How Many Calories Do I Need Each Day?

Daily Calorie Intake Calculator

to find your ideal daily calorie intake based on your weight, height, and exercise level.

Calculating Daily Calories To Maintain Weight.

When calculating your daily calorie needs to maintain your weight, the calculator takes into account:

  1. Resting metabolic rate (RMR)
  2. Physical activity
  3. Thermogenic effect of food

Each component contributes differently to your calorie needs.

  1. RMR accounts for the majority of energy expenditure, surpassing physical activity and food processing. RMR can be determined through scientific lab measurements or estimated using equations. This calculator employs the Mifflin-St Jeor equation, known for its reliability, factoring in your sex, weight, height, and age.
  2. Physical activity consumes calories, requiring athletes to intake more than sedentary individuals. An activity factor, ranging from 1.2 for sedentary to 1.9 for highly active individuals, is assigned based on your activity level. The calculator then multiplies your RMR by this factor.
  3. The thermogenic effect of food accounts for the remaining daily energy needs (about 10%). To determine this, the calculator calculates your RMR multiplied by your activity factor, then multiplies the result by 10%.”

Calculating Daily Calories for Weight Loss

When determining your daily calorie needs for weight loss, the calculator reduces your daily calorie usage by 25%, leading to a new recommended daily calorie intake. Our Forbes Health Calorie Calculator adheres to this equation, as recommended by a panel of experts, ensuring safe and sustainable weight loss.

The calculator ensures a minimum of 1,200 calories daily, irrespective of your initial weight. “Going below this threshold makes it challenging to obtain the essential macronutrients and micronutrients necessary for optimal health,” says Dr. Melina Jampolis, a member of the Forbes Health Advisory Board.

The Forbes Health editorial team consulted the expertise of Forbes Health Advisory Board members: Dr. Melina Jampolis, registered dietitian Toby Amidor, and Sabrena Jo, M.S., the Senior Director of Science and Research at the American Council on Exercise (ACE). They critically reviewed the methods used by this tool to compute daily calorie requirements for weight maintenance and loss.”

How Many Calories Should You Consume Each Day?

The appropriate daily calorie intake depends on various factors, including your age, gender, height, weight, and physical activity level. Generally, men require more calories than women, and as individuals grow older, their metabolism tends to slow down, resulting in older adults needing fewer calories compared to younger individuals.

While a calorie calculator provides a solid estimate of your requirements, the U.S. government’s Dietary Guidelines for Americans (2020-2025) provides its own approximations.

Estimated Daily Calorie Needs Chart

66 and older2,2001,800
*Moderately active refers to an activity level similar to walking around 1.5 to 3 miles a day at a pace of 3 to 4 mph.”