Calculating Your Caloric Needs

To be honest, this is where most people lose interest or fall off the diet wagon because it can be a little complicated especially for those who don’t like maths.

Basal Metabolic Rate

First, you need to determine what your Basal Metabolic Rate is, this is the number of calories you would require if you stayed in bed all day.

Basal Metabolic Rate for Women

=655.1 + (9.563 * weight in kilograms) + (1.85 * height in centimetres) – (4.676*age)


Basal Metabolic Rate for Men

=66.47 + (13.75 * weight in kilograms) + (5.003 + height in centimetres) – (6.755 * age)


Total Personal Calories Burnt

Once you have your Basal Metabolic Rate, you can calculate the number of calories you typically burn. This will help you to determine how many dietary calories to cut from your food and beverage totals.

Total Daily Energy Expenditure (TDEE)

To determine your TDEE multiply your BMR by:

Sedentary (little or no exercise)1.2
Lightly Active (exercise 1-3 days a week)1.375
Moderately Active (exercise 3-5 days a week)1.55
Very Active (exercise 6-7 days a week)1.725
Athlete or trains daily and has physical job1.9



For example, Mary is a 30-year old who weighs 65kg and is 175cm tall, she goes to the gym 3 times a week and has a desk job. Mary would have a:

BMR: 1460.17

TDEE: 2007.73

To lose 1lbs per week, Mary would have to have to create a deficit of 500 calories per day, therefore her requirement is 1507.73 calories per day. This can be made up of additional exercise, reducing calories through diet or cutting out alcohol. Alcohol contains 7 calories per gram.

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