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Most female trainers and dieters would have tried calorie counting at least once in their lives or at least have thought about it. Whether or not calorie counting has worked for you in the past, there’s no doubt that it is one of the most effective and simple ways to track your progress and help plan your diet. With smart phones and calorie counting apps more prevalent than ever, there’s never been a better time to get back into calorie counting again to help you reach your goal weight.

Calorie Needs Calculator for Females

Many of the aforementioned calorie counting apps will help you calculate your BMR or Basal Metabolic Rate, which is the energy you need to survive not including any exercise or physical activity that you do. However a better figure would be to find out your TDEE or Total Daily Energy Expenditure, which is the amount of energy you need depending on your level of physical activity and exercise. This TDEE is how much energy you need without gaining or losing weight and is a great starting point to plan out your eventual calorie intake depending on your future goals.

The tables below will help you easily find the calories needed to maintain your current weight based on a disease-free person who works out 4 days a week using the Mifflin St-Jeor predictive equation1. Simply find your age, and correlate your height and weight range. All figures are in calories.

eg. A 23yo female who is 171cm tall and 65kg will have a TDEE of 2110 calories (highlighted below)

18-24 years

Height (cm)

Weight (kg)

 

<40-50

51-60

61-70

71-80

81-90

91-100

101+

<140-150

1550

1700

1840

1980

2130

2280

+150cal/10kg

151-160

1640

1780

1920

2070

2220

2360

+150cal/10kg

161-170

1730

1880

2020

2160

2310

2460

+150cal/10kg

171-180

1820

1970

2110

2250

2400

2540

+150cal/10kg

181-190

1910

2050

2200

2350

2490

2640

+150cal/10kg

190+

+90cal/10cm from last result

+150cal/10kg

 

25-34 years

Height (cm)

Weight (kg)

 

<40-50

51-60

61-70

71-80

81-90

91-100

101+

<140-150

1490

1640

1790

1930

2070

2210

+150cal/10kg

151-160

1580

1730

1880

2030

2170

2320

+150cal/10kg

161-170

1670

1810

1960

2100

2250

2390

+150cal/10kg

171-180

1760

1910

2060

2200

2350

2500

+150cal/10kg

181-190

1850

1990

2130

2270

2420

2570

+150cal/10kg

190+

+90cal/10cm from last result

+150cal/10kg

 

35-44 years

Height (cm)

Weight (kg)

 

<40-50

51-60

61-70

71-80

81-90

91-100

101+

<140-150

1420

1570

1710

1860

2000

2140

+150cal/10kg

151-160

1510

1660

1800

1950

2090

2230

+150cal/10kg

161-170

1600

1740

1890

2030

2170

2320

+150cal/10kg

171-180

1690

1830

1970

2120

2270

2420

+150cal/10kg

181-190

1780

1930

2070

2210

2360

2500

+150cal/10kg

190+

+90cal/10cm from last result

+150cal/10kg

 

45-54 years

Height (cm)

Weight (kg)

 

<40-50

51-60

61-70

71-80

81-90

91-100

101+

<140-150

1340

1490

1640

1780

1920

2070

+150cal/10kg

151-160

1430

1570

1710

1860

2010

2160

+150cal/10kg

161-170

1520

1670

1810

1960

2100

2250

+150cal/10kg

171-180

1610

1750

1900

2050

2190

2340

+150cal/10kg

181-190

1700

1840

1990

2140

2290

2430

+150cal/10kg

190+

+90cal/10cm from last result

+150cal/10kg

 

55-64 years

Height (cm)

Weight (kg)

 

<40-50

51-60

61-70

71-80

81-90

91-100

101+

<140-150

1270

1420

1560

1710

1850

2000

+150cal/10kg

151-160

1360

1510

1660

1800

1950

2100

+150cal/10kg

161-170

1450

1600

1750

1890

2040

2190

+150cal/10kg

171-180

1540

1680

1830

1980

2130

2270

+150cal/10kg

181-190

1630

1780

1930

2070

2210

2360

+150cal/10kg

190+

+90cal/10cm from last result

+150cal/10kg

 

65+ years

Height (cm)

