How Many Calories Should A 140 Pound Woman Eat


How many calories should a 140 pound woman eat to lose weight? Well, that depends on how much exercise she does each day. Based on the Harris Benedict formula, a 140 pound woman exercising 3 times a week will need around 2,300 calories to maintain her weight. If she exercises 6 times each week then she’ll need around 1,800 calories.

How Many Calories Should You Eat to Weigh 140 Pounds?

Young smiling female holding a weight scale and an apple

The proper balance of calories helps you maintain weight.

Different people need different amounts of calories to maintain a healthy weight. Calories help fuel the body and prevent it from burning stored fat for basic functions. When you eat the proper amount of calories, your body functions efficiently and you neither lose nor gain weight.

Basal Metabolic Rate

Your basal metabolic rate indicates how many calories your body needs to perform basic functions like breathing and digestions. Women can calculate BMR by multiplying your weight in pounds by 4.35, then adding 655. Add that number to the product of 4.7 multiplied by your height in inches. Then multiply 4.7 by your age in years and subtract that number from your previous total.

For men, calculate your BMR by adding 66 to the product of 6.23 multiplied by your weight in pounds. Add that to the product of 12.7 multiplied by your height in inches. Finally, multiply 6.8 by your age in years and subtract that number from your previous total.

Activity Level Affects Caloric Requirements

The Harris-Benedict equation calculates the total number of calories you need by taking your basal metabolic rate (BMR) and multiplying it by an activity factor. There are five activity levels; the more active you are, the higher the multiplier is to calculate the number of calories to maintain weight.

What Factors Affect Your Calorie Needs?

Your dietary calorie needs depend on your age, sex, metabolism, activity level, and body size. To get an idea of the total calories you should include in your daily diet, multiply your current weight by 15 if you’re moderately active or by 13 if you’re not.

The following list looks at factors that affect your calorie needs.

  • Your age: Calorie needs peak at about age 25 and then decline by about 2 percent every 10 years. So if you’re 25 years old and need 2,200 calories to maintain your weight, you’ll need only 2,156 by the time you’re 35; 2,113 at age 45; 2,071 at age 55; and so on. The aging body replaces muscle with fat, which burns fewer calories than muscle does. Staying active and doing muscle-strengthening exercises keeps muscle mass in tact. Recent work with seniors proves that you can build muscle at any age.
  • Your sex: An adult man has less body fat and about 10 to 20 percent more muscle than a woman of the same size and age. Because muscle burns more calories than fat does, a man’s calorie needs are generally about 5 to 10 percent higher than a woman’s. The exception for women is during pregnancy and breast-feeding.
  • Your metabolism: A living body needs a minimum number of calories to maintain vital functions, such as breathing and keeping its heart beating. This minimum number is called Basal Metabolic Rate (BMR).A quick way to approximate your BMR is to multiply your current weight by 10 if you’re a woman or by 11 if you’re a man. A 150-pound woman needs about 1,500 calories a day; a 175-pound man needs about 1,925 calories. Additional calories are needed for digestion and activity.
  • Your genetic blueprint: The metabolic rate that you inherit from your family in part determines the number of calories that your body needs to function, and you can’t change this. Inherited metabolic diseases, specifically those that affect your thyroid, can cause you to burn calories very quickly or very slowly. A malfunctioning thyroid gland can sabotage your best weight-loss efforts. Your physician can perform tests to determine your thyroid function.
  • Your body shape and the shape you’re in: Your body shape and size affect the number of calories you need because muscle burns more calories than body fat does. So if you’re solid and have a greater proportion of muscle to fat, your metabolism is higher. Likewise, if you have more body fat and less muscle, your metabolism is lower, and you have a greater tendency to store fat than someone who is tall and thin.
  • Your activity level: When you’re active, you burn calories. And if you burn (or expend) more calories than you eat, you lose weight. The kind of exercise you choose, and how long and how intensely you do it, determines exactly how many calories you burn. Some types of activity even help your body burn calories after you stop exercising — an added bonus!

Suggested Calorie Counts for Women

Suggested Calorie Counts for Women

The number of calories you eat each day determines how much you weigh, and your body weight determines your calorie needs. Women need fewer calories each day than men; the Dietary Guidelines for Americans 2010 estimate that most women need 1,600 to 2,400 calories, while men require 2,000 to 3,000 calories each day for healthy weight maintenance. Individualized calorie needs for women are based on their current body weight and physical activity level.

Weight Loss

According to Weight Control Information Network, about 64 percent of U.S. women are either overweight or obese. Women who weigh more than they would like to can benefit from consuming 1,000 to 1,600 calories per day to safely lose weight, according to the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services. Overweight or obese women trying to move toward a healthier body weight need about 10 calories per pound of their ideal body weight each day, according to Washington State University. For example, a woman with an ideal body weight of 125 pounds can lose weight eating about 1,250 calories per day.

Non-Active Women

Women who are sedentary can maintain their body weight by consuming about 1,600 to 2,000 calories per day, according to the Dietary Guidelines for Americans 2010. More specifically, non-active women need 13 calories per pound of their body weight each day, according to Harvard Medical School. For example, a sedentary 127-pound woman needs about 1,651 calories each day for weight maintenance. Younger women generally need more calories than women over age 50, since metabolism decreases with age.

Moderately Active Women

Women who are moderately active, or exercise the equivalent of walking 1.5 to 3 miles per day, need about 1,800 to 2,200 calories, according to the USDA. Based on Harvard Medical School and the University of Washington calorie guidelines, moderately active women need 15 to 16 calories per pound of their body weight each day for weight maintenance. For example, a 127-pound moderately active woman needs about 1,905 to 2,032 calories each day to maintain her weight.

