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Calorie Calculator

Healthy Weight Loss With a Calorie Deficit

About You





Daily Activity

Your Goal


Weight You Want to Lose

Target Weight:kglbs


Start Date

End Date

Kcal/Day You Want to Lose

BMR (Basal Metabolic Rate) Estimation Formula — BMR is the number of calories your body needs to perform essential functions, like breathing and keeping your heart beating.


You should consume the following amount of calories to achieve weight goal:

Reaching your weight goal would take:

End Date:
Warning - implementing this calorie intake without professional nutrition advice implies a high risk for your health and is not recommended.
Our calculator is intended only for informational/educational purposes, and should never be interpreted as specific medical advice. Also, our authors make no claims of the accuracy of the information that is provided herein.


Maintain Current Weight (TDEE)
Daily Calorie Deficit
Daily Calorie Intake
Daily Weight Loss
Weekly Weight Lose

Other Health Measurements

Obesity Class

Weight Loss Chart

Quick Guide: How to Use the Calorie Calculator for Weight Loss

  1. Input your data. The calculator only needs basic info like your age, height, and weight.

  2. Click “Calculate” to submit your information.

  3. Read your results and incorporate them into your weight loss plan.

How Our Tool Calculates Calories

Our calculator incorporates a number of mathematical formulae including the Harris-Benedict Equation, the Katch-McArdle Formula, and the Mifflin-St Jeor Equation. These complex math equations take into account your age, height, weight, and body fat percentage.

Each formula varies slightly in how it calculates your daily calorie expenditures, and an average of all three equations is often used to give the best approximation. The goal of these formulae is to determine how many calories your body burns on a daily basis.

The calculator then plugs this result into a new formula along with your personal goal weight and how quickly you want to reach that goal.  The result you receive will let you know how many calories you should consume per day in order to attain your goal weight.

In simplest terms, our tool looks at your weight loss goal and how quickly you want to reach that goal in order to determine how strictly you should be limiting your daily calorie intake.

If you want to peek behind the curtain at the equations themselves, we’ll show you our work! These equations calculate your BMR (Basal Metabolic Rate). This is the number of calories you spend at rest each day, which helps determine what your calorie intake should be.

Here’s the math – and remember, the equations are sometimes different for men and women.

Mifflin-St Jeor Equation:

Men: BMR = 10W + 6.25H - 5A + 5

Women: BMR = 10W + 6.25H - 5A - 161

Revised Harris-Benedict Equation:

Men: BMR = 13.397W + 4.799H - 5.677A + 88.362

Women: BMR = 9.247W + 3.098H - 4.330A + 447.593

Katch-McArdle Formula:

BMR = 370 + 21.6(1 - F)W


W = body weight (kg)

H = height (cm)

A = age (years)

F = body fat (%)

Understanding Your Results

Your results will come in the form of a daily calorie limit. This number represents how many calories you should allow yourself each day. Assuming your daily activity stays consistent, sticking to this calorie limit will help you reach your goal weight on schedule.

How Calorie Counting Helps You Lose Weight

There are myriad diets, exercise regimens, and other methods that claim to help you lose weight. Many of these are successful in different ways and can be useful strategies to live a healthier life, but they are not foolproof.

Beneath the glitter and glam of fad diets, losing weight comes down to a simple ratio of calories in versus calories out. If you take in fewer calories (via eating and drinking) than you expel (via exercise or simply living your life), then you are going to lose weight. Simple as that.

Diets and exercise can work because they help you control this ratio. A sedentary lifestyle and indulgent eating habits are likely to result in weight gain. To combat this, diets can help you reduce the calories you consume, while exercise increases the calories you expel.

For these reasons, perhaps the most straightforward way to lose weight is simply to count your calories. Using our calculator, determine the right number of calories you should consume. Monitor what you eat to ensure you stay under that number, and voila: you’re losing weight.

Simple Tips to Cut Your Calories 

Everyone’s lifestyle and eating habits are a little bit different, but certain simple habits can help make it easy to manage your calorie intake.

