Patient: I am a 16 year old girl, weighing around 117. My height is 5’2. How many calories per day do I need to maintain my weight? And how many calories do I need per day to safely lose a few pounds?
Doctor: Generally, for a young person of your weight and height the daily calorie intake is around 1530 calories/day. In the ca ase that you want to lose a few pounds you should down to 1200 calories/day, if you go below 1000 calories/day you will experience a extreme fat loss. A pound of fat is equal to 3500 calories, and then a daily calorie deficit of 500 calories might result theoretically in approximately 1 pound per week fat loss. It is difficult to set an absolute bottom calorie level, because everyone has different body composition and activity levels, but generally it is accepted a baseline of: 1200 calories/day for women and 1800 calories/day for men. But again, all depends on the person’s activity levels, muscle mass and nutritional habits.