Learn To Calculate Your BMR And Asses Your Daily Caloric Intake

By Steve Hall

February 2, 2013

*We may earn a commission for purchases made using our links. Please see our Disclaimer to learn more.

What’s All This About BMR and Calories

By figuring out how much fuel your body needs to maintain its current weight will tell you how to gauge how many calories you need to either loose or build. Building muscle and losing fat are quite simple. Once you know how much energy your body needs you can then judge how much you either need to cut by creating a deficit or how much you need to add by creating a surplus.

Calculating Your Basal Metabolic Rate

calculate your daily calories

How exactly do you calculate your caloric intake? With a simple formula called the Harris-Benedict principle you can can assess your basal metabolic rate aka BMR.

BMR is the amount of energy your body needs to function. We use about 60% of the calories we consume each day for basic bodily functions such as breathing. Other factors that influence your BMR are height, weight, age and sex.

Step 1: Calculate your BMR with the following formula:

Women:
65 + (4.3 x weight in pounds) + (4.7 x height in inches) – (4.7 x age in years)

Men:
66 + (6.3 x weight in pounds) + (12.9 x height in inches) – (6.8 x age in years)
Please note that this formula applies only to adults.

Step 2: Incorporate activity into your daily caloric needs, with the following calculation:

Sedentary : BMR x 20 percent
Lightly active: BMR x 30 percent
Moderately active (You exercise most days a week.): BMR x 40 percent
Very active (exercise intensely on a daily basis or for prolonged periods.): BMR x 50 percent
Extra active (You do hard labor or are in athletic training.): BMR x 60 percent

Add this number to your BMR.

The result of this formula will be the number of calories you can eat every day and maintain your current weight.

Tailor Your Diet For Your Goals

calculate daily caloric intakeBy knowing how much fuel you need helps in a major way. Training at the gym with intensity and pushing yourself to the max requires a good bit of nutrition. Make sure you feed the furnace and stoke that fire! Keep a log of what your eating. If you haven’t read Setting The Building Blocks: An Overview Of Nutrition swing on by and take a look.

Social box scroll stop element

Steve Hall

Steve is a strength training fanatic who geeks out over the best, most efficient workouts, nutrition and gear to help get you stronger and healthier!

More to explore


If you're looking for a calorie calculator for muscle gain check out our guide on how to calculate the right amount of calories for your specific situation. One [...]

How Do I Calculate Calories For Muscle Gain? Includes A Handy Calculator

Getting the right amount of water each day is consistently recommended by health and fitness professionals across the board. Essential for many bodily functions, it is a key [...]

3 Super Simple Ways To Make Drinking Water Fun!

Muscle nutrition is a key factor in determining what your body will look like despite your best efforts in the gym. Without a sound diet building muscle, gaining [...]

Muscle Nutrition For Beginners