Daily Calorie Calculator

By Alan Frost, updated January, 2014

Here you can find our daily calorie calculator. The calculator uses your basal metabolic rate (BMR) plus the estimated calories you expend from being active. Your BMR is essentially the amount of calories you use daily at rest (to stay alive). If you are interested in knowing just your BMR, please use our BMR Calculator.

To use this calculator you will need to know two things:

1. Your lean bodyweight: This is your body weight if you had 0% fat. So, for this, you need to know your body fat percentage. There are several ways to calculate this, or for a rough approximation you can also compare yourself to images of people at certain body fat percentage levels. See Body Fat Calculator.

Once you have estimated your body fat percentage, whether by using our calculator or by looking at the images, you can then calculate your lean body weight using this Lean Body Weight Calculator.

2. Your activity level: To estimate this, use the chart below (Hatfield, 2004):
1.30: Very light activity. Includes sitting, talking, and performing minor activities with only a little walking around.
1.55: Light activity. Typing, shop work, some walking during the day.
1.65: Moderate activity. Jogging, gardening type work, and activities like biking, tennis, dancing, or weight lifting for 1 to 2 hours per day.
1.80: Heavy activity: Heavy manual labor with activities like intensive sports (e.g. soccer, basketball, bodybuilding) for 2 to 4 hours per day.
2.00: Very heavy. 8 or more hours of moderate and heavy activity, as well as 2-4 hours intensive daily training.

The figure you obtain will be an estimate of your break-even point, i.e. the number of calories you need on a typical day so as to neither gain nor lose weight. If you want to learn more about how this calculation is performed, check out Calculate Daily Calorie Intake.

Please remember that the figure you get will be an estimate and that the actual expended calories can differ from person to person. However, this estimate is a great starting point, which you can then refine through trial and error.

Check out our other calculators or read the article on how to Design a Proper Nutrition Plan to learn how all the pieces fit together.

Daily Calorie Requirement

Lean body weight:
Activity Level:
Your required daily calorie intake:


Hatfield FC (2004), Fitness The Complete Guide edition 8.6.6, International Sports Science Association's Certified Fitness Trainer Program

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