Q:

How many calories should a 56-year-old woman eat a day to lose weight?

A:

The amount of calories a person has in a day depends on many factors, including activity level, weight, height, age and gender. Women need to take in at the very least 1,200 calories daily when dieting, according to Shape magazine. Anything lower could cause heart issues or gallstones.

Taking in less than 1,200 calories should only be done if recommended by a doctor. There are several websites that allow a person to simply type in her information, like CalorieKing, and the site provides a calculation for calorie counting while a person is dieting. According to the USDA Food Guide Pyramid, a woman should take in 1,600 calories daily while not on a diet, and an active woman should take in 2,200 calories daily.

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