Use this calorie calculator to determine how many daily calories your body needs to lose, gain, or maintain your weight.
Activity Levels Defined
Sedentary Lifestyle Little or no exercise.
Lightly Active Lifestyle Light exercise or sports 1 - 3 days/week.
Moderately Active Lifestyle Moderate exercise or sports 3 - 5 days/week.
Very Active Lifestyle Hard exercise or sports 6 - 7 days/week.
Extra Active Lifestyle Very hard exercise or sports 6 - 7 days/week.
Note: This calculator is very accurate in all but the very muscular (will under-estimate calorie needs) and the very fat (will over-estimate
What are Calories?
A calorie is a unit of energy. Generally, a calorie refers to energy consumption through food and beverage consumption, and energy usage through physical activity. Everyone requires different amounts of energy per day depending on age, size and activity levels. Using the calculator above will help you determine your bodies daily caloric needs.
In order to maintain your current weight, you must consume the same number of calories as you burn. Calories in is equal to calories out. Conversely, if you are wanting to lose weight, this can be accomplished by consuming less calories or burning more calories, i.e. calories in is less than calories out. If you wish to consume less, you will want to eat 500-1000 fewer calories per day than calculated, or as an alternative, eat 15-20% fewer calories than calculated. If you wish to burn more calories over consuming fewer, you should increase your physical activity – you can consume more calories and still sustain weight loss as long as you eat fewer calories than calculated. Keep in mind that leaner bodies need more calories than less lean bodies. Lastly, if you wish to gain weight, calories in should be greater than calories out. This should be accomplished by having a caloric-dense diet.
Basal Metabolic Rate (BMR)
Your basal metabolic rate is the amount of calories your body while at rest. Some body processes requiring energy include: breathing, blood circulation, controlling body temperature, cell growth, brain and nerve function, and contraction of muscles.
Your BMR accounts for roughly 60 to 75% of your daily calorie expenditure.
- Liver: 25%
- Brain: 19%
- Skeletal Muscle: 18%
- Kidneys: 10%
- Heart: 7%
- Other Organs: 19%
BMR will vary from person-to-person. Some intrinsic factors affecting basal metabolic rate include: weight, height, surface area, gender, body composition, body temperature, age, hormone levels, and overall health.
- Metabolic rates increase with an increase in body weight, height, and surface area.
- Metabolic rates are lower in fat tissues that muscle tissue.
- Metabolic rates are lower in women than men.
- Metabolic rates decrease with age.
- Metabolic rates increase with an increase in body temperature.
- Metabolic rates vary in response to T4 hormone levels. T4 is the key hormone released by your thyroid glands and has a significant affect on body weight.
- Metabolic rates increase with a decrease in overall health.
To lose weight, you will need to reduce your daily caloric intake below your total daily calorie requirement indicated by your BMR plus your activity level.
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