How to Calculate your Daily Calorie Intake

Press the reset button and forget what you know about calories because I’m about to show you how to calculate your calorie intake precisely.

Most people get overwhelmed when they try to calculate their calorie intake using free online calorie calculators. Calorie calculators are unreliable and can give results that differ by 200 Kcal or more! (No wonder why people get overwhelmed). The main reason why they are inaccurate is because calorie calculators do not take into account your body composition. In other words, they don’t take into account the amount of muscle mass or fat mass.

But don’t worry, I’m going to show you two methods to overcome this problem.

Method 1 – Using a calorie calculator

I know, I know… I’ve just said calorie calculators are unreliable but trust me and continue reading because I’m going to explain how to use them.

First, calculate your maintenance calories using the calorie calculator below. 

  • Calculate your Resting Metabolic Rate (RMR)
Age Male Female
(15.3 x BW in KG) + 679
(14.7 x BW in KG) + 496
(11.6 x BW in KG) + 979
(8.7 x BW in KG) + 829
(13.5 x BW in KG) + 487
(10.5 x BW in KG) + 596
  •  Identify your Physical Activity Level (PAL)
Activity Level Factor
Sedentary / Maintenance
1.3 - 1.5
1.4 - 1.6
1.6 - 1.8
1.8 - 2.1
  • Daily Calorie Requirement = RMR x PAL

Once you’ve done so, follow the calculated calories and track your body weight daily for at least two weeks.

If you are losing weight, the calculated calorie intake is below your maintenance calorie intake. On the other hand, if you are gaining weight, the calculated calorie intake is above your maintenance calorie intake. If you body weight is stable, then the calorie calculator has, for once, been right!

If you are a woman, it is important to note that if you do this around your period, your body weight is very likely to fluctuate; therefore, I recommend adding an extra week of monitoring to get additional data.

Method 2 – Ditch the calorie calculator

If you don’t want to use a calorie calculator, track your food intake for two weeks and monitor your body weight daily. At the end of the two weeks, calculate the average food intake for each week and assess if you have gained, lost or maintained your body weight in the same way as above. 

These methods may require some time but they are the best way to calculate your calorie intake. 


I hope you have found this post useful,.

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