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Here are examples for both weight maintenance and weight loss. The final figure will vary according to such things as health, weight and level of activity. Here are general guidelines. Bear in mind that less than 1500 calories a day may slow down your metabolism and put a serious strain on your nutritional requirements.

The final number will also depend on whether you want to:

maintain weight

lose weight
gain weight.

Here are the guidelines:

1. 2,000 (or 2,300 calories per day if you are quite physically active).

2. If you need to lose weight, start by eating 300 to 500 fewer calories per day and engage in cardio exercise. (The FDA recommends that women should consume 1500 to 2000 calories a day depending on whether they need to lose weight or maintain weight.)

3. If this does not work for weight loss, count carbohydrates rather than calories or count both carbohydrates and calories.

4. If you are insulin resistant (and many people are without being aware of it), you may need to count both carbohydrates and calories in order to achieve weight loss. If so, the low carbohydrate range for weight loss is 20 to 50 carbohydrates per day.

For free fruit and vegetable calorie and carbohydrate chartsthat are used as daily guides for either weight loss or weight maintenance, see the page links, further down this page, at the bottom of this answer.

VERY IMPORTANT: Where your calories come from is crucial, whether you want to lose weight, gain weight, or maintain weight. Strictly limit calories from refined processed carbohydrates (apart from an occasional treat). These high calorie, high carbohydrate, foods are a major cause of weight gain, insulin resistance, high blood pressure, obesity, type 2 Diabetes, Heart disease, and many other diet related diseases. Replace refined processed carbohydrates with 'fat burning' foods. By doing that you can take full advantage of the thermic effect of these nutritious foods. Fat burning foods are a more nutritious source of calories for either optimum health, weight loss, or weight maintenance. If you are unsure what these two food types are, at the bottom of this answer, you will find page links to lists.

So, for the free charts and lists to show you the way forward see the page links below:

1. Free Calories in Fruit Chart (for weight loss or weight maintenance)
2. Free Calories in Vegetables Chart (for weight loss or weight maintenance)
3. List of Refined Processed Carbohydrates (high calorie unhealthy foods to avoid or limit for either good health, weight maintenance or weight loss)
4. List of Fat Burning Foods (to replace refined processed carbohydrates) and more about the excellent fat-burning thermic effect of foods
5. More information about the calories needed per day

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Q: How many calories should a woman consume daily?
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How many calories should a 72 year old woman have daily?

There is no one answer to this question. How many calories a 72 year old woman should consume daily depends on several factors: her height, her metabolic rate, how active she is.


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