This is probably the question I get asked most frequently.

How do I figure out how many calories I should eat to lose weight?

(P.S. At the end of this post, I talk about how your metabolism is broken down if you’d like to know the science behind the information you’re about to read. Check it out.)

Quite frankly it depends on your activity level and the specific program you’re doing. Calories are more an art than a science, you have to play around with them a while. If you bought a program, use that specific calculation to figure it out.

If not, here’s a good place to start. Beware, there is math involved!

What I would recommend is using a site to figure out your BMR. Here is a great site to do that for you. After you’ve found your number, return back to this page.

Calculate my BMR!

This is how many calories you’d burn if you were lying in bed all day. You should NEVER go below that number. Now you need to bump that up based on your activity level.

If you sit around all day, multiply that number by 1.2

If you’re active by exercising 1-3 days a week multiply that number by 1.375

If you’re extremely active and exercise 4-6 times a week, multiply that number by 1.55

This is your calories to maintain your weight.  If you’d like to lose weight, you can drop it as low as 500 calories a day but NEVER go below your BMR.

Just remember calories is more an art than a science so play with that number and reach out to me for specific help when needed.

Want some more help? I have created a free 7 day fitness and nutrition group for First Responders.

Click Here To Join the 7 day fitness, nutrition and support academy today!

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2 thoughts on “How Many Calories Should I Eat?

  1. Lance H.

    I am new to all this and trying to get into shape. Thank you for the website you put on…it is awesome! I am a little bit confused on the BMR information, and was hoping I could get some clarification. On this site it says “If you’d like to lose weight, you can drop it (calories) as low as 500 calories per day but NEVER go below your BMR”. My confusion is that since one of the factors is weight, if I lose weight wouldn’t that drop my BMR? I ran the numbers at the weight the Army thinks I should be at (180 @ 68 inches) and my BMR numbers came back as 1819.8. But my current BMR is 2037.85, so I am a little confused. Thank you for any assistance you can give me.

  2. Marc Hildebrand

    Great question Lance.

    This is something you’re going to have to routinely change, because as you progress your BMR will go down and you’ll have to adjust. Usually once every 1-2 months. Use your BMR based off of what you’re at right now.

    So if your BMR is 2037, then you shouldn’t go below 2k calories for the day. This also has some light to moderate workouts added in to this equation already too.

    If you’re doing a higher intensity workout like the ones I do, throw this equation out and follow whatever the nutrition guide says because the numbers above that I reference, are only for a general reference point. Calories are more an art than a science, but this is a great place to start.

    All else fails, reach out to me personally and we will figure it out!

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