Cut back on sugars, starches, and processed foods

Even though they are often delicious, sugars and processed foods give you the least bang for your buck in terms of nutrition. Sugary drinks, candy, and fast food contain an exorbitant amount of empty calories.

Empty calories are the arch-enemy of weight loss. They lack the nutrients your body needs, and they won’t make you feel full. This encourages you to eat more and more, making it an uphill battle to try and lose weight.

For many, a life without sweets and starches like chocolate and potato chips is a dull and dreary proposition. But you don’t have to cut them out of your life completely! If you’re smart about your meals and count your calories, you can still enjoy your favorite snacks as a treat.

Here are some foods to avoid for weight loss:

  • Soda (including diet soda)

  • Fruit juices

  • French fries

  • Potato chips

  • Candy (all types)

  • Alcohol

  • Ice cream

  • Baked goods

  • Fast food

  • Fried food

Eat a lot of protein, healthy fats, and vegetables

Whereas processed foods high in sugar are full of empty calories, healthy proteins and vegetables are full of the good stuff. It’s not groundbreaking to say that vegetables are healthier than candy, but why exactly is this the case?

100 calories of candy can be enjoyable to eat, but that’s about it. On the other hand, 100 calories of a leafy green vegetable will fill your body with fiber, vitamins, calcium, antioxidants, and much more.

The same is true of protein and healthy fats, which go much further toward helping you feel satisfied than processed food or sugars. A good example of this is seafood like salmon, which is packed with protein, vitamins, unsaturated (healthy) fats and more

Another useful way to visualize it is this: because these healthy foods are lower in calories, you can eat much more of them. If you had to decide between a single slice of pie or a plate of salmon and spinach, which do you think would make you feel more full?

Depending on the serving sizes, both of these options are around 300 calories. An occasional slice of pie is great, but you’ll get much more nutritional satisfaction from the salmon and spinach meal.

Here are some more ideas for good sources of protein and healthy fats:

  • Lean beef

  • Chicken breast

  • Salmon

  • Eggs

  • Almonds

  • Peanut butter

  • Cottage cheese

  • Greek yogurt

  • Lentils

  • Quinoa

Don’t skip meals

Skipping meals is an automatic way to cut the number of calories you consume, so that must mean it’s a good way to lose weight, right? Wrong!

When you skip meals, it starts to mess with your body’s metabolism. If your body doesn’t get the nutrients it expects, it kicks into survival mode to conserve energy. Not only will this make you feel sluggish, it can actually cause you to gain weight.

Whatever your eating schedule is, the best strategy is to try and keep it as consistent as possible. Eating a lighter lunch than normal – especially one with fewer sugars and processed foods – is a great idea. Skipping lunch altogether, however, is a no-no.

Drink a lot of water

Here’s a great golden rule to live by in your weight loss journey and beyond: water is free! Sure, water doesn’t really cost anything, but the real magic is that water is a zero-calorie drink.

Staying hydrated is key to a healthy lifestyle, and it’s particularly effective as a means of controlling your calorie intake. Sugary sodas, fruit juices, and other drinks are packed with sugar. Sugar means calories, which can lead to weight gain when consumed in excess.

People who regularly drink soda and other beverages can easily add 500+ calories to their daily intake just from their drinks. By only drinking water, you can remove those excess calories in one fell swoop.

Just like your favorite candies and other sweet eats, sugary drinks can be a great treat. Limiting yourself to one a day (or, better yet, one every few days) is one of the easiest ways to cut your calorie intake.

Prepare meals in advance

One major opponent to weight loss is the convenience factor. Sure, baked salmon with spinach is an ultra-healthy lunch idea, but you can’t exactly grab that at your closest fast-food joint, can you? Meal prepping can help you avoid the temptation to get a quick burger for lunch.

If you have some free time on your weekend, cook up some salmon or another healthy protein along with the vegetables of your choice. Portion it out for your daily lunches, and now you have a quick and easy solution to your midday meals.

Not everyone has the time or culinary prowess to pre-make their own meals. Luckily, there are companies that cater to this exact need. Prepared meal delivery services like Freshly and Factor do the work for you, delivering health-forward dishes to your doorstep.

