How Many Calorie Do I Need

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What Influences Daily Calorie Intake Needs

âDonât you tell me how many calories I need bi-â

Calories are a unit of measurement for energy. The words are often used interchangeably, as calories from food provide your body with energy to fuel everything from keeping your heart pumping to running a marathon. The amount of calories you burn per day is called your energy expenditure .

You cant calculate how many calories you need to maintain weight without first knowing your daily energy expenditure. A variety of factors influence how much energy you burn, but the three main categories are:

  • Basal metabolic rate
  • Physical activity

Wait What Even Are Calories

“All food gets broken down into energyand that measurement of energy is calories,” says Cassetty. So calories are simply a unit of energy. And every body, depending on age, sex, height, weight, and level of physical activity, needs a different amount of calories, per the Department of Health.

When it comes to weight loss and calories, the quality of the calories you’re consuming can also have a major impact on your weight loss goals. A 2019 study published in Cell Metabolism put 20 people on an unprocessed food diet and an ultra-processed diet for two weeks each. And the results showed that while on the processed food diet, participants gained two pounds and lost nearly two pounds with the unprocessed food diet. So be mindful of the types of calories you’re putting into your body, not just how many.

How Many Breakfast Calories Do You Need

Some of the most popular breakfast foods are high in fat and calories. For example, eggs cooked in butter, sausage, bacon, a peanut butter smoothie, and even oatmeal with toppings can substantially boost your total energy intakemaking it harder to lose weight.

But if you skimp on breakfast calories and have a small snack bar or a cup of coffee, youre likely to get hungry around 10 or 11 a.m. At that point, you might reach for whatevers handy to curb those hunger pangs, jeopardizing your weight loss goals.

Also Check: Low Carb Vegan Meal Plan

Increase Daily Activity Levels

One of the healthiest ways to create a calorie deficit is to increase your daily physical activity with a good workout.

Not only does exercise help you achieve and maintain a healthy weight, but it is also an effective way to improve your overall health .

There are two types of exercise to focus on weight training and cardiovascular exercise.

Weight Training

Training using weights is an especially important part of a weight loss program.

Strength training has been shown to help maintain lean muscle mass in individuals following a low-calorie diet .

This is very important because losing lean muscle tissue lowers how much energy your body burns on a day-to-day basis.

Regular strength training non only counters the loss of lean tissue, it encourages muscle growth and maintains a higher metabolic rate.

Cardio Exercise

Cardio exercise has also been shown to help people lose weight.

One study found that doing cardio exercises five days per week was enough to help participants achieve meaningful weight change .

Seek to increase your level of physical activity slowly over time.

The American College of Sports Medicine recommends doing a combination of strength-building exercise and cardio exercise 30 minutes per day at least five days of the week .

Even activities like a brisk walk can help you get more cardio exercise.

This combination helps create a healthy weight loss resulting from fat loss and not a change in muscle mass .

Minimum Daily Calorie Intake

This SIMPLE Formula Will Help You Calculate How Many Calories You Need ...

It is difficult to set absolute bottom calorie levels, because everyone has different body composition and activity levels.

Health authorities do set some baselines these are 1200 calories per day for women, and 1800 calories per day for men.

These rules dont make sense are you are sedentary person with little muscle mass? Or someone who is tall, muscular, and exercises a lot? Absolute levels dont work but do give us a starting point.

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How To Use This Information

For the purpose of weight loss, the AMR provides you the means to figure out how many calories you either need to exclude and/or how many calories you need to burn through added exercise, to lose a specific amount of weight.

For example, if your BMR is 1,400 and you are moderately active, your AMR would be 2,170 . Since a pound of fat is equal to 3,500 calories, you would need to cut 500 calories per day to lose a pound per week. This is called your calorie deficit.

If you plan to lose weight simply by diet, your daily calorie intake would be 1,670 . If you plan to do it by exercise alone, you would need to burn 500 calories each day above and beyond what you already do. For this reason, a combination of diet and exercise almost always achieves the best result.

How Many Calories Do Adults Need

Reviewed April 2021

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Many factors affect how many calories adults need. Some factors you cannot control. For example, your age and height. Activity level, on the other hand, is an example of something that impacts calorie needs that you can control.

