How Many Calories Do I Need?

This question automatically triggers a similar logical question: “How many calories for what?” There are any number of

situations, lifestyles, body types, ages, and gender issues that weigh heavily (no pun intended) upon how you answer that question. Here you should find everything you need to determine caloric intake contingent upon what you want to do with your body.

Attributes you need to know about yourself

  • Your Height (Feet and Inches)—you need this because the larger you are, the more
    calories you need to sustain your desired energy level.
  • Your Weight (pounds)—same obvious reasons above.
  • Your Age—your body changes over time, slower metabolism, bone density, etc.
  • Your Sex (Male or Female)—men typically require more calories per day than women.
  • Your Activity Level—this is usually ranked: sedentary, light activity, moderate activity, heavy activity and exceptional activity (described in more detail in next section).
  • Your Weight Goal—do you want to gain, lose, or maintain your current weight?
  • *Some sites ask if you’re pregnant or nursing, for obvious reasons.

Rate your activity level

Activity levels are usually ranked in the following manner:

  • Sedentary—you spend most of a day sitting and rarely exercise.
  • Light activity—you have a sit down job, but your duties require some walking; you also might exercise 20-45 minutes at least once a week.
  • Moderate activity—your workday includes walking, sometimes brisk or uphill, standing, and/or lifting. You may exercise 20-45 minutes 3 times weekly.

  • Heavy activity—you keep moving most of the day, including some running and heavy lifting, or you exercise 20-45 minutes each day.
  • Exceptional activity—if you’re not a professional athlete you should be one at this level. You keep a rigorous schedule requiring any amount of running, climbing, swimming and/or heavy lifting.


Now that you have determined all of the above about yourself, enter the values on the following website:

Now click ‘calculate’ to get your results.

Calories you burn per day

Now that you know how many calories you need either to gain, lose, or maintain weight, you are empowered to take control and to take the proper action to implement your choice.

Try this:

Using the “Calorie Need Calculator,” enter all pertinent information, but select both the weight you want to achieve, and then select the bullet next to the maintain. This will give you the amount of calories you need to maintain the weight you desire.

Now determine how many calories you currently burn per day at the following site:

Once you’ve determined both how many calories you need to intake to maintain a desired weight, and how many calories you currently burn per day, subtract the former fr-om the latter to calculate how many calories you must cut fr-om your daily diet to achieve the weight of your choice.

Example: 3,000 calories (currently consumed per day) –(minus) 2,700 calories (required to achieve desired weight). So, 3,000 – 2,700 = 300. You need to consume 300 less calories per day to achieve your chosen weight. Continue that amount and you will maintain it.

Happy calorie burning!

Further Reading and Additional Resources

‘How many calories does your body need’ — Nice article, very simple

How many calories should I eat to burn fat or build muscle?

Women’s Calorie Calculator at

Another calorie calculator (men can use it too this time) at