How to Compute Your Daily Calorie Needs

nrg500nrg500 Posts: 1,233B-Class
-- The Harris-Benedict Formula --

First, you must know your BMR or basal metabolic rate. This the amount of energy required for normal body functions at rest

For males:

BMR = 66 + (13.7 x weight in kg) + (5 x height in cm) - (6.8 x age in years)

For females:

BMR = 655 + (9.6 x weight in kg) + (1.8 x height in cm) - (4.7 x age in years)

Now that you know your BMR, compute for your calorie maintenance level (also known as Total Daily Energy Expenditure or TDEE for short) by multiplying your BMR by your activity multiplier which are shown below

Sedentary (very little or no exercise at all) - 1.2
Lightly active (exercise for 1 to 3 days per week) - 1.375
Moderately active (exercise for 3 to 5 days per week) - 1.55
Very active (exercise for 6 to 7 days per week) - 1.725
Extremely active (hard daily exercises or sports) - 1.9

I will use mine as an example

26 years old
5'11" (180.3 cm)
170 lbs (77.3 kg)
Does weight lifting for 3 days per week

= 66 + (13.7 x 77.3) + (5 x 180.3) - (6.8 x 26)
= 66 + 1059.01 + 901.5 - 176.8
= 1849.71 ~ 1850 calories per day

= 1850 x 1.55
= 2867.5 calories per day

-- The Katch-McArdle Formula --

If you know your body fat percentage, use this formula for a more accurate computation of your daily calorie needs

For male and females:

BMR = 370 + (21.6 x lean body mass in kg)

To know your TDEE, just use the activity multilpliers used in the Harris-Benedict Formula

== == == == ==

If you are in a cutting phase or fat loss program, take 80% to 85% of your TDEE

If you are in a bulking phase or muscle building program, take 115% to 120% of your TDEE

== == == == ==

Conversion factors
1 feet = 12 inches
1 inch = 2.54 cm
1 kg = 2.2 lbs

How to compute your lean body mass

LBM (lean body mass) = body weight x (1 - body fat percentage in decimal form)

For example, if you weigh 200 lbs and your body fat is 15%

LBM = 200 x (1 - 0.15) = 200 x 0.85 = 170 lbs


  • cheesecakecheesecake Posts: 110
    beware, these are only calorie estimations. your true intakes may be higher or lower than this, so just use these as bases and see where you go from there :)
  • nrg500nrg500 Posts: 1,233B-Class

    yes, your intake will be higher than the TDEE if you are building muscle

    intake will be lower than the TDEE if you are losing fat

    if you have reached your desired physique or just want to maintain what you currently have, just take your TDEE
  • cheesecakecheesecake Posts: 110
    er no, i meant that those are just estimates of your daily expenditures. hindi naman exact yung numbers na yun, lol
  • nrg500nrg500 Posts: 1,233B-Class
    Actually, there are 4 methods to compute for your total daily energy expenditure

    I didn't post the other two because they are "quick" estimates and might not be accurate especially for those who are obese and those who are already ripped

    The most precise method is the Katch-McArdle formula because it takes into account the body fat percentage. Use the Harris-Benedict formula only if you don't know your body fat percentage

    In my opinion, I'd prefer those two established formulas rather than just rough estimates
  • exaltedexalted Posts: 64
    Nice thread, now I just need to know kung gaano ako kabigat. Very informative. Thanks for posting this :)
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