The total number of calories a person needs every day varies depending on a bunch of things, including your age, height, weight, and how active you are. (Obviously, if you’re a half-marathoner, you’re going to need more calories than if you rarely hit the gym.) Estimates range from 1,600 to 2,400 calories per day for adult women, per the Dietary Guidelines for Americans, which is a pretty big range. If you’re not sure where you stand, it doesn’t hurt to check in with a registered dietitian for a consultation—he or she should be able to give you a good goal calorie count to start with. Or, if you don’t have the time or budget for that, Cording recommends looking up an energy estimate calculator online and getting a general idea from that. Just be a little flexible with yourself. “Some people get a calorie number in their head but it might not be the right fit for them—they’re so hungry they can’t stick to it,” Cording says.
Counting Calories For Weight Loss