How much should you eat to lose weight? How many calories per day? Enter your weight, height, age, gender and activity level into the Calorie Calculator to find out:
This is the free calcount Calorie Calculator. Use the calculator to find out how many calories you need per day to lose weight. The calculator will display your TDEE (Total Daily Expenditure) which is a metric showing how many calories you use per day, factoring in your exercise level. It can also be used as a daily calorie intake calculator to show your maintenance calorie count, weight gain daily calories and calories burned through Basal Metabolic Rate (BMR).
If you want a food calorie calculator (to calculate how many calories there are in varying amounts of different foods), use the Food Search Box.
How to use the Calorie Calculator
Simply enter your details into the calculator before clicking the Calculate button. Remember to choose your current or planned activity level from the drop-down box. Alternatively, choose “BMR” to find out what your Basal Metabolic Rate is (BMR is the amount of energy you would use if you did absolutely no exercise or activities all day).
To make a record of your results, simply email them to yourself by clicking the Send to Email button.
Got Calories, now what?
Start counting calories! Use Calorie Tracker to set a target and generate a personalised meal-by-meal calorie plan with a macro-nutrient breakdown. Then, keep a personal online diary to monitor your meals, daily calorie intake, mood, activities, weight and measurements. It is free and easy!
Use the Food Search Box as a food calorie calculator to work out which foods and what size portions to eat and drink so that your personal calorie count is achieved. Then, see how your body changes as you monitor your weight, BMI, BMR and physical measurements with Calorie Tracker.
Browse through our Posts to read about nutrition and wellness, so that you become better informed about your food and lifestyle choices. Everyone needs a little inspiration and guidance as we go through our days in health and happiness.
Calorie Control, day-by-day
Calorie control is a daily practice, you need patience and steadiness. One meal, snack, and drink at a time. If you know what you are putting into your body every day, you know what you will weigh at the end of the week.
Use the Calories Calculator as you develop and change. More active lifestyles use more energy. Older people require less energy. Men need more calories than women, since they have larger muscle mass. Does it seem like you work out more in summer than in winter? Compare your results with different inputs. People change, it is therefore interesting to see how their calorie counts change with them.
Basal Metabolic Rate (BMR)
What is BMR (Basal Metabolic Rate) and why is it important to understand? Put simply, BMR is the number of calories your body needs to run in “idle” mode. Basal Metabolism is the lowest, most basic (basal) life activities (metabolism) your body does in order to keep you alive. BMR is the speed at which your body uses energy when it is basically keeping you alive: it determines how many calories per day your body needs for its basic functions.
Think of it like a car which has been started up in the garage. You start your car up in the morning and let it run before you put it into gear. The engine is turning and the aircon is whirring and keeping the passenger comfortable. The exhaust pipe is quietly expelling waste products from the slow fuel burn and the radio is pumping out some sweet tunes to keep the passenger in a good mood. There is a smooth purr from the engine as a steady squeeze of fuel from the tank is sprayed into the cylinders.
It never stops for as long as you live…
The car is running but it is not actually going anywhere. It is not using its wheels, gears, steering system, headlights or any of the other things it uses when it is on the highway or driveway.
Instead of an engine, aircon, exhaust system, radio, we humans have muscles, a heart, liver, kidneys, a brain and all the other organs which keep our bodies running at a basic level.
If there is not enough fuel in the tank to spray into the engine the car will splutter, the aircon will stop and the radio will shut down.
BMR is like your heart, it does not stop whilst you are alive. In fact, BMR is your heart, lungs, liver and other essential organs just doing their thing.
Different BMRs = Different Calories
Not all cars are the same. A little two-seater micro-mini car with three jam-jar sized engine cylinders is going to idle very differently from a massive V8 ute with twin turbos and a bumpy bonnet. The V8 is going to use much more fuel than the mini, even if the two cars do the exact same thing by idling in the garage all day.
In the same way, old cars idle differently from new cars. Cold cars need more fuel for the aircon than warm cars. Race cars with high-octane fuel and nitrous oxide in their engines turn faster than family wagons. The same is true for humans and BMR, with size, age, temperature, genes, hormone balance and other factors all affecting the rate of calorie burn at a basic level.
BMR is the basis for Calorie Control
Humans are different from cars because we burn most of our fuel (calories) in “idle” or “basal” mode. At least 60% of all calories used by everyone goes into basal metabolism. Quietly humming along, your liver alone burns about 15% of your daily total calories just by doing its basic job.
Cars would probably be the same too if they never turned off and were able to repair, re-paint, reproduce, re-upholster, refuel and think for themselves!
You can calculate how many calories your body needs daily by first multiplying your BMR by one day then adding the number of calories you use in doing activities like getting out of bed, going about you day and performing exercises. This amount is known as your Maintenance Calories or Total Daily Energy Expenditure (TDEE).
To lose weight, you will need to eat fewer calories than your Maintenance Calories. Exactly how many calories per day depends on many factors, but generally a reduction of between 15 and 20% will result in weight loss. For a more detailed and personalised calculation, use our app.
To gain Weight, eat more calories than your Maintenance Calories. Use our food calorie calculator to discover high-calorie food options which can increase your daily calorie intake to levels beyond your Maintenance Calories.
Find your BMR, TDEE and Maintenance Calories, Weight Loss Calories and Weight Gain Calories with our Calorie Counter Calorie Calculator!
How does Calorie Calculator work?
Our Calories Calculator uses the widely accepted Mifflin St Jeor formula to determine weight loss, so you may be confident that the results are credible and actionable.
The formula uses the information you input to get an accurate estimate of your Resting Metabolic Rate (RMR), and thereby work out how many calories you use per day. RMR and BMR are similar concepts, but we do not need to get into the precise nuanced differences here. Suffice to know that most current nutrition scientists prefer the Mifflin St. Jeor formula over older formulas like the Harris-Benedict formula.