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# How Many Calories Does a Healthy Person Need a Day?

by
Kim Nunley
Kim Nunley has been screenwriting and working as an online health and fitness writer since 2005. She’s had multiple short screenplays produced and her feature scripts have placed at the Austin Film Festival. Prior to writing full-time, she worked as a strength coach, athletic coach and college instructor. She holds a master's degree in kinesiology from California State University, Fullerton.
A healthy person eats the right number of calories to maintain function. Photo Credit karelnoppe/iStock/Getty Images

The number of calories that a healthy person eats per day depends on the number of calories he needs to allow proper function while maintaining a healthy body composition. You can determine the number of calories you should eat each day to reach and maintain proper health.

## Factors to Consider

A healthy person will eat an adequate number of calories so her tissues will function properly, but she will refrain from consuming excess calories, because those calories left over will be stored as body fat. The number of calories needed to maintain health varies greatly between individuals because of differences in size, age and physical activity levels. Larger people will need to eat more than smaller people. Older people will need fewer calories than younger people.

## Calorie Calculation

To determine the number of calories you should eat to be healthy, calculate how many calories you naturally burn every day, which is referred to as your metabolic rate. A man determines his metabolic rate by the following calculation:

66 + (6.23 x weight in lbs.) + (12.7 x height in inches) – (6.8 x age in years).

A woman determines her rate by the following calculation:

655 + (4.35 x weight in lbs.) + (4.7 x height in inches) – (4.7 x age in years).

## Making Adjustments

Now that you have found the number of calories you burn every day, determine the number of calories you should eat to be healthy by making adjustments with respect to your body composition goals. If you want to maintain your current weight, eat the same number of calories as your metabolic rate. If you need to lose body fat, subtract 500 from your daily metabolic rate to find the number of calories you should eat. This will equate to a 3500-calorie deficit and 1 pound of fat loss per week.

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GOAL
• Gain 2 pounds per week
• Gain 1.5 pounds per week
• Gain 1 pound per week
• Gain 0.5 pound per week
• Maintain my current weight
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• Lose 1 pound per week
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