How to Calculate Your Calorie Needs


Determining your calorie needs is very important to maintain proper energy balance to maximize the benefits of your workout plan. Your daily calorie expenditure can be estimated using the Harris Benedict Equation used below.

First, calculate you Basal Metabolic Rate (BMR). Your BMR is the amount of energy you expend at rest each day. This does not take into consideration any of your activity throughout the day.

Women: BMR = 655 + (4.35 x weight in pounds) + (4.7 x height in inches) – (4.7 x age)

Men: BMR = 66 + (6.23 x weight in pounds) + (12.7 x height in inches) – (6.8 x age)

YOUR BMR: ____________________ calories

Then, adjust your calorie needs by multiplying your BMR by an activity factor.


Activity Level                                                                                                                    Activity Factor

Sedentary (little or no exercise):                                                                                              BMR x 1.2

Lightly active (light exercise/sports 1-3 days/week):                                                          BMR x 1.3

Moderately active (moderate exercise/sports 3-5 days/week):                                         BMR x 1.5

Very active (hard exercise/sports 6-7 days a week):                                                            BMR x 1.7

Your BMR x Activity Factor = Daily Calorie expenditure

YOUR ESTIMATED CALORIE NEEDS: ___________________ calories


Consuming your estimated calorie needs will generally result in weight maintenance. In order to lose 1lb/week, subtract 500 calories from your estimated calorie needs.

This is the average amount of calories to consume daily in order to lose about 1lb/ week. If you are trying to gain weight, you may need to add about 500 calories/day to your estimated needs.