Calories

How Many Can I Have?

The limit for empty calories is based on estimated calorie needs by age/gender group. Physical activity increases calorie needs, so those who are more physically active need more total calories and have a larger limit for empty calories. The chart gives a general guide.

Age and gender

Estimated calories for those who are not physically active

 

Total daily calorie needs*

Daily limit for empty calories

Children 2-3 yrs

1000 cals

135**

Children 4-8 yrs

1200-1400 cals

120

Girls 9-13 yrs

1600 cals

120

Boys 9-13 yrs

1800 cals

160

Girls 14-18 yrs

1800 cals

160

Boys 14-18 yrs

2200 cals

265

Females 19-30 yrs

2000 cals

260

Males 19-30 yrs

2400 cals

330

Females 31-50 yrs

1800 cals

160

Males 31-50 yrs

2200 cals

265

Females 51+ yrs

1600 cals

120

Males 51+ yrs

2000 cals

260

* These amounts are appropriate for individuals who get less than 30 minutes of moderate physical activity most days. Those who are more active need more total calories, and have a higher limit for empty calories. To find your personal total calorie needs and empty calories limit, enter your information into "My Daily Food Plan."

** The limit for empty calories is higher for children 2 and 3 years old than it is for some older children, because younger children have lower nutrient needs and smaller recommended intakes from the basic food groups.

print page