Charts, Graphs, & Diagrams > Health Charts > Calorie Requirement

Calorie Requirement Charts for Women and Men

These are very easy to use - no data input required. Find your calorie needs in the chart based on your weight and activity level.

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Chart of Calorie Requirements for Women
Move your mouse over the chart to show weight and caloriesWeight:  Calories:
Chart of Calorie Requirements for Men
Move your mouse over the chart to show weight and caloriesWeight:  Calories:

Description and comments

The calculations of calorie requirements found on the Web are mostly based on the Harris Benedict formula. Harris Benedict was a researcher who published his results more than 85 years ago. The formula goes like this:

For women: ( 655.1 + (9.563 x kg) + (1.850 x cm) - (4.676 x age) ) x Activity_level

For men: ( 66.5 + (13.75 x kg) + (5.003 x cm) - (6.775 x age) ) x Activity_level

The Activity_level is based on the amount of exercise you get, and varies from 1.2 to 1.8 or perhaps as high as 2.0, depending on what source you look at.

From a statistical point of view, there are a lot of problems with this formula.

So, 'estimate' is an important word to remember here.

The charts were drawn for a 40 year old person of average height (5'9" for men, 5'4" for women).

Weight Loss and Calorie Requirements

Using the chart, you can determine the calorie requirement for your target weight, then cut back your calorie intake accordingly. For example, you can see in the women's chart that a moderately active woman weighing 160 pounds burns about 2200 calories per day. For a 140 pound woman the figure is about 2050 calories. So, cutting back about 150 calories per day (2200 minus 2050) will eventually bring about a 20 pound weight loss, from 160 to 140.

Another way of approaching weight loss

A pound of fat contains about 3500 calories. So, to lose a pound of fat in a week, you need to one of the following three things:

Calorie burning chart

Here's a calorie burning chart from The President's Council on Physical Fitness and Sports

A. Sedentary Activities Energy Costs
Lying down or sleeping90
Sitting quietly84
Sitting and writing,
card playing, etc.
B. Moderate Activities (150-350)
Bicycling (5 mph) 174
Canoeing (2.5 mph) 174
Dancing (Ballroom)210
Golf (2-some, carrying clubs) 324
Horseback riding (sitting to trot)246
Light housework, cleaning, etc.246
Swimming (crawl, 20 yards/min)288
Tennis (recreational doubles) 312
Volleyball (recreational)264
Walking (2 mph)198
C. Vigorous Activities More than 350
Aerobic Dancing546
Basketball (recreational) 450
Bicycling (13 mph)612
Circuit weight training 756
Football (touch, vigorous)498
Ice Skating (9 mph) 384
Racquetball 588
Roller Skating (9 mph)384
Jogging (10 minute mile, 6 mph) 654
Scrubbing Floors440
Swimming (crawl, 45 yards/min)522
Tennis (recreational singles)450
X-country Skiing ( 5 mph)690

*Hourly estimates based on values calculated for calories burned per minute for a 150 pound (68 kg) person.

*(Sources: "William D. McArdle, Frank I. Katch, Victor L. Katch, "Exercise Physiology: Energy, Nutrition and Human Performance" (2nd edition), Lea & Febiger, Philadelphia, 1986; Melvin H. Williams, "Nutrition for Fitness and Sport," William C. Brown Company Publishers, Dubuque, 1983.)

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