Calorie Calculator: Easily Find Your Caloric Needs

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


Using the Calculator for Calorie Intake

The calorie value obtained by completing this calorie calculator is the estimated number of calories that you would need to consume to maintain your body weight. If you are trying to gain or lose weight, use the recommendations below that number to achieve those goals.

You can learn more with the Calories Infographic: An Introduction

How Many Calories Should I Eat a Day?

If you aren’t sure how many calories you should be consuming, the calculator for calorie intake above can help you determine this number. This is just a starting point, though! The only accurate way to discover how many calories you need to meet your goals is to track your intake and determine if it is helping or harming your goals. Adjust from that number as needed.

If your goal is to lose weight, subtract from your daily intake. If your goal is to gain weight, add to your daily intake. You also need to consider how many calories your body needs to actually stay healthy. Physical activity, and 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.

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Counting Calories

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.

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Calorie Counter Options

If you are looking for additional ways to keep track of your calories here are a few methods you can use-

  • Pen and Paper- this method seems a little archaic but it does work as the food you are consuming will list the calories. You can just keep track throughout the day to know your caloric intake.
  • Calorie counter app– there are a ton of apps that allow you to count calories, and most of them even have built in calorie calculators to help you reach your goal! Our favorite is Cronometer, which you can check out by clicking the image below.

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Calories Needed to Maintain Weight

The calculator above will give you a good baseline for how many calories you need to maintain your current weight. This can vary from individual to individual.

Maintenance Calories Definition

Maintenance calories are the exact amount of calories needed to support your daily expenditure without any change in overall body weight. Use the caloric baseline calculator above and the “maintain weight” number to determine your calories needed to maintain weight.

Using the Calorie Calculator to Lose Weight

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.

How Many Calories a Day for Weight Loss

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.

Worried about giving up foods that you love? We actually wouldn’t recommend it. Instead enjoy them in moderation! You can also check out How to Lower Your Calorie Intake- Easy Swaps in Your Daily Routine

Is the Calorie Calculator a Weight Loss Calculator?

Yes and no. The intention of this calorie calculator is to find an educated estimate for how many calories you need to reach your goal. The actual number could be more or less than the number this calculator gives you based on many factors including your daily activity, and your metabolism.

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. 

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.

Using the Calorie Calculator to Gain Weight

Using the Calorie Calculator to Gain Weight

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.

They could gain more by increasing their daily caloric intake, but this will lead to a larger increase in bodyfat.

Learn more about gaining weight in this article: How Many Calories Should I Eat in a Day to Gain Weight?

Is This Calorie Calculator for Bodybuilding

This calculator can discover a baseline for weight loss or weight gain. Keep in mind that weight gained 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.

You can find our bodybuilding programs here if your goals including building a muscular physique.

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.