Hi Joan, congrats on working on getting healthy!
I use the ratio mainly for burning body fat (efficiently) & gaining muscle mass.
When I started using this site with my workout routine, I was not keenly aware of what ratios were all about. 10 years ago, I was somewhat active & ran along lake shore drive in the summer, but I didn't pay attention to my diet- so I ended up being a "skinny fat guy" I didn't have any muscular definition at all.
I've since been more conscientious of my nutritional/caloric needs for my goal of getting 10% body fat; since I've reached my target weight.
Searching through the interwebs, I found this site from a body builder:
How many calories should you eat each day?
I'm using the "Lean Gain/Fat Loss Eating Plan" ratio. However, I still lower my carb intake to around 200g/day since I'm still trying to burn excess fat- &, I currently am averaging 1,972cals/day.