Daily Calorie Needs Calculator

Find your resting energy expenditure and total energy expenditure using this handy tool.

It’s really important to note that no calculator can tell you accurately how many calories you need per day. Though our calculator is based on solid research and textbook math, it is still an estimate, and everyone’s metabolism is different.

The #1 best way to find your total energy expenditure (TEE) is to record as accurately as possible everything you consume for at least 3 days to find an average caloric intake. Don’t cheat yourself on this assignment! If you are maintaining weight, whatever caloric amount you consume on average is your true TEE.

Calculator created by Jeff Burmann, NSCA-CPT. Questions? Email Jeff

This calculator was designed to help you determine your daily caloric needs so that you can better plan your daily meals.

The first number we provide is resting energy expenditure (REE), which is the amount of calories you would use in one day if you did zero activity.

Next, we provide you with total energy expenditure (TEE), which is the amount of calories you’d need if you were engaging in your regular daily activities.


Burning Fat

  • To lose 1lb of fat per week, subtract 500kcal from your TEE

  • To lose 2lbs of fat per week, subtract 1000kcal from your TEE

  • Be careful not to go too deep into a calorie deficit, as it could hurt your goals and cause you to hang on to fat

One pound of fat is equal to approximately 3,500 calories. To lose 1 pound of fat per week, subtract 500 calories from your TEE, and consume that many calories every day (500 C x 7 days = approx. 1 lb fat). To lose 2 pounds a week, subtract 1000* calories from your TEE to find your daily caloric needs (1,000C x 7 days = approx. 2 lbs fat).

It is generally considered safe to lose 1-2 lbs per week if you’re overweight or obese. Successful weight loss is a reduction of 10% body weight for 6 months. Think long term when it comes to weight loss.

*Note: If 1000kcal deficit puts you below 800kcal, seek the guidance of a physician or registered dietician. Never reduce your daily caloric intake below 800 kcal without medical supervision. Daily intake of less than 800 C is considered a Very Low Calorie Diet (VLCD) and may be dangerous.

Low Calorie Diet – Step 1

*For general information only. If you have a medical condition or need further help, contact us, speak to a doctor, or hire a hire a registered dietitian.

  1. Fat (9 calories per gram – no matter what type): 30% or less of total calories
  2. Protein (4 calories per gram): Approximately 15% of total calories (plant and lean animal sources)
  3. Carbohydrates (4 calories per gram): 55% or more of total calories
  4. Sodium (salt): No more than 100 mmol. Click Here to Learn More
  5. Cholesterol: <300 mg (<200 mg for those with high blood cholesterol)
  6. Calcium: 1,000 to 1,500 mg (especially important for women at risk for osteoporosis)
  7. Fiber: 20-30 grams (upper limit 35g)

Building Lean Muscle

  • You must participate in resistance training to build lean muscle. Complete at least 3 resistance workouts per week

  • To build 1-2lbs of lean muscle per week, add 350-700kcal to your TEE

  • To build 1-2lbs of lean muscle per week, add 350-700kcal to your TEE

One pound of muscle is equal to approximately 2,500 calories. In order to build 1-2 pounds of muscle in a week, you need to add 350-700 to your TEE daily (350 C x 7 days = approx. 1 lb muscle / 700 C x 7 days = approx. 2 lbs muscle). Be sure to complete at least 3+ resistance training sessions over the course of a week, depending on your fitness level.

You will not put on muscle if you are not progressively overloading your body and practicing proper resistance exercise. Be careful not to exceed 700kcal over your TEE, as you will begin to store fat in addition to building muscle.

Without resistance exercise, all extra calories in surplus of your TEE will be stored as fat.

This calorie calculator was designed to help you find your daily caloric needs. It provides you with your resting energy expenditure (REE) and total energy expenditure (TEE). These numbers represent the amount of calories you need to consume in order to maintain your current weight. Knowing your REE and TEE are crucial when working on weight related goals, and are an important factor in overall fitness. If you have any questions about how you can use this data, please contact us today.