How I Calculate how much Food I Need to Eat to Lose Weight


There is a lot of debate on how to calculate what your daily nutrient intake per day should be. But it is important to know how many calories you need to eat in order to lose weight. A good BMR (Basal Metabolic Rate) formula will help you get to your fat loss goal by being armed with the numbers you need to succeed.

Eat Less Calories then you use and you will lose weight!

So there are a couple of things you need to know. First is your BMR or basal metabolic rate. This is how many calories you need at rest to run the basic functions of the body.

There are many calculators online but I like to use the following formula to get a more accurate number. This is from the Harris-Benedict formula.

For Men over 18:   66  +  (6.3  x body weight in pounds)  +  (12.9  x height in inches)  –  (6.8  x  age in years).

For Women over 18:    655  +  (4.3  x weight in pounds)  +  (4.7  x  height in inches)  –  (4.7  x  age in years).

So for me, the number of calories my body needs to survive at rest would calculate out as follows:

66  +  (6.3  x  192)  +  (12.9  x  70)   –  (6.8  x  48)   or   66  +  (1209.6)  +  (903)  –  (225.6)   or  1953 Calories per day.

So know that we know what our BMR is we need to add in two more factors. How many calories we burn at work (or in motion) and how many calories we burn during metabolic process.

For activity you simply need to add up all of your daily activities and their caloric count and add them into the amount of calories above. For my sake I do not worry much about what I am doing outside of my job since it is mostly at a desk so I just count my workout calories.

They are about 300 calories per day for Cardio and about 150 calories per day for Weightlifting or 450 Calories per day.

Next is how much your body will use to digest the food you consume. This is normally done by taking the total amount of calories you consume in a day  X  .10  or 1953 Calories BMR  +  450 Calories Activity  =  2403 Calories x  .10   or  240 Calories per day if I eat that amount per day.

So in total I need 1953 +  450  + 240 = 2643 calories each day if I want to maintain my weight at the current level of activity. Now I have that level of activity 6 days a week but one day I rest so we need to add that in as well to get an accurate daily caloric intake.

TIP # 1 See A Sample Meal Plan that I Use Here…

The rule of thumb is you need to lose 3500 calories which is equal to one pound of FAT. So most people like to try to lose this much by the week, so I will calculate it this way.


So to calculate my weekly caloric intake I take the total days I work out and add those caloric intakes and then the one day I rest I add that caloric intake which is a different amount.

So it would look like this:

Monday       2643
Tuesday       2643
Wednesday 2643
Thursday     2643
Friday          2643
Saturday      2643
Sunday         2148 (I take out the activity and recalculate the digestion rate).

TOTAL:  18006 Calories per week. Or 2573 Calories per day.

To loose 1 pound of fat I would need to reduce that by 3500 calories down to 14506 calories per week, a 20% reduction, or 2072 Calories per day.

I like to do a little better than that and do a 25% deficit in calories or 13504 calories per week which equates out to 1929 calories per day.

TIP # 2 – a constant theme in weight loss and changing to a fitter life is making a change to the diet which can seem drastic. To avoid fat loss stalling, boredom, and cravings a CHEAT MEAL or DAY is recommended.

That is why I reduced my calories further. So one day I can eat the things I have been craving with the additional 1000 calories.

See why it is a good idea to have a cheat meal here…

A word of CAUTION I am not a doctor or physician or medical professional. I am just letting you know what has worked for me. Before you start any program for weight loss, exercise, or health change you should consult a doctor.

TIP # 3 is that as you lose weight you need to remember to recalculate. I would do so at every 5-10lbs because your daily caloric intake will go down as you lose weight.