Calorie Calculator: Find Your Caloric Needs

This calorie calculator can be used to estimate the number of calories a person should be consuming each day. It can also provide a simple guideline for how many calories that person would need to consume to gain or lose weight based on their activity level. Needs may be slightly different, but this is a good place to start.

If you are looking for an app to help track calories: try this one!


Additional Information

The calorie value obtained by completing this calorie calculator is the estimated number of calories that the individual would need to consume in order to maintain their bodyweight. If the individual is trying to gain or lose weight use the recommendations below to achieve those goals.

Check out the Calories Infographic: An Introduction

Weight Loss

Learn more about calculating calories for weight loss or keep reading for an overview!

blue tape measuring on clear glass square weighing scale to demonstrate weight loss using a calorie calculator

To lose one pound per week the individual would be recommended to subtract 500 calories off of the estimate for daily maintenance calories. This is assuming that individual changes nothing else in their daily energy output. For example, someone who removed 500 calories from their daily caloric intake but also did additional cardio to burn 250 calories they would be expected to lose closer to 1.5 pounds per week. In that same line of thought, if someone were to keep calories at maintenance level but add in an additional daily calorie burn of 500 calories, they should expect to lose about one pound per week as well.

Weight Loss Recommendations

It is recommended that individuals do not lower calorie intake by more than 1,000 calories as this can be unhealthy and reduce metabolism. Losing more than 2 pounds per week can also cause the loss of muscle mass.

It is also important that the individual does not deprive their body of its required nutrients such as fiber and water while trying to lose weight as this can be extremely unhealthy.

Weight Gain

An individual should consume 500 additional calories per day to gain one pound per week. Once again assuming the individual does not change their daily caloric expenditure. Keep in mind that this is not necessarily muscle gained. There are many other factors that come into play when trying to gain muscle such as activities performed throughout the day. If your main goal is to gain muscle, weight training is a great way to ensure you gain lean body mass. Complete protein is also an important factor in muscle recovery when trying to build lean mass.

Counting Calories

Try this to make calorie counting easier!

Calorie counting is the most basic and commonly effective way to increase or decrease bodyweight. The calorie recommendations from this calculator do not consider proportions of macronutrients consumed. Minimally process foods are more conducive to healthy weight loss and maintenance. This is why a balanced diet is the best way to go.

What is the best way to lose weight?

There is no set “best way” to lose or gain weight. For this reason it is important to find what works for the individual. The most basic breakdown, however, is that calories consumed minus calories expended throughout the week will result in change. The change will be weight gain if the result is positive and weight loss if the result is negative. Although it isn’t necessarily healthy, only net calories are important for matters of weight gain or loss, not the food source that the calories come from. It is advised that the majority of calories come from plant and animal sources that are minimally processed for other health reasons. 

Ignoring efficiency and health, sustained reduction in calorie intake or increase in expenditure should result in weight loss. Counting calories can be an effective way to achieve this result. In that same line of though, a sustained abundance of calories should result in weight gain.

Calorie counting also has less measurable benefits such as increasing food awareness. Spend some time counting the calories in the food consumed throughout a regular week. This can help understand the foods and macronutrients going into the body. It will also help understand how those foods effect weight and energy levels.

How Many Calories Should I Consume?

When looking to gain or lose weight the easiest way is by adding or subtracting calories. How many calories does the body need to actually stay healthy? Physical activity, as well as many other factors, affect how many calories an individual needs. The calculator above is a great way to get a baseline.

Some other factors that influence the total calories needed are age, weight, height, gender, and general health level. According to the U.S. Department of Health, adult males generally need around 2,000-3,000 per day and adult females need about 1,600-2,400. Harvard recommends that males do not consume less than 1,500. Females should not consume less than 1,200 per day without medical supervision.

It is also recommended that the Western Diet be avoided to maintain overall health regardless of weight goals.


Dietary supplements can also help play a role in gaining weight, losing weight, or simply trying to be healthier. For weight gain- products like supplemental protein and mass gainers can help to increase caloric intake throughout the day. For weight loss- thermogenic products can help increase calorie expenditure throughout the day. Products like fish oils, vitamins, and greens formulas can all help the body feel and function better. These types of products make it easier to consume the necessary nutrients for optimum function.

Learn more about what products can help you reach your fitness and health goals by checking out the resources page or reaching me directly below.