It’s no secret, humans can get by on a wide range of different diets and calorie intakes. This data visualization shows just how extreme this range can be, going from 500 calories all the way up to 50,000 calories per day.
While diets can vary wildly, most of the data points for daily calorie intake will fall between the 1,000-4,000 range. In certain extreme scenarios people may fall outside of this range. Let’s take a look!
Cats are pretty lazy… especially house cats. They sit around and sleep for a majority of the day so their calorie needs are quite low. The average cat will only need 200 calories per day to sustain itself.
The 5-2 diet is a nutrition protocol where practitioners eat a normal amount of food 5 days per week, and restrict to ~500 calories for 2 days per week. This is meant to simulate eating patterns of our ancestors and to give the digestive system a rest.
A relatively large dog will eat around 800 calories per day. This depends heavily on the activity level of the dog. A farm dog will eat significantly more than a dog of the same size living in a New York City apartment.
This is one of the most interesting data points on the chart. A two year old toddler will eat around 1200 calories per day! This seems quite high relative to the calorie intake of a full grown human, but the need for such a large amount of calories is due to the fact that a two year old is growing rapidly.
The average man needs around 2400 calories per day and the average woman needs around 2000. This is highly variable based on size, muscle mass, activity level, and age. Men need more calories than woman because they are larger on average and they have more muscle mass. Muscle mass is the largest contributor to your caloric needs because it is metabolically active tissue that needs energy to sustain.
Again, this depends on the size of the person, but on average a marathon runner will eat around 3400 calories per day.
This is a bit of a shocker, but the average American eats 3770 calories per day. This is significantly more than is necessary and is a byproduct of our modern food system. Calories are more abundantly available in more delicious forms than ever before.
In the U.K. the average consumption on Christmas Day is over 7000 calories. This is more than triple the required calorie intake for most humans and nearly double the average daily calorie intake. People love to take full advantage of the holidays. This year try some healthier alternatives for your favorite Christmas and Thanksgiving Recipes.
Known for their tremendous size, sumo wrestlers eat a whopping 10,000 calories per day. This is required to maintain mass and strength for competition.
Michael Phelps is well known for his crazy high calorie consumption, especially when he is training for competition. At his peak he would eat 12000 calories per day.
The large land animal in the world eats an incredible 50,000 calories per day. Not only are elephants gigantic, they are also relatively active and have extreme high caloric requirements.