Note: This tool should not be used for pregnant women, children under age 18, or people over 60.
How to Use
Do you know how many calories you need each day? To find out, use our Nutritional Needs Calculator. It estimates the calories based on your current weight, gender, age, weight goal, and physical activity level.
To stay at your current weight, you need to eat around the same number of calories that you burn. To lose weight, you must burn more calories than you eat. To gain weight, eat more!
If you haven't set a weight goal, this Calculator can help you do so.
Enter your weight in the box provided. If you entered your weight in kilograms, select Kilograms from the drop-down list.
Select your gender.
Enter your age.
Select your weight goal from the drop-down list.
Select the level of physical activity in your average day.
More About This Tool
Over time, when the calories you take in equal the calories you burn, you’ll maintain your weight. When you take in more calories than you burn, you’ll gain weight. And when you take in fewer calories than you burn, you’ll lose weight.
The trick to maintaining, gaining, or losing weight is to find out how many calories you burn each day. Then you adjust your intake accordingly. For example, if your goal is to lose 10 pounds and you burn 2,200 calories a day, then by trimming 500 calories from the amount you need to burn (meaning your daily intake should be 1,700 calories), you’ll lose around 1 pound of fat a week. (1 pound of fat equals about 3,500 calories). After about 10 weeks you would reach your goal!
Don't worry about crunching the numbers yourself. The calculator above will do the planning for you. Just fill in the information to get the:
Number of calories you burn in a day
Number of calories you should take in each day to meet your weight goal
Recommended daily amount of key nutrients and food types you should get through your diet
Use the following guide to determine your activity level:
High activity: Vigorous physical activity for 60 minutes or more at least 4 to 5 days a week or having a job that is physically demanding (such as a roofer or aerobics instructor).
Intermediate activity: Moderate physical activity like swimming, jogging, or fast walking, 2 or 3 times a week, 30 to 60 minutes each time.
Low activity: No planned, regular physical activity; occasional weekend or weekly activity is the only type of physical activity (like golf or recreational tennis).
Steven Rapaport, MD, American Board of Internal Medicine Certified, Primary care physician, Meuchedet Health Plan, Tel Aviv, Israel. Also reviewed by David Zieve, MD, MHA, Isla Ogilvie, PhD, and the A.D.A.M. Editorial team.