for women, is to replace nutrient-poor foods with nutrient-dense ones. This will also benefit your health. We’re talking about getting rid of those empty calories that come in sugar – it’s all cals and no benefits to your body.

Try to get eat more veggies and fruits to nourish your body and follow these tips below:

  • Drink Water Before Meals (3)
  • Eat More Vegetables (4)
  • Avoid Soft Drinks and Juices (5)
  • Don’t Eat Junk Food
  • Cut Down on Sugar (6)
  • Use Smaller Plates (7)
  • Try Having a Low-Calorie Starter Before Meals (8)
  • Increase Protein in Your Diet (9)

Keep Track of Calories:

For your weight loss plan to be effective, you have to keep track of how much energy you’re getting versus how much you’re spending.

For this purpose, many apps can help.

MyFitnessPal is a great app for this, and is perfect for helping you maintain a balance between your caloric intake and expenditure. With this app, all you have to do is enter your meals and exercise, and the app will let you know how many calories you have left for the day. It makes it a whole lot easier to stay on top of what you’re eating. You can even track your macros to make sure you’re getting the right amount of

Weight Loss Calories for Women – The Final Word

Rounding up all the science behind weight loss calories for women, we’ve come to the following conclusions:

To lose weight, your daily caloric intake must be lower than the expenditure.

How many calories you should consume daily depend on many factors, in particular your activity level and age. To calculate your weight loss calories for women, consider your BMR and TDEE. Once you’ve got these nailed down, you’ll find you’ll be able to change your diet so you lose weight in a sustainable way that really lasts.

When on a diet plan, the goal is not to lose weight rapidly. Rather, you should lose it steadily and in a healthy way.

Certain foods are better than others for weight loss. We recommend you add such foods to your diet. Moreover, it is also helpful to eat foods that are satiating and make you feel full after a light meal.


gymgirlfit was created by health and fitness enthusiasts, with backgrounds in powerlifting and writing. We've written for a number of well-known fitness publishing companies.

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