Best Foods For Weight Loss

I’ve already talked about some characteristics of healthy foods, but what are some specific ideas for good weight loss foods?

One of the first rules is that just about any vegetable is a great choice: eat as many of these as possible. Leafy greens like spinach and kale are particularly packed with vitamins and nutrients

A major bonus here is that leafy greens are extremely low in calories. Two cups of raw spinach – enough for a single-serving salad – contains ample calcium, iron, vitamin A, and more. Yet this serving size amounts to only 14 calories

You also want protein in your diet, though, and there are many sources of good protein out there. Fish, like salmon, are often great sources of healthy fats. Chicken – the world’s most popular meat – is higher in protein and lower in cholesterol than beef.

Food To Avoid on Your Weight Loss Journey

You probably already know most of the usual suspects here: candy, processed food, and starches are never optimal choices for weight loss. But there are a few lesser-known ingredients you should avoid when trying to lose weight.

For example, you may think of potatoes as a vegetable, but they really count more as a starch. Your basic russet potato is not particularly nutritious. Instead, consider sweet potatoes, which are similar in calorie content, but loaded with many more vitamins.

Almost as important as the ingredients themselves is the method by which you cook them. Broccoli’s health benefits would be undermined if you prepare the veggie by breading and deep-frying it.

Breading adds carbs to the broccoli, while the oil you fry it in can add unhealthy fats. Both of these factors up the calorie count significantly, and suddenly your broccoli side dish isn’t so healthy anymore.

Instead, seek out cooking methods that balance flavor with health. Steamed broccoli doesn’t add any calories, but can be quite bland. A good compromise is to roast the veggies in the oven with a light drizzle of olive oil and a sprinkle of salt.

I used broccoli as an example here, but these guidelines apply to all vegetables and, in fact, pretty much all foods: fried things are calorie-dense, sauteed things slightly less-so. Roasting, baking, and using less butter and oil are great ways to cook lighter meals.

Different Types of Calories and Their Effects

I’ve mentioned empty calories before, but what does that really mean? It’s important to understand the difference between healthy foods like vegetables and empty calories like sugar.

When we say “empty calories,” we refer to calories that don’t provide nutritional value. They go toward your daily calorie limit, but they won’t help you feel full or put anything useful into your body. In this sense, these calories are wasted.

Remember: weight loss really comes down to the balance of calories in versus calories out. You could theoretically eat nothing but candy all day and still lose weight as long as you stay within your daily calorie limit. But you wouldn’t feel full, satisfied, healthy, or happy.

This is the best way to illustrate the downside of empty calories. If you limit yourself to a certain number of calories per day, you should spend those calories as much as possible on healthy foods that enrich your body. Don’t waste all your calories on candy!

The Number of Calories in Common Foods

Learning how many calories are in common foods is a great way to understand how to structure your diet. As I’ve mentioned, leafy greens are amazingly low in calories (5-7 calories per cup!), while a single slice of pie can contain 300+ calories.

A 5oz piece of salmon (a common portion size) has around 250 calories – less than that slice of pie. A similar portion of chicken breast is slightly higher at around 275 calories. These are both great high-protein choices.

Beef is usually not as healthy of a choice, though it is rich in minerals like iron and zinc. The calories in beef can vary widely depending on the cut and preparation, coming in anywhere from 200 to 700 calories for a 5oz portion.

Vegetarian proteins are often much lower in calories than meat, which is why vegetarian diets are a fabulous way to lose weight. For example, a 5oz portion of tofu contains a mere 100 calories. Tofu is, however, lower in protein than most meats. 

As you get used to counting your calories, you’ll become familiar with the general range for many food items: an apple has 70 calories, a slice of cheese has 100 calories, two tablespoons of peanut butter is 180 calories, and a slice of pepperoni pizza is 300 calories.