Most people do not need to count calories. One way to ensure that you are eating enough but not too much is to get in tune with your body. We all have individual hunger and fullness cues. Try to get in touch with your personal cues. They are a helpful way to determine when and how much to eat:

  • Weakness, shakiness and irritability may be signs of hunger for many people.
  • Pacing yourself is an ideal way to assess fullness. For example, slowly eat half of your meal and then take a pause. Give your body a chance to begin to digest the food and think about how good it is to feel comfortably full and satisfied

That said, for those who are curious about the number of calories they need, there are lots of simple ways to find out.

Go with an Estimate

Calorie needs for adult women range from 1,600 to 2,200 per day. For men, the estimates range from 2,000 to 3,200 per day. The low end of the range may be better for you if you get little to no activity throughout the day. If you are very active throughout the day, the high end of the range may be more reflective of your needs. However, as we age, our calorie needs decrease.

Use an Online Calculator

Do the MyPlate Math


Read Also: Printable Carb Chart For Diabetics

How Many Calories Per Meal To Lose Weight

How many calories per meal to lose weight is the question we all ask ourselves. Whether we want to lose weight, gain weight, or maintain weight, the key is to be aware of what you are consuming, and how many calories are in those foods. We all know that the best way to lose weight is through exercise and caloric restriction, but that is only a part of the equation. Simply counting calories wont help you lose weight, especially if you are consuming more calories than you are expending. It is important to keep an accurate log of how many calories you are consuming per day, and to follow this closely as you continue to lose weight.

Calorie Needs For Women

How to Calculate How Many Calories You Need

Dietary Guidelines for Americans 2020-2025, Office of Disease Prevention and Health Promotion)

Keep in mind, these calorie recommendations are for people who are at a normal weight, notes Zumpano. If your weight is above the normal range for your height and your goal is weight loss, you need to consume less. A deficit of 500 calories can provide a weight loss of 1 pound per week.

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Can You Build Muscle And Lose Fat At The Same Time

At higher levels of body fat, your body can be in a calorie deficit and still build muscle, as long as strength training and higher protein intake is incorporated . This is because your body will use fat stores to fuel itself. Of course, this is difficult to achieve and can take longer than focusing on muscle gain or fat loss alone. It is also not an ideal approach for everyone.

Weight Loss By Calorie Counting

Asking the question “how many calories should I eat a day?” is a good start, as many people tend to have unrealistic expectations and often eat too much, resulting in unwanted weight gains. Once you know your recommended calorie intake and an estimate on how much calories to eat to lose weight, the next step is to control your caloric intake. This is often done by so-called calorie counting – estimating the amount of energy in your meals and adjusting your portions accordingly.

Here is a short table you can use for a rough judgement of the amount of calories in a meal, depending on it’s predominant nutrient type.

Calories in different nutrients

2 kcal per gram 200 kcal

Counting calories is good for losing weight, but is not by itself a recipe for healthy life. In order to have balanced diet rich in essential nutrients while staying below a certain calorie count, you can use a macro calculator to come up with a good mix of proteins, carbs and fats for your daily meals. Do not forget that a decent amount of exercise can go a long way in reaching a healthy weight.


Katch V.L., McArdle W.D., Katch F.I “Essentials of Exercise Physiology”, fourth edition

Prakash S. et al. “Human energy requirements”, report of a joint FAO/WHO/UNU expert consultation, part of the Food And Nutrition technical report series

Cite this calculator & page

Health calculators

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How To Eat More

It is not as easy as many people think, so saying Just eat more wont solve anything here. That problem is deeply rooted in our brains, and it is hard to overcome, that is why there are people who help others with that problem, and they are called dieticians.

So if you think that you are not able to do it on your own then we would suggest you visit a dietician and talk about your problem, but if you have enough courage to try and solve it on your own then we have some good tips for you.

Think about dishes that you like to eat more than others, and even write a list of those dishes, then try to mix them in a way that they will give you enough protein and vitamins, and that way you will be more likely to eat more.

Breakfast Can Curb Cravings

How Many Calories Do You Need?

Eating breakfast every dayespecially one rich in proteincan increase fullness throughout the day and reduce cravings. That means youre better able to make healthy food choices and consume appropriate portion sizes later.

Not only that, sticking to a regular meal pattern, including breakfast, with a shorter duration between meals helps prevent overeating, reduce stress, and improve circadian rhythm.

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How To Calculate Lean Body Mass

Body composition is a key element of gaining muscle mass. Your starting body fat percentage can affect how much muscle you can gain overall, how lean and shredded you look at the end and the type of bulking diet that works best for you.

Understanding how to calculate your percent body fat is also important for figuring out how much muscle mass you’ve actually gained, compared to fat.

