calculating caloric needs

how much should I really be eating?

calculate your actual caloric needs based on your goals.

There is a certain amount of energy your body expends every day just in your daily activities – from sitting up to get out of bed to brushing your teeth to walking to the mailbox – your body burns energy, or calories, with every movement and breath!

The minimum amount of energy (calories) needed just for your body to maintain your current weight with your current activity level is called your Resting Metabolic Rate (RMR), or Basal Metabolic Rate (BMR).

This number can be fairly accurately estimated based on your weight, height, age, and biological sex using the formula below.

the formula


9.99 x weight(kg) + 6.25 x height(cm) – 4.92 x age(years) – 161

9.99 x weight(kg) + 6.25 x height(cm) – 4.92 x age(years) + 5

multiply by daily activity level

Sedentary x 1.2
Light x 1.375
Moderate x 1.55
High x 1.725
Athlete x 1.9

the number

The resulting number is your estimated daily caloric needs to maintain your current activity level and current body weight.

if you are looking to lose weight:

Strive for a caloric deficit

Weight loss occurs when you achieve a caloric deficit, or burn more calories than you consume.

You can create this deficit in three ways:

  1. Consume fewer calories
  2. Burn more calories
  3. (the best option) Both!

A healthy and sustainable deficit is roughly 500 calories per day. The recommended way to achieve this deficit is by performing a workout that burns 250 active calories, and consuming 250 fewer calories than your estimated daily needs using the RMR formula.

This will lead to weight loss of about 1-2 pounds a week, a rate that has been determined to be healthy and appropriate by the industry experts! If you are looking to lose weight at a higher rate, we would strongly recommend consulting with your physician and/or a Registered Dietitian to ensure your health and safety in doing so.

if you are looking to gain weight:

Strive for a caloric surplus

Weight gain occurs when you achieve a caloric surplus, or consume more calories than you burn.

Although this may sound easy (it’s just eating, right?!), doing so in a safe and healthy way requires thoughtful planning and consideration. We recommend working with a Registered Dietitian for the best and healthiest results.

Healthy weight gain happens at about 1-2 pounds per week; which translates to roughly an additional 500 calories consumed per day. Be sure to also take into consideration any active calories burned during workouts to determine the potential need to replenish those calories and maintain a surplus.

The best weight-gain dietary plans include eating nutrient-dense foods composed of healthy fats, carbohydrates, and proteins several times throughout the day, as well as maintaining hydration levels.

calculate my caloric needs for me

*We respect and appreciate that not every person will fit into a binary-sex category or identity. This data is requested solely for the purpose of using the most applicable formula referenced above, pertaining to the way that the presence of or levels of sex-specific hormones can impact the body’s metabolism. Maintaining a sense of privacy, respect, validation, identity, acceptance, and inclusivity is a core value for our brand, our team, and our community.

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