The amount of calories you should eat each day depends on a variety of factors, including your age, height, weight, and activity level. To find out your calorie needs, follow these 10 easy steps.
The result will be the number of calories you should eat each day to maintain your current weight and meet your other calorie-related health goals, such as maintaining or losing weight, building muscle mass, or avoiding gaining too much weight due to an illness or injury.
Calculate your Basal Metabolic Rate (BMR): The BMR is a measure of how many calories you need each day just to sustain life. That may not sound like much, but you’ll be surprised to find out that it’s quite high!
Calculate your Basal Metabolic Rate (BMR): Your BMR is essentially how many calories you burn at rest, meaning if you ate no food for 24 hours and continued to live your life as normal, burning calories through breathing, blood circulation, and other essential bodily functions, your BMR would be used to fulfil those needs. If you’re very overweight or obese, that number will likely be higher than what you actually need.
Figure Out What You Eat And How Much You Move: Start by taking a look at your typical daily diet and then figure out your caloric intake based on how much you eat.
(A simple way to determine your approximate daily caloric needs is to multiply your current weight by 15 if you’re sedentary, 13 if you’re moderately active, and 11 if you’re highly active).
This can help you determine approximately how many calories should be eaten a day.
Calculate your basal metabolic rate (BMR): Once you’ve established a baseline for your daily caloric needs, it’s time to work backwards to determine how many calories you burn each day through normal bodily functions and physical activity. This is called your basal metabolic rate, or BMR.
Find your BMR by using Mifflin St. Jeor equations: First, if you’re a man, multiply your weight in pounds by 10x, then add 6.3; if you’re a woman, multiply your weight in pounds by 10x, then add 5.0.
If that number is above 2, 300 calories per day (men) or 2, 000 calories per day (women), use it as your base and go to step 6. If not, follow steps 7-10 to find out how many calories you need daily.
Calculate how many calories you need. For starters, take your body weight in pounds and multiply that number by a factor of 11 (for women) or 13 (for men).
These figures assume that you’re moderately active during the day. If you plan to exercise vigorously, add 200–300 calories to each of these estimates; if you’re planning on not exercising at all, reduce your daily calorie needs by 200–300.
Determine your calorie needs based on your activity level: Are you sedentary, lightly active, moderately active or extremely active? This will help you understand how many calories you’ll need to reach or maintain a healthy weight.
Use our activity calculator to determine which category best describes your lifestyle and adjust from there. If you are sedentary (little to no exercise), aim for 13-14 calories per pound of body weight per day.
Calculate Your Total Daily Energy Expenditure: Use your Harris-Benedict equation from step 4 to find out how many calories you should eat daily to lose or gain weight. For example,
if you’re a woman and want to lose weight, take your weight in pounds and multiply it by 11, then add that number to 535. This is your approximate calorie goal per day. You can make adjustments based on body type and activity level as needed.
#Step 9 – Track what you’re eating and drinking each day
First of all, you need to know what your basal metabolic rate is.The basal metabolic rate is just a fancy term for how many calories you burn each day doing absolutely nothing at all (your body’s resting rate).
So if you want to know how many calories you need to eat every day, start by calculating your BMR. Here’s how: Multiply your weight in pounds by 10.
Step 10 – Take Breaks From Dieting. Trust Me. You Need Them.
Whether you’re dieting for weight loss or to maintain your weight, make sure you’re not starving yourself. The one meal a day diet, where you eat only one meal a day and then fast for 24 hours from that one meal – is not going to work overtime.
This can work if done properly but more often than not, people tend to give up after some time has passed since they find it too difficult to continue without any food for such long periods. If that’s been your experience, don’t worry – there are other ways!