How many calories should I be eating to loose weight?

Before you can start counting calories you first need to know what your target amount is. Too many and you could gain weight, too few and you could sabotage your efforts for reasons I wont explain here but suffice to say you should aim to consume no less than 15% below the amount of calories your body would require to maintain the status quo.

So the base figure you need to establish is;

How Many Calories to Stay the Same?

To work this out you need this formula.

Weight – body fat = Lean Mass (LM)

Basal Metabolic Rate (BMR) = 370 + (21.6 x LM)

BMR  x Activity Multiplier (AM) = Total Daily Caloric Requirement (TDCR)


A man who weighs 80kg and has a body fat percentage of 16% would have a LM of 67.2kg.

Multiply that LM of 67.2 x 21.6 to get 1,451.52. Take that figure and add 370 to calculate BMR = 1,821.52

The BMR figure you now have is the number of calories the body would require to maintain the same weight if you just sat on the couch all day. So the next step is to take in to account activity levels. We’ll assume that you are an active person who works out 3 times a week and that gives us an Activity Multiplier of 1.55.

AM 1.55 x BMR 1,821.52 = TDCR 2,823.356

There you have it! We can ignore the decimal places, the starting number for working out how many calories you need to base your calorie counting on is 2,823 calories.

Obviously there are variations on this and it is not totally accurate because there are many variables. If you are attending an organised weight loss group I would expect the leader to be able to give you a more accurate calculation based on your profile.

To calculate your body fat % without the need for callipers try this handy calculator;

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