Calorie Calculator

How Many Calories Do I Need?

A calorie calculator is a very helpful tool when beginning a new fitness program. Most people grossly underestimate when asked the number of calories they think they consume each day. It is easy to do so when portion sizes are so large, and food that we pick up on the run is so packed full of excess calories. This, however, is a surefire way sabotage your diet and exercise program and NOT lose body fat.

In order to know if you are actually creating a calorie deficit needed to lose weight, or if you are providing your body enough nutrient-rich calories to build the muscle you are working so hard for, you must first know exactly how many calories your body needs for basic functions and how many calories you need to adjust up or down from that number in order to accomplish your fitness goals. Our Calorie Calculator can help you do just that.

Keep in mind that the output of the calorie calculator will tell you your net goal for calories you should consume for the day. "Net" calories are the amount of calories remaining after you have subtracted the calories you burn through exercise for the day from your total amount of calories consumed. This means that if you complete a workout, you will need to eat back the amount of calories that you burned in order to reach your net calorie goal for the day.

Example: The calculator tells me my net calorie needs is 1350 calories. If I eat 1350 calories and then complete a workout that burns 400 calories, my net calories will now be 950. Therefore, I will need to eat an additional 400 calories in order to meet my goal net calorie intake of 1350 for the day.

(Listen to our Podcast on How to Lose Belly Fat to hear this concept explained in greater detail.)

Calculating Your BMR

Total Workout uses the NFPT method for calculating your BMR. This method applies your lean body fat in calculating the number of calories your body requires for daily maintenance as a starting point for determining how many calories you need to consume each day for your specific goal.

In order to use this method you will need to first find out your body fat percentage. One of the most accurate and inexpensive ways to calculate body fat percentage is through the use of body fat calipers, which can be purchased for use at home, or may also be available at your gym. (affiliate link)

Calculate Your Daily Calorie Needs with our Calorie Calculator:

1. Enter your information:

Lose Fat Gain Muscle Maintain

Daily Calorie Needs(Net):   

If you are unable to determine your body fat percentage, then you may enter your information into the second calculator below and get an estimate of your calorie needs based on your current fitness goals. Please remember that these calculations are for apparently healthy individuals and are an estimate and so should only to be used as a guideline for your fitness program. Adjustments may need to be made during the course of your program to fit your individual needs and fitness goals.

If you fall into the categories of "Underweight" or "Obesity" according to the following BMI Categories, then we recommend seeking a doctor's advice regarding a nutrition program created specific to your needs.

BMI Categories:

Underweight = <18.5
Normal weight = 18.5–24.9
Overweight = 25–29.9
Obesity = BMI of 30 or greater

If you are unsure of your BMI, use the calculator at the National Heart, Lung, and Blood Institute to find out your current measurement.

2. Enter your information:

Male Female
Lose Fat Gain Muscle Maintain

Daily Calorie Needs(Net):   


Important Note: In order to ensure that you are pursuing your goals in a healthy and realistic manner, we do NOT recommend that you ever drop your net calorie intake below 1500 calories a day if you are male, or 1200 calories a day if you are female, regardless of what the calculator outputs unless you are advised by your doctor otherwise. Restricting your calories too far can be potentially damaging to your body and dangerous to your health.

1-1-16103425_l-001 recommends using the first calorie calculator above for estimating your calorie needs since your lean body mass affects how many calories your burn per day, however the second calculation will suffice until you are able calculate your body fat. All of these equations should be used only as a baseline. You may need adjust your calorie intake to best suit your specific needs.

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