Weight Loss

From the effects of the hormone cortisol to the role of genetics in weight loss, this category is packed with everything that you need to know about losing weight the healthy way.

Recommended Calorie Intake: What’s the Deal?

Sometimes a number is the easiest thing to monitor, but does calorie counting actually help when you are trying to lose weight?


We blame calories for obesity, shun them when we want to lose weight and punish ourselves for eating them. Most of us frantically count calories on nutrition labels and desperately cling to the idea that counting those calories will help us lose weight.

But counting calories or consuming less than the recommended calorie intake is not the answer to successful weight-loss. The truth is that calories are good. Calories are our friends. We need good calories to give us energy and allow our bodies to function on a daily basis.

Recommended Calorie Intake.

The secret is this: know your recommended calorie intake and you’re on the path to success.

Your recommended calorie intake varies depending on age, gender, height, weight and level of activity. However, there are some basic guidelines you can follow to ensure you’re eating healthy:

The cold, hard facts:

The FDA presents two recommended calorie intake levels, each with a guideline of 30% of total intake from fat calories.

For a female adult the level is around 2,000 calories per day, with 600 fat calories.

For a male adult the level is around 2,500 calories per day, with 750 fat calories.

The FDA gives a standardized measurement of 2,000 calories a day. Those values are okay for some people, if their goal is to maintain a healthy weight and they’re being active.

Our program provides a recommended calorie intake of 1,100-1,400 calories a day with 40-50% total caloric intake from lean, adequate protein, 20-25% of calories from healthy fats and 30-35% from complex carbohydrates.

The calorie intake levels above are recommended if you’re trying to maintain a healthy weight. If you are overweight, you should eat less than the recommended calorie intake amount to lose that weight.

Calorie Intake vs. Calories Burned.

It’s also a good idea to keep track of your calorie intake vs. the amount of calories you’ve burned.

When you exercise your metabolism speeds up and burns calories at a much faster rate.

According to Dr. Cederquist, if your calorie intake and calories burned ratio is distorted, you may experience severe side effects such as fatigue, constipation, nausea and diarrhea or gallstone formation.

With a calorie controlled diet from bistroMD, calories are strictly watched, but portions are large. That way, you’re still being healthy, but your body is consuming fewer calories than its burning.

Remember, if you consume the recommended calorie intake levels for your body, calories are your friend. Just don’t abuse them or they’ll become your enemy.

Written By bistroMD Team. Published on May 21, 2013. Updated on June 14, 2019.


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