What Is the Least Amount of Calories I Can Eat in a Day?

Calories provide energy you need for daily activities. When trying to lose weight, the calories you take in should be less than the calories you burn, but there is a limit beyond which you should not go unless you're under medical supervision.

Chopping celery on a cutting board. (Image: Design Pics/Design Pics/Getty Images)

Calorie Limits

Women should not consume less than 1,200 calories a day for safe weight loss, while for men, the lower limit is 1,500 calories per day, according to the Harvard Medical School publication,"HEALTHbeat." However, the National Institutes of Health notes that most women can safely lose weight consuming 1,000 to 1,200 calories a day, while men can consume 1,200 to 1,600 calories for safe weight loss. It's always best to consult with your doctor before you start any weight loss program to determine what is the appropriate amount of calories for you to consume daily, which will depend on your age, gender, activity level, current weight and dietary habits.

Determining Calories Needed

For a rough estimate of calories needed to maintain your current weight, simply multiply your weight by 15 if you are moderately active and 12 if you are not. To lose weight safely at 1 to 2 pounds per week, create a calorie deficit of 500 to 1,000 calories a day through a combination of diet and exercise.

Calorie Balance

Having a balance of the right amount of calories over time helps you maintain a healthy weight. If you eat too few calories one day, make up for it the next day. If you eat too many calories, reduce the amount you have the following day.

REFERENCES & RESOURCES
Load Comments
PARTNER & LICENSEE OF THE LIVESTRONG FOUNDATION

Copyright © 2019 Leaf Group Ltd. Use of this web site constitutes acceptance of the LIVESTRONG.COM Terms of Use , Privacy Policy and Copyright Policy . The material appearing on LIVESTRONG.COM is for educational use only. It should not be used as a substitute for professional medical advice, diagnosis or treatment. LIVESTRONG is a registered trademark of the LIVESTRONG Foundation. The LIVESTRONG Foundation and LIVESTRONG.COM do not endorse any of the products or services that are advertised on the web site. Moreover, we do not select every advertiser or advertisement that appears on the web site-many of the advertisements are served by third party advertising companies.