Regular Exercisers

Active women are those who exercise the equivalent of walking more than 3 miles per day, according to the Dietary Guidelines for Americans 2010. These guidelines estimate that active women need 2,000 to 2,400 calories per day to maintain a healthy weight. More specifically, Harvard Medical School reports that women who exercise regularly at a vigorous intensity need 18 calories per pound of body weight each day. Therefore, a 127-pound woman needs about 2,286 calories per day to maintain her weight. Women athletes who participate in strenuous training lasting more than 1 hour likely require additional calories. North Carolina State University reports that athletes trying to build muscle mass need 24 to 27 calories per pound of body weight each day.

How many calories should I eat to maintain 140 lbs?

Plugging your numbers into the equation—assuming you are moderately active—shows that to maintain a weight of 140 pounds, you should get 2,180 calories per day.

How many calories do I need to maintain 155 pounds?

If you multiply 155 by 15, you will get 2,325, which is the number of calories per day that you need in order to maintain your current weight (weight-maintenance calories).

How many calories do I need to sustain my weight?

They require an average of 2,800 calories per day to maintain their weight and up to 3,000 if they’re active. To lose 1 pound (0.45 kg) per week, moderately active young men should consume 2,300–2,500 calories daily.

Readjusting calorie consumption as you lose weight

Readjusting calorie consumption as you lose weight

(HealthDay)—If you find that your weekly weight loss is slowing down, maybe it’s time to readjust your calorie intake.

First, some calorie math.

Your calorie baseline is the number of calories you need to maintain your weight. Most diets are based on reducing that number by 1,000 calories a day for a two-pound-a-week loss. But the less you weigh, the fewer calories needed to maintain your weight, and fewer still to lose weight. For instance, you need about 100 fewer calories a day if you drop from 160 to 140 pounds.

For example:

  • If you’re moderately active, it takes about 2,250 calories a day to maintain 160 pounds, and 1,250 calories a day to lose 2 pounds per week.
  • If you’re moderately active, it takes about 2,150 calories a day to maintain 140 pounds and 1,150 calories a day to lose 2 pounds a week.

So, without lowering the total number of calories you’re eating on your diet, that 2 pound-a-week weight loss could drop off a bit. You’ll still lose weight, just not as fast.

To keep losing at the same rate, increase exercise, reduce calories, or try a combination of both. High-protein and high-fiber foods are often more satisfying, so choosing fish and whole-grain cereals, for example, will help you feel fuller on less.

For a more exact approach, try an online calculator that uses your height, weight, age and activity level to determine your changing calorie needs. Recalculate every time you lose 5 to 10 pounds.

Finding the Correct Number of Calories to Shed Pounds

How many calories do you need to eat each day? That’s a key question if you’re trying to instill healthier habits and hold the line on weight gain.

It all comes down to numbers–calories in, calories out–and finding the right balance to maintain your weight. Tip it too much toward intake and the pounds will pile on, but tilt it the other way, even slightly, and it’s just a matter of time before unneeded pounds drop off.

The trick, of course, is figuring out how many calories are enough, which requires estimating resting metabolic rate–the number of calories required just to stay alive.

About 20% of the resting metabolic rate is accounted for by the brain and nervous system. The liver gobbles up about 32%, while the heart and lungs each take about 10% of total calories. The rest goes to the kidneys (7%) and other tissues in the body (21%.)

Resting metabolic rate varies from person to person. It declines with age but generally runs a little higher in men because of greater muscle mass, which burns more calories than does fat. That means a 160-pound man gets to eat a few more calories daily than a 160-pound woman.

Resting metabolic rate can be measured down to the calorie with sophisticated and costly medical equipment. Cheaper, hand-held devices streamline measurement and are used as marketing tools by health clubs. But for the vast majority of folks, the rate is easily estimated with a few simple calculations or by using an online calculator designed to measure resting metabolic rate (www.dallasdieti

To do the math yourself: Take body weight in pounds and multiply by 10. Then add about 20% to 40% more calories for a sedentary lifestyle; 40% to 60% for a more-active daily life, and 60% to 80% for a highly active lifestyle. (Thus, a 120-pound moderately active person needs to eat about 1,680 calories–1,200 plus about 480 calories for activity–to maintain his or her weight, while a sedentary 150-pound person would need to consume about 1,800 calories daily–1,500 calories plus 300–to keep the bathroom scale steady.)

Even easier: Use the U.S. Dietary Guidelines, which recommend 1,600 calories a day for children, women and older adults; 2,200 a day for older children, teen girls, active women and most men and 2,800 a day for adolescent boys and active men.

Not surprisingly, weight loss is a different story and requires trimming calories below those required to maintain weight. One pound is equal to about 3,500 calories. Spread that over a week, and it works out to a deficit of about 500 calories a day–an amount that many weight-loss experts recommend achieving by cutting back on food (about 250 calories) and exercising a little more (to burn about 250 calories daily). If you do this, you’ll lose about a pound a week. Cut just 250 calories a day (125 in food, 125 in exercise) and lose approximately half a pound a week.

Or take a lesson from Thomas Wadden, director of the Weight and Eating Disorders Clinic at the University of Pennsylvania. For weight loss, he recommends eating 1,200 to 1,500 calories a day for women and 1,500 to 1,800 calories a day for men.

Of course, reducing calories almost certainly means counting them. Yet, studies show that people are notoriously bad at accurately tracking calories, a failing that gets worse with increasing body mass index. In other words, lean people “underestimate their daily calories by about 20%, while overweight people underestimate their calories by about 40%,” Wadden says.

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