See our table for a quick reference on how many calories are in common foods:


Serving Size



1 medium apple



1 bagel



1 medium banana



12 oz can or bottle



1 cup chopped 


Cheddar Cheese

1 oz slice 



12 oz can or bottle



1 large



1 cup


Ice Cream, Chocolate

4 oz 



1 tbsp


Milk, Whole

1 cup



1 medium orange


Peanut Butter, smooth

2 tbsp


Pretzel, Soft

1 medium


Red Wine

5 oz (1 glass)



1 cup, fresh


Tortilla, Flour 

1 medium (soft taco)



2 frozen


Yogurt, Greek, nonfat

1 container (6 oz)


The Number of Calories Burned During Exercise

Incorporating exercise into your daily routine provides many benefits, not least of which is burning calories. The more calories you burn, the easier it will be to reach and maintain your goal weight. 

Calories are energy, so you are really using calories pretty much all the time. Office work, doing the dishes, and other humdrum activities already burn up to 300 calories per hour. Considering that as a baseline, more strenuous activity can burn calories more quickly.

Exercise doesn’t have to be hardcore to be helpful. A brisk walk, a bike ride, or dancing can burn up to 460 calories per hour. That’s roughly equivalent to a bagel with a hefty schmear of cream cheese.

Jogging or swimming can burn calories at a rate of up to 730 calories per hour. This is enough to work off a large hot fudge sundae with the works.

Very strenuous activities, like full-speed running or high-energy sports like racquetball, can burn over 900 calories per hour. That’s roughly equivalent to an entire bag of chips! 

Most of us aren’t about to go out and sprint full-speed for an hour just to eat a can of Pringles, but it’s important to understand the connection between food and energy. When you realize how much exercise it takes to work it off, you may think twice about having an indulgent snack.

Check our easy reference table to see how many calories you can burn with different exercises:



Calories Burned*


1 hour, normal pace



1 hour



1 hour



1 hour



1 hour



1 hour



1 hour



1 hour



1 hour



1 hour


*The exact calories burned can vary based on several factors, including your weight and other health considerations.

FAQ on Calorie Counting for Weight Loss

How many calories do I burn resting?

The average person burns about 45 calories per hour just by being at rest. This number can vary widely depending on your age and health, but everyone burns calories simply by staying alive. This is essentially what’s known as your metabolism.

Can I lose weight without exercising?

Yes, it’s possible to lose weight without exercising. However, since weight loss is all about calories in versus calories out, burning calories through exercise is an effective way to speed up the process.

What is a normal weight loss per week?

Losing 1-2 pounds per week is a good long-term goal. Losing weight too quickly can be harmful to your health, especially if you are embarking on your weight-loss journey without the guidance of a dietician.

Why is slower weight loss recommended?

Losing weight too quickly can be damaging to your health. A sudden loss of 5-10 pounds in the span of a week will trigger your body’s survival instinct. This affects your metabolism and can be harmful to your muscles. A slow rate of weight loss is much easier to maintain in the long term.

How much weight can I lose by eating 1000 calories per day?

You can lose weight with a restrictive 1000-calorie diet, but the exact amount varies on how many calories your body uses in a day. 

Without any extra exercise or exertion, the average person burns around 1800 calories a day. This means that even if you don’t work out, a 1000-calorie diet will help you lose between 1-2 pounds each week.

What is my ideal weight?

Your ideal weight depends on many factors, including your age, height, build, and more. BMI is one popular way to determine your ideal weight, but BMI is not a one-size-fits-all calculation!

Online tools can help you determine a range for your goal weight, but professionals like doctors or licensed dieticians are much more qualified to give you this answer.

How many calories does it take to burn a pound?

It takes roughly 3500 calories to burn a pound of body fat. This means a deficit of 500 calories per day can help you shed one pound per week. 

Can I lose 10 pounds in a month?

Losing 10 pounds in a month is a realistic goal, if not an easy one. If you maintain a strict diet and a deficit of around 1000 calories per day, you’ll be able to lose 10 pounds in five weeks.

How much weight can I lose in a week?

Losing 1-2 pounds per week is an ideal goal. It is possible to lose much more than this by starving yourself or taking other drastic measures, but this is unhealthy and unsustainable.

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