You can calculate your body composition in a number of different ways, some are more accurate than others. Regardless of which method you choose, you should measure your progress using the same approach.

At home scales and handheld, readers are quick and inexpensive and don’t require the assistance of an expert, but tend to have a higher margin of error.

For a more accurate approach, numerous companies offer more accurate measurements, like underwater weighing and DXA scans, through appointments. These can be slightly more costly, but are significantly more accurate and provide more detailed readings. DXA scans can even show you where you store muscle and fat in your body in great detail.

Breakfast Keeps You Satiated

Hunger can be a real pain when youre trying to focus and get things done. Eating a nutrient-dense breakfast packed with protein and high-fiber whole grains can keep hunger pangs at bay and give you the energy you need to tackle the day. Plus, it takes the body longer to digest protein and fiber allowing you to feel full for a longer period of time.

One study looked at the effects of a breakfast containing eggs on energy and satiety. Researchers found that those who ate eggs had more energy and were satisfied longer after their meal than those who only ate cereal. They also found that those who included eggs with breakfast ended up eating less at their next subsequent meal 4 hours later .

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Keep Counting And Calculate Calories Daily

Now that you have a target, a plan, and a system, all you must do is the hard part. Live your life, eat food, and stay within your calorie target. If you go over your target, do not despair! Life happens. When the sun rises, just pick it up from where you left off. Meal by meal, day by day, week by week, you will lose weight if you stick to your Calorie Calculation.

When things like your weight, lifestyle, or age change, just recalculate and keep going. Many obstacles will arise, but never stop fighting the fat!

How Many Men Can Burn

How Many Calories Should You Eat To Lose Fat? (GET THIS RIGHT!)

When it comes to exercise, men can burn between 400 and 500 calories during an hour of moderate-intensity activity. This means that if you want to lose weight and maintain your current body mass index , you should consume at least 3,000 calories per day. To lose 1 pound per week , or roughly 3 percent of your body mass per month, adjust your caloric intake accordingly so that it equals at least 25 percent below maintenance levels for women and 35 percent below maintenance levels for men without also gaining any additional weight in the process! To keep yourself sexually energetic use one pill of Fildena 150 everyday.

Also Check: High Protein Low Carbs Meals

What Is The Simplest Diet You Can Live On

In her book The Scandi Sense Diet she details a plan that the beauty and health blog Get the Gloss called the simplest diet in the world. Under the diet each meal should consist of four handfuls of food one handful of protein one of carbohydrates and two of vegetables plus a spoonful of fat.

How Many Calories Per Day To Gain Weight

Whether you want to gain fat or muscle: to gain weight, you have to eat a little more than you consume. Your body can then use the excess calories to build muscle tissue, or to store fat.

Again, the difference with your energy consumption should not be too great. Then you store the surplus of energy as organ fat, and that is very unhealthy! It is best to eat 110% of your consumption. So if you consume 2500 kcal daily, you eat to gain 1.1 x 2500 = 2750 kcal.

Also Check: Printable List Of Good Carbs For Diabetics

The Best Strategies To Eat Fewer Calories

According to WebMD director of nutrition Kathleen M. Zelman, the key to consuming fewer calories is to select foods that are low in energy density.

Energy density is the amount of calories in a portion of food. Choosing low energy density meals allow you to eat a bit more and feel full longer. This helps prevent you from snacking on calorie-rich snacks in between meals.

What foods are low in energy density? These include fruits and vegetables that are high in fiber and water content. Here’s an example that shows how much more you can eat if you consume a low energy density snack.

Snack, 100 calories

100 100

For 100 calories, eating 2 cups of grapes is more satisfying than eating just 1/4 cup of raisins. Therefore, replacing high calorie foods with greens, protein and fruits can help manage weight and hunger pangs. High fiber foods aid in suppressing hunger, while calorie-dense foods tend to make people crave more food.

Is skipping meals a good idea? This is generally not recommended, according to the National Health Services . Skipping meals can make you feel tired, making you more likely to overeat during your next meal.

Here are other effective ways to cut calories:

What Happens When Calories Are Too Low

What are Calories? How Much Do You Need Per Day to Lose Weight?
  • Muscle mass is broken down for energy .
  • Metabolic rate will begin to drop after 3 days of very low calories this is related to, and compounded by the loss of muscle mass.
  • With very low calories you risk sluggishness, nutritional deficiencies, fatigue, and often irritability.
  • You are completely set-up for a regain in fat if you suddenly return to your previous eating patterns.

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