Weight (kg)

 

<40-50

51-60

61-70

71-80

81-90

91-100

101+

<140-150

1200

1350

1500

1650

1800

1950

+150cal/10kg

151-160

1290

1440

1590

1740

1890

2040

+150cal/10kg

161-170

1380

1530

1680

1830

1980

2130

+150cal/10kg

171-180

1470

1620

1770

1920

2070

2220

+150cal/10kg

181-190

1560

1710

1860

2010

2160

2310

+150cal/10kg

190+

+90cal/10cm from last result

+150cal/10kg

 

Calorie Calculator Problems

The above TDEE figures are simply an estimate of what you really need and can differ by as much as 10% either way. Because everyone’s metabolism is so individual though, this figure might be even higher, but in general is fairly accurate, especially for lean individuals. Those who are overweight or obese might need to increase their figures as the Mifflin St-Jeor equation is said to underestimate requirements for this population. Regardless, these figures are a great point of reference and can easily be adjusted depending on your progress.

Calorie to Kilojoule Calculator

While the above figures are listed as calories, the most common measure of energy in Australia is the ‘kilojoule’, which is simply another measurement; albeit a little bit harder to handle due to the larger figures. You can convert the measurements using this very simple equation:

1 calorie = 4.18 kilojoules

‘Calories’ are more commonly used in the United States, but are actually an easier figure to handle. Regardless of which measurement you like to use, if you want to work out how many kilojoules you need per day, simply multiply the figure you obtained above by 4.18.

Calorie Calculator for Weight Loss in Females

The most common recommendation for weight loss is to reduce 500 calories from your TDEE for a weight loss of roughly 0.5kg/week. However, as previously mentioned, because everyone’s metabolism is so varied and individual, it is better to utilise a relative approach when it comes to reducing your calories.

  • Cautious Approach – 5-10% decrease in TDEE
  • Suggested Approach – 15% decrease in TDEE
  • Aggressive Approach – 20% decrease in TDEE
  • Very Aggressive Approach – 25% decrease in TDEE
  • Ultra Aggressive Approach (Requires Professional Supervision) – 30-40% decrease in TDEE

In general though, it is said that dropping your calories down anything less than 1200 calories over an extended period of time can be detrimental for good health, especially for women. Long term low calories can negatively affect your reproductive capacity, so it’s important to understand any side effects prior to taking on long term restrictive diets.

Calorie Calculator for Weight Gain in Females

Perhaps not the most common goal for women; for a select group, gaining weight is an important and necessary motive and is harder than it seems. A similar 500 calorie increase is still a figure more commonly recommended, however you should also follow a relative approach for best results.

  • Cautious Approach - 5% increase in TDEE
  • Suggested Approach – 10% increase in TDEE
  • Aggressive Approach – 20% increase in TDEE
  • Very Aggressive Approach – 30% increase in TDEE
  • Ultra Aggressive Approach (Requires Professional Supervision) – 35-40% increase in TDEE

It’s also important to note that those who are suffering from eating disorders such as anorexia nervosa need professional advice when it comes to gaining weight.

Calorie Calculator Summary

Counting calories is a time tested method for helping trainers and dieters to reach their weight goals. Seen as cumbersome, restrictive and simplistic in its view on healthy eating; you can’t deny that it provides an excellent and measurable starting point to assisting with losing or gaining weight. Counting calories was never meant to be a long term approach, but rather a short term strategy along with many others to help you reach your goal weight. Once you have reached your goal weight, all the other useful strategies employed along the way such as mindful eating will be what helps you to maintain that goal weight.

The key to successfully using calorie counting to assist in achieving your desired weight is to constantly monitor and adjust yourself and ensure you’re developing healthier eating habits while you are calorie counting. Once you know how many calories you need, it’s time to learn about your macronutrient requirements. To learn more, head on over to our Macronutrients Calculator Article for Females.

1. Frankenfield D, Roth-Yousey L, Compher C. ‘Comparison of predictive equations for resting metabolic rate in healthy nonobese and obese adults: a systematic review.’ J Am Diet Assoc. 2005 May;105(5):775-89.

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