Based on my height, weight, age, exercise levels, how many calories should I be consuming daily to lose a healthy amount of weight each week/month?

I have been to about 5 difference sites and have used their calculators, which all seem to return different results ranging from 1500 to 2000 calories a day.

For example, based on http://caloriecount.about.com/ I should be consuming 1525 calories a day.


1 Answer 1


Until you get tested to find your Basal Metabolic Rate (BMR), all those calculators can do is give you an approximation of what you need to eat. The BMR is a measure of how many calories your body burns while you are being a slug on a couch--doing nothing.

The calculators are using a formula that is based on some assumptions on what a typical person your size, height, etc. would have for a BMR. It's usually within a couple hundred calories, but I've had them estimate high.

Measuring the BMR usually involves measuring the air your body breaths while under a level of stress--such as the treadmill machine. Many gyms will offer it as a service, but you might have your doctor figure it out.

After you have the BMR, the rest is easy. If you consume fewer calories than you burn, you'll lose weight. Just a couple words of advice:

  • You need a certain amount of protein to protect your muscles--which in turn burn more fat.
  • If you need to cut parts of your diet to hit your target calories, don't sacrifice protein. Many women are protein deficient (based on observations from my wellness center)
  • You need to burn 3500 calories to lose 1 pound of fat. That also means you need to consume 3500 in excess of your BMR to gain a pound.
  • To lose 1 lb per week, you should consume 500 calories less than your BMR.

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