Wednesday, July 29, 2009

Determining Your Daily Calorie Needs

Determining how many calories your body needs a day to lose weight really has to be the first step in losing weight. Although you've often seen written that the "average" person needs 2,000-2,200 calories a day, those number are too high for many people. As I've previously written here:, because I'm 5 foot 2 inches and pretty small boned, I can only consume 1,700 calories a day.

So, if I was on that "average" diet of 2,000 calories a day, I'd be putting on a pound every fifteen days or so (an extra 3,500 calories equals one extra pound).

So forget the averages, and try to figure out approximately what YOUR daily caloric needs are, not some mythical person. I like the Revolution Health calculator, but this article also gives a good summary for figuring it out:

Once you know how much you need, you can then determine how many calories to cut/how much exercise to do to lose weight.

And, remember, the more weight you lose, the fewer calories you need to sustain that new weight. So the more you lose, the more you have to cut calories/exercise, to continue to lose weight.


  1. Wait, so what happens to your calorie needs when you come off a cleanse or a juice fast?

  2. I'm not quite sure what you are asking. Your caloric needs are the same whether you're on a fast, coming off the fast or never did a fast.

    I.e., if it takes 1,700 calories to maintain your current weight then it's the same whether you're fasting or not.

    Generally, depending on the length of the fast or cleanse, you slowly reintroduce foods.

  3. A long time ago I found a formula for determining your calorie needs. It was based on your ideal weight and your level of activity. If you're inactive, you multiply your ideal weight x 10; moderately active, ideal weight x 15, very active - ideal weight x 20. It's probably not perfect, but it's not bad, either.

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