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FAQ: Daily Calorie Requirement

What is my resting calorie requirement?

The resting daily calorie requirement calculator estimates your calorie needs in two stages; the first is based on your weight and age, and this is scaled according to how active you are.

First, calculate your basic calorie need:

Age Men Women
10 - 18 17.5 x W + 651 12.2 x W + 746
19 - 30 15.3 x W + 679 14.7 x W + 496
31 - 60 11.6 x W + 879 8.7 x W + 829

Example: I weigh 74kg, and I am a 37 year old male, so my resting
metabolic requirement is: (15.3 x 74) + 679 = 1811 calories per day.

Then you multiply this according to how active you are during the day.

Acitivity Multiplier Description
Sedentary 1.4 Little physical exertion during the day
Moderately active 1.7 eg regularly walking during the day
Very active 2.0 eg physically demanding work such as farming

Example: I am moderately active, because I have a sedentary job as a
civil servant, but I exercise every day, including cycling to work and
running. So I multiply by 1.7: 1.7 x 1811 = 3078 calories per day.

Source: Anita Bean The Complete Guide to Sports Nutrition.

How much do I add for the exercise I do?

The following table assumes a person of 65kg. Energy consumption would be higher for a heavier person, and lower for a lighter person.

Activity KCal / hour
Aerobics (high intensity) 520
Aerobics (low intensity) 400
Cycling (16 km / hour) 385
Cycling (9 km / hour) 250
Running (6 min / mile) 1000
Running (10 min / mile) 600
Squash 615
Swimming (vigorous) 630
Weight training 270 - 450

How many calories should I eat if I want to lose weight?

You should not eat less than 85% of your daily calorie needs, and you should not try to lose more than 500g per week, because

  • you risk illness
  • your metabolism (and hence rate of weight loss) will slow down.

The minimum calorie intake calculator calculates the minimum amount of calories you should consume, and the maximum rate of weight loss.

See also