How many calories does a woman need?

We all know the age-old theory that reducing calories in and increasing exercise is a win-win formula but why does success vary so much for women? With so much information (and misinformation) on the internet, it’s easy to feel overwhelmed and confused. This article aims to cut through the calorie jargon and answer two of the most asked questions – what is the ideal number of calories for a woman and how can a calorie calculator help me to lose weight?

Never a one size solution fits all

Women come in all shapes and sizes, and therefore so do our energy needs. Before I start my clients on their individual fitness journey, I encourage them to use my simple and free Calorie Calculator to discover their personal Total Daily Energy Expenditure (TDEE).

TDEE and the Calorie Calculator for weight loss

Total Daily Energy Expenditure (TDEE) is an estimation of how many calories you burn per day when exercise is taken into account. It is calculated by first figuring out your Basal Metabolic Rate, then multiplying that value by an activity multiplier.

Your Basal Metabolic Rate (BMR) is the number of daily calories your body needs to accomplish its most basic (basal) life-sustaining functions. I like to call this your “Coma Calories” as this is how many calories your body would burn if you were in a coma for 24hrs.

However, this is just the daily calories your body needs to function, the number we need to find out is your Total Daily Energy Expenditure (TDEE).

Once you have used my Calorie Calculator to establish your Total Daily Energy Expenditure – you then know what “Maintenance calories” you have to work with. I can then help you break these down into Macros (Macronutrients) – check out my Dieting Kept Simple blog for help on how to achieve a calorie deficit through your diet.

To drop body fat, I suggest you make an initial reduction of 300 kcal from your Total Daily Energy Expenditure (TDEE).

Daily calories for a woman – calorie counting made easy

Now you know your TDEE, you can begin to address your fitness goals, safe in the knowledge that the science is covered.

I’d like to take this moment to demystify one of the biggest myths when talking about weight loss in women: weight training will make me look manly.

In my next blog, I will discuss Cardio vs Weight training to disarm the many myths surrounding weight training and women. However as this topic is so close to my heart I couldn’t resist touching on some of the key points here.

Weight training can be used to help build shape and enhance your beautiful curves, but besides the aesthetic benefits of lifting weights, there are also loads of health benefits associated with regular weight training.

Skinny or strong – why be exclusive?

Strength training is no longer reserved for pumped-up guys in weights rooms, more and more women are factoring strength-based sessions into their workout week and rightly so. A misconception of the word strength is common in the fitness world and is often associated with being bulky or lifting the heaviest weights which can be discouraging for beginners.

If you are interested in my Beginner’s Guide To Weight Training programme, click here to find out more.

The health benefits of weight training in woman

Lifting weights in line with a balanced diet can make you leaner, stronger and enhance your curves in all the right places. With this in mind I want you to trust me 100% when I say lifting weights will get you the body you are after!

There are loads of health benefits associated with regular weight training but in short, picking up those weights (when you do it properly!) will:

  • Burn more calories
  • Burn more fat
  • Increase bone density
  • Improve posture

In order to build lean tissue you have to break down the muscle fibers and this means stepping outside of your comfort zone. If you want to make changes to your body, you have to be prepared to up your game and do things you haven’t done before. Ultimately keeping a good technique is paramount, but once you have mastered your form it is imperative that you increase the weight and challenge yourself.

Not only will this do wonders for your self-esteem but you will be burning more calories whilst making the changes to your physique you’ve been longing for.

Weight Training – v – Cardio

Does weight training burn calories more effectively than cardio? The simple answer is YES!

Muscles are metabolically active. Therefore, the more muscle you have the faster your metabolic rate will be. The higher your metabolic rate, the more calories you burn as a result. Also, weight training burns calories long after you leave the gym. In fact some research has demonstrated that “afterburner” peaks in the first hour after exercise but continues for up to 72 hours. That means your body could keep burning extra calories for as long as three days after a workout! That’s got to be good, right?!

A helping hand with healthy eating

With restrictions easing and restaurants open again for inside dining, it’s time to quit the Lockdown banana bread baking and move over to more nutritious meal planning… but with life becoming so busy again do you really have the time?

Lynsey Suzanne Fitness is proud to partner with Hunger Foods – a socially responsible company run by two best friends who understand the vital link between food and our mental health. These food entrepreneurs share a passion for fresh, delicious and nutritious meals that are conveniently delivered to your door. Their meals are well balanced, adventurous and certainly never boring!

I will be posting an article soon on Fitness & Mental Health and would love to hear your individual stories. You can email me or contact me on my socials below.

If you’re struggling with meal plan ideas, then contact me for a cheeky 20% discount code to get you started and create a wow at the dinner table once again.


Follow Lynsey Suzanne Fitness on Instagram or Facebook or Clubhouse to stay up-to-date on the latest workout techniques and nutrition advice.

Leave a Comment

Your email address will not be published.