Find Out Your Caloric Intake to Lose Weight For Good

Finding your caloric intake is something I find very important when it comes to having accountability with becoming healthier and losing weight.  Most people have never even once found out their ideal caloric intake, probably because of not knowing how to do so. This proven equation is used amongst the most highly educated trainers and is called the Harris Benedict Equation. The formula below will determine your basal energy requirements or BMR, which is the energy required to maintain your current weight without exercise or diet involved. While eating a clean diet has a stronger effect on losing weight than physical activity does, physical activity has a stronger effect in preventing weight gain and maintaining weight loss.

For most woman the average calorie intake is anywhere from 1500-1800 a day, so lets find out where you are …

Here is how to find your numbers. For men, replace 655 with 55:

(insert activity level – found below) x ( 655 + ( 4.57 x height in inches ) + ( 4.36 x current weight ) – ( 4.7 x age ) = calories to maintain your current weight.

  • 1.2 is sedentary ( little or no exercise )
  • 1.375 is lightly active ( light exercise 1 – 3 days a week )
  • 1.55 is moderately active ( moderate exercise 3 – 5 days a week )
  • 1.7 is very active ( hard exercise 6 – 7 days a week )
  • 1.9 is extremely active ( hard daily exercise and/or a physical job )

This probably looks a little confusing so I’ll do an example for you-

Emily is a moderately active female, 29 years old, 5 feet 5 inches, and she currently weighs 160 pounds.

(activity level above) x (655 + (4.57 x height in inches ) + (4.36 x weight ) – (4.7 x age )

( 1.55 ) x ( 655 + ( 4.57 x 65 ) + ( 4.36 x 160 ) – ( 4.7 x 29 )

( 1.55 ) x ( 655 + ( 297.05 ) + ( 697.6 ) – ( 136.3 )

1.55  x  952.05 + 697.6 – 136.3

In this example – 2,037 calories is the amount needed every day for Emily to stay at 160 pounds.

  • For her to lose one pound each week, subtract 500 from 2,037 – which is 1,537 calories.
  • If Emily is comfortable with her weight she would do nothing, staying as close to 2,000 calories every day.
  • If she choose to gain weight she would add 250-300 calories a day – which is 2,287 – 2,337 calories.

You can see by this example that even consuming as little as 300 extra calories a day to your diet can pack on pounds. Finding your individual caloric needs is so important and it’s where a lot of people mess up the most. Consume too many calories, and get farther away from the more confident you. Consume too few calories and your body goes into starvation mode, holding onto to every ounce of that unattractive fat. Now that you have your magic number I want you to keep it engraved in your head.

Was this number lower or higher than you expected? Are you feeling excited that you can start eating more calories now or are you bummed out that you have to start cutting some serious calories if you want to lose weight? I’d love to hear how this turned out!  I always find this exercise so interesting- Leave me a comment below and share with me your magic number.

4 Comments

  1. kristy cote on March 2, 2012 at 12:32 am

    Mine was 1929!!! I constrict myself to 1200-1400 calories a day and Im still not losing weight! 🙁

    • NetusMarketing on March 2, 2012 at 5:16 am

      Is 1,929 the number you arrived at before or after subtracting 500? In other words, what was your base calorie level before subtracting 500 (actual BMR number)?

    • ChristinasFitness on March 2, 2012 at 5:41 am

       Was 1,929 the number you got to before or after subtracting 500? In other words, is that your true BMR?

  2. Cheryl on March 2, 2012 at 11:10 am

    OMG I am gonna starve to death! LOL… My number is 1805 so to lose weight I need to eat 1300…

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