Charts, Graphs, & Diagrams > Health Charts > Calorie Requirement

## Calorie Requirement Charts for Women and Men

These are very easy to use - no data input required. Find your calorie needs in the chart based on your weight and activity level.

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 Move your mouse over the chart to show weight and caloriesWeight:  Calories:
 Move your mouse over the chart to show weight and caloriesWeight:  Calories:

The calculations of calorie requirements found on the Web are mostly based on the Harris Benedict formula. Harris Benedict was a researcher who published his results more than 85 years ago. The formula goes like this:

```For women: ( 655.1 + (9.563 x kg) + (1.850 x cm) - (4.676 x age) ) x Activity_level

For men: ( 66.5 + (13.75 x kg) + (5.003 x cm) - (6.775 x age) ) x Activity_level
```

The Activity_level is based on the amount of exercise you get, and varies from 1.2 to 1.8 or perhaps as high as 2.0, depending on what source you look at.

From a statistical point of view, there are a lot of problems with this formula.

• Too many significant digits. Multiplying your height in centimeters by 5.003, instead of, say, 5, is a little silly when you can't measure your height to within more than half a centimeter or so.
• The significant digit problem is much worse when you consider that the Activity_level is a rough guess at best, and affects the result much more strongly than any of the other variables. For example, changing your age by 10 years only changes the calorie requirement by 68 calories, while changing your Activity_level estimate from 1.2 to 1.4 causes about a 300 calorie change.
• The formula makes no allowance for differences in metabolism between one person and another, or even from one time to another for the same person.

So, 'estimate' is an important word to remember here.

The charts were drawn for a 40 year old person of average height (5'9" for men, 5'4" for women).

### Weight Loss and Calorie Requirements

Using the chart, you can determine the calorie requirement for your target weight, then cut back your calorie intake accordingly. For example, you can see in the women's chart that a moderately active woman weighing 160 pounds burns about 2200 calories per day. For a 140 pound woman the figure is about 2050 calories. So, cutting back about 150 calories per day (2200 minus 2050) will eventually bring about a 20 pound weight loss, from 160 to 140.

#### Another way of approaching weight loss

A pound of fat contains about 3500 calories. So, to lose a pound of fat in a week, you need to one of the following three things:

#### Calorie burning chart

Here's a calorie burning chart from The President's Council on Physical Fitness and Sports

 A. Sedentary Activities Energy CostsCals/Hour* Lying down or sleeping 90 Sitting quietly 84 Sitting and writing,card playing, etc. 114 B. Moderate Activities (150-350) Bicycling (5 mph) 174 Canoeing (2.5 mph) 174 Dancing (Ballroom) 210 Golf (2-some, carrying clubs) 324 Horseback riding (sitting to trot) 246 Light housework, cleaning, etc. 246 Swimming (crawl, 20 yards/min) 288 Tennis (recreational doubles) 312 Volleyball (recreational) 264 Walking (2 mph) 198 C. Vigorous Activities More than 350 Aerobic Dancing 546 Basketball (recreational) 450 Bicycling (13 mph) 612 Circuit weight training 756 Football (touch, vigorous) 498 Ice Skating (9 mph) 384 Racquetball 588 Roller Skating (9 mph) 384 Jogging (10 minute mile, 6 mph) 654 Scrubbing Floors 440 Swimming (crawl, 45 yards/min) 522 Tennis (recreational singles) 450 X-country Skiing ( 5 mph) 690

*Hourly estimates based on values calculated for calories burned per minute for a 150 pound (68 kg) person.

*(Sources: "William D. McArdle, Frank I. Katch, Victor L. Katch, "Exercise Physiology: Energy, Nutrition and Human Performance" (2nd edition), Lea & Febiger, Philadelphia, 1986; Melvin H. Williams, "Nutrition for Fitness and Sport," William C. Brown Company Publishers, Dubuque, 1983.)