Calculate your Calorie Goal
Our calorie calculator will help you work out how many calories you should eat each day to lose weight.
How does this Calorie Calculator work?
It calculates your Basal Metabolic Rate or BMR, also known as Resting Metabolic Rate or RMR which is the energy your body consumes just to keep you alive at rest.
It uses your weight, height, gender, and age to define your RMR. Then it factors in your level of physical activity to add extra energy to cover those needs.
To work out your physical activity, consider the following scale:
- Sedentary: little or no exercise, such as a desk job.
- Lightly active: light exercise or sports 1 to 3 days a week.
- Moderately active: moderate exercise or sports 6 to 7 days weekly.
- Very active: hard strenuous exercise every day, or exercising twice a day.
- Extra active: vigorous exercise 2 or more times per day; or training for a marathon, etc.
As you will be dieting you will surely increase your level of physical activity to complement the diet, so use the level of physical activity you will have when you are dieting. For instance, now you are sedentary but intend to walk 2 miles 3 times a week, so that means you will be lightly active, use this "moderate" value in the calculator.
A deficit is a shortfall. And a calorie deficit the gap between the calories you will be eating and the calories your body needs to function normally.
Your body will cover this gap or deficit by burning its fat stores.
You will lose weight by making your body burn its stored fats, and to do this you wiil adopt a two-pronged strategy: eat fewer calories and burn more calories, this will create a caloric deficit for your body.
Now, after calculating how much energy your body needs to function properly, you will define a "calorie deficit" for your diet:
The options you can select in the tool are:
- 0% will maintain your current body weight.
- 5 - 10% is a small caloric deficit.
- 10 - 20% is a moderate deficit.
- 20 - 30% is a large deficit.
Usually, a 25% deficit is manageable and provides good results as proven by the CALERIE 2 study, (Corby, 2016) (1) which followed a group of 218 participants over two years. They kept a diet with a 25% calorie reduction. The participants were fit people with an average Body Mass Index of 25.1 and an average age of 37.9 years. The study found that:
- The group lost 18.8 lbs (7.6 kg) vs. 1 lb for the control non-dieting group.
- The calorie-restricted group "had significantly improved mood... and improved general health... and sexual drive and relationship... as well as improved sleep."
- "Greater percent weight loss.. was associated with increased vigor ... and less mood disturbance."
Now, use the calculator and set your daily calorie goals for your diet.
Our Diet Calorie Calculator
Comments about this Calculator
Values are expressed in Kilocalories and abbreviated Cal. They are also called Calories (with capital "C").
This calculator is for adults only. Not for pregnant women. Medical Disclaimer page for full details on the scope of the information provided on our website.
Before starting a diet, consult your nutritionist or physician.
Some Weight Loss Tips
Most people who lose weight are likely to find it difficult to keep the weight off. They can improve their chances by adopting a lifelong commitment that includes:
- Increased, frequent, and regular physical activity of at least moderate intensity.
- Healthy eating following the Dietary Guidelines for Americans, emphasizing a reduction in total calories, lowered fat consumption, and an increase in vegetables, fruits, and whole grains.
Lose weight safely and keep it off, visit our:
> > Weight Loss webpage
A word of caution
Even modest weight loss (5 - 10 percent of body weight, 10 - 20 pounds) will improve your health and lower health risks associated with being overweight.
Unless medically indicated, weight loss after the first two or three weeks of dieting should not exceed a rate of three pounds or approximately one and one-half percent of body weight per week.
More rapid weight loss may cause an increased risk of developing gallbladder disease, a risk that is believed to be higher than the risk of developing gallbladder disease as a result of staying overweight or obese.
People who are considered medically appropriate for more rapid weight loss should have their progress monitored by a physician.
Very-low-calorie diets (less than 800 kcal per day) are designed to promote rapid weight loss in people whose obesity has resulted in, or has put them at medical risk of, developing serious health complications. Rapid weight loss may also be associated with some medical problems.
A weight loss program should include medical supervision to minimize risks associated with rapid weight loss.
People undergoing weight loss can experience physical changes in the body (dizziness, interruptions in the menstrual cycle, hair loss, for example) that may indicate more serious conditions. People noticing such changes should be advised to talk immediately to their primary care physician.
Children and adolescents, pregnant, or breast-feeding women, and people with significant health problems such as bulimia, heart disease, kidney disease, diabetes, or psychiatric disorder, should not begin this program without written authorization by their primary care provider.
People under treatment for other conditions or taking medications prescribed by their health care provider should tell their providers that they have begun this diet because, in some cases, adjustments to medications or modifications to the weight loss program may be appropriate.
A calory-reduced diet is an effective way to lose weight. It should also be complemented with physical activity and will require, just like any other diet, perseverance, and persistence.
Consult your physician before starting any weight loss program or beginning any exercise program.
The well-known rule that says that a deficit of 3,500 Calories per week will lead to a loss of 1 pound of fat is inaccurate: fat loss depends on many factors and should be taken as a rough approximation.
References and Further Reading
(1) K.M. Corby et al., (2016). Effect of Calorie Restriction on Mood, Quality of Life, Sleep, and Sexual Function in Healthy Nonobese Adults The CALERIE 2 Randomized Clinical Trial. JAMA Intern Med. 2016 Jun 1; 176(6): 743-752. DOI: 10.1001/jamainternmed.2016.1189
About this Article
Basal Metabolic Rate Calculator, A. Whittall
©2018 Fit-and-Well.com, 11 Oct. 2018. Updated. 14 Nov. 2020. https://www.fit-and-well.com/resources/diet-calorie-calculator.html
Tags: Calorie Calculator, weight loss, Waist Size.
Subject: Fit-and-Well.com. Diet Calorie Calculator. Use this online tool to calculate your daily calorie intake for a weight-loss diet based on your weight, height, age, sex, level of physical activity, and desired calorie deficit.