How Many Calories Do You Need?

Eating fewer Calories than your body burns is the key to watching that number on the scale shrink along with your waist line. In fact, it’s not only key – it’s the be-all end-all. If you are trying to lose weight, you better know how many Calories your body needs. In The Truth about All Diets and The Energy Balance Equation and Using It to Your Advantage When Losing Weight, I talk about how ALL successful weight loss diets trick you into eating fewer Calories and discuss the science behind it. Now you are probably wondering how many Calories you need to lose weight! The calculator at the end of this sentence will tell you how many Calories you need to lose, maintain, or gain weight!

My calculator can be downloaded here:

Calories, Protein, and Fluid Needs Spreadsheet

If you cannot access the spreadsheet, I would recommend to calculate your Calorie needs here: (website uses the Mifflin-St. Jeor Equation, which is the most accurate)

A lot of things effect how many calories you need. Height, weight, age, gender, exercise, general every day activity, muscle mass, and if you have been dieting all effect your daily needs. Some chronic diseases and other factors may affect your daily needs as well, but for most people trying to lose weight or improve their athletic performance, my calculator should be accurate. Many people complain of a slow metabolism, but it has been proven that metabolisms between two alike people (similar age, weight, height, ect.) only vary about 5-8% up or down. This means that your metabolism is likely (within 96% chance) within 5-8% of the estimation in my calculator if you fill out the information correctly. If you still believe that your metabolism is slow, ask your doctor to check your thyroid hormones or simply eat 100-300 fewer Calories than the calculator estimates until you reach a rate of weight loss that you are satisfied with.

How Many Calories Do You Need

5 thoughts on “How Many Calories Do You Need?

    • Thank you so much for the feedback and the idea! I really really appreciate it because I was wondering how people would react to the spreadsheet. How is it wonky? Is it hard to figure out or spitting out weird numbers? I hadn’t thought about an app before though. I’m definitely going to look into it. 🙂


  1. Hello. My name is Debi. I just started blogging about my weight loss journey. Maybe I should call it an adventure… because I certainly consider myself a dieting professional. Your post is interesting to me and I have read before about how many calories an individual needs in order to lose weight and it sounds like a logical assessment. However, what is your opinion on the types of food you eat? A person can consume 1500 calories a day but eat junk vs. natural unprocessed foods. Do you believe that a person can still lose weight although the content of their food intake is not all that good? I feel like I know the answer to this already, but I am seeking other opinions on the subject. For someone that might have a difficult time ridding themselves of the ‘junk food’… I wonder, as I have wondered myself, if I can still lose weight staying at the calorie range I need to lose weight despite what I eat. How many others may wonder the same thing… Just a thought. 🙂


    • Hi Debi! Absolutely yes. You can lose weight eating “junk” as long as you fall below your calorie requirements (create a calorie deficit). However, there are many benefits that you get from choosing to eat healthier foods. One example of this (out of many): fiber and protein keep you full longer which can make you more likely to stick to a diet. So my advice would be to create a calorie deficit and allow yourself to eat the junk sometimes with small measured out portions to keep yourself sane. This is actually the topic of my next article which I hope to post today so stay tuned 🙂


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