How To Calculate Your Daily Caloric Intake

How To Calculate Your Daily Caloric Intake

Unless we become conscious of our health, we do not look at the calorie count of any food product. However, calories are the ones that decide the fate of our health and physical appearance. That’s why, once you aim to get healthy, you also get conscious about your calorie intake. You keep a check on what you are having and how many calories it will serve. But rather than just restricting the calorie amount, it’s essential to know the ideal amount of calorie intake your body requires per day. Let’s educate ourselves on how to calculate our daily caloric intake.

What is a calorie?

A calorie is considered a unit of energy. As much food as you consume, the amount of energy that food provides is calculated in calories. These calories if consumed in excessive amounts are then stored as extra fats, which cause weight gain. That’s why people who focus on the weight loss journey are asked to watch their calorie intake.

How many calories per day are mandatory?

An ideal amount of calorie intake recommended by health care professionals is 2000 and 2500 for women and men respectively. This amount of calories can be consumed by eating different healthy foods throughout the day.

But an ideal amount of calories can vary from person to person based on their fitness goals, nutritional requirements, daily physical activity, weight, age, and gender. Your calorie intake demand will vary whether you want to lose, maintain or gain weight.

How to calculate my daily caloric intake?

Calculating a daily caloric intake might feel like a daunting task at first, but once you learn how to do it, you’ll be able to do so in a minute. Other than traditional methods, there are a number of online calorie calculators available, which can tell you in seconds how many calories you should be consuming.

To calculate calorie intake manually

To find out your calorie intake manually, the Harris-Benedict formula has been used at large for a very long time and is still in use as well. However, its accuracy was questioned multiple times. But keeping in mind every man and woman’s different caloric needs, the International sports science association has shared a new formula that claims that it gives almost accurate results.

1: Harris-Benedict formula

Like any other calorie calculator, this formula also needs your personal information like your gender, age, body weight, height, and daily physical activity routine. It has separate values to calculate both men’s and women’s daily energy expenditure and required caloric intake.

For Men

Following formula should be filled with adequate values.

66.47 + ( 13.75 x weight (kg) ) + ( 5.003 x height (cm) ) – ( 6.755 x age (years) )

For example, if a man is 40 years old with 65kg weight and 170cm height, here’s his daily caloric count.

66.47 + ( 13.75 x 65 kg ) + ( 5.003 x 170 cm ) – ( 6.755 x 40 ) = 1540.53

This value of BMR needs to be multiplied by the physical activity factor values. If this man is indulged in light physical activity then, 1540.33 x 1.55 = 2387.51 would be his daily caloric need.

For Women

Following formula should be filled with adequate values.

655.1 + ( 9.563 x weight (kg) ) + ( 1.850 x height (cm) ) – ( 4.676 x age (years) )

For example, if a woman is 35 years old with 55kg weight and 160cm height, here’s her daily caloric count.

655.1 + ( 9.563 x 55 kg ) + ( 1.850 x 160 cm ) – ( 4.676 x 35 ) = 1313.40

This value of BMR needs to be multiplied by the physical activity factor values. If this woman is indulged in light physical activity then, 1313.40 x 1.55 = 2035.77 would be her daily caloric need.

2: ISSA calorie count formula

This formula requires you to follow four steps.

Step 1: First, you need to find out your exact weight and convert it into kilograms, if it already isn’t.

Step 2: Next, you need to multiply this weight by certain values for men and women. For women, multiply it with 0.9, and for men, multiply it with 1.0. Multiply the resulting values with 24.

Step 3: After that, multiply them by the values of the “Lean factor”, according to your gender and body fat percentage mentioned in the table below. This table can be used to efficiently determine your Basal Metabolic Rate (BMR). It tells you about the number of calories your body burns a day without doing any physical activity.

GenderBody Fat PercentageLean Factor Multiplier
MaleAbove 280.85
FemaleAbove 380.85

Step 4: Now you need to calculate your Active Metabolic Rate (AMR), which describes your calorie burn throughout the day, which happens as a result of basic or advanced physical activity. To find out, multiply the last value with the activity modifier value according to your activity routine given below.

  • Very light activity ~ 1.3
  • Light activity ~ 1.55
  • Moderate activity ~ 1.65
  • Heavy activity ~ 1.80
  • Very heavy activity ~ 2.00

Although it looks complicated at first, you’ll soon get familiar with it as you will keep calculating your calorie intake on your journey of fitness.

To calculate calorie intake via an online calorie calculator

To do so, you first need to fill out some information regarding yourself like your gender, age, height, weight, and level of physical activity. After filling out these details, you’ll see the results in which calorie count would be mentioned according to different fitness goals. It also mentions how much calorie intake will help you lose or gain weight.


Before calculating your calorie intake via any means, do look at the units and convert your weight and height accordingly. If you are aiming for weight loss, then try to eat 500 calories less than the calories you burn a day. If you want to put on some weight to get a chubby body, try eating 500 calories more than the calories you burn a day. The value of online calculators might not always be reliable, that’s why always believe what your body has to tell you and keep measuring yourself with measuring tape as well to keep a check on fat loss.

The final word

Whether you measure your calorie intake manually or through online tools, it is crucial that you put in the correct values. And if you are aiming for weight loss or gain and watching your calories for such reasons, then it would be best to follow a proper and healthy diet plan to balance the intake of calories without worrying too much about them. Finally, fitness is not the only reason that requires you to keep an eye on your calorie intake, but consuming a balanced calorie intake is a part of a healthy lifestyle that you must adapt to.


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