How to Calculate How Many Calories You Need

How to Calculate How Many Calories You Need

Do you know how many calories you need a day to maintain your weight? To lose weight?

To find out the calories you need to just survive, you’ll need to know your Basal Metabolic Rate using the Harris Benedict formula.

Women’s BMR formula:
655+(4.3 x weight in lbs) + (4.7 x height in inches) – (4.7 x age in years)

Men’s BMR formula:
66+(6.23 x weight in lbs) + (12.7 x height in inches) – (6.8 x age in years)

To find your Active Metabolic Rate, which is the amt. of calories you need to carry out your daily activities, calc the following:

Sedentary: BMRx1.2

Lightly Active: BMRx1.375

Moderately Active: BMRx1.55

Very Active: BMRx1.725

Extra Active: BMRx1.9

My AMR turns out to be about 1400 and my AMR is around 2300. Remember that if your BMR seems high, it may also be because you are overestimating how hard you work during your workouts. That’s why I like to choose  a range.

After I posted the video, I got a ton of questions saying that you ate way less than your AMR and you gained like 10 lbs in one month. Hmmm. I’d really like you guys to measure out your foods on a scale and in measuring cups, journal it in an app like MyNetDiary, and then tell me how much you’re really eating. Also, you never want to eat less than 1200 cals, as you will most likely be starving yourself. Your body will try to conserve all the energy you put in it and you’ll have nothing left for working out! At least not working out effectively anyway. And your body will not have enough calories to build muscle. You need to treat food as fuel. Not the enemy.


I am in LA right now. Someone on Facebook said Louisiana? Haha, no. Los Angeles!

I will be at Equinox West Hollywood tomorrow and Tuesday and then Equinox Santa Monica on Thursday showing my gym bags! This will be trunk show number 3 and 4. I’m tired and don’t really wanna play sales girl again but it’s good practice. So please stop by if you’re in the area. Feel free to tweet me @Blogilates if you’re coming and wanna know if I’m there.

Yesterday I was in LA buying some new tops for you guys! New Blogilates merch on it’s way! We’ve got super cute lacey racerbacks, flowy pull overs, and slim-fitting long sleeves. I think you will love love love!!!!! Now just gotta get these guys to a screen printer and hopefully I can have these tops up before I leave for Australia.

And if any of you POPsters are in Australia and near Sydney, please come out to the POP Pilates meetup Sunday Feb 12! I’ll announce more about which Lorna Jane store the event will be held at and more deets on the livestream later. I can’t wait to meet you Aussies!

K, that is all. Will be an early morning tomorrow for me. Need to get to Equinox at 7:30am. Ugh!!! Have a fab start to your week. <3 Cassey

23 thoughts on “How to Calculate How Many Calories You Need”

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  1. heloisa says:

    Hey cassey,do you consider weight lift as a workout? I mean if I lift 3 times a week is lightly or moderately active?sorry for my english

  2. Gabriella Sudall says:

    250 calories in total a day or extra???

  3. GG says:

    What would you consider light active versus moderate, etc? For example if you have a desk job but do one hour of Zumba twice a week, walk (because of living in an urban city) 15 minutes a day, and do some light weight training for half an hour twice a week–is that considered light or moderate?

    1. Ilenia says:

      Hi Cassey, thank you for sharing this. If I go for at least 4 or 5 blogilates training per week (I follow you calendar trying to stick with it) plus one hour walking in the week end 1 or 2 times, but I have an office work so I spend 8 hours on a chair every day… How should I consider the level of exercise? Thank you so much. I do not know if I eat to much or to less. I always feel a sense of hungry but it could be the stress!

  4. Rachel says:

    Mine comes out to 1036.1.
    I eat slightly less than that, and I’m pretty active. I swim competitively, and swim for an hour and a half at least 3 times week. I dunno, I feel like that’s not enough?

  5. Lovepinkk says:

    1440.4 BMR and 2232.62 AMR. I’m not sure if that’s good or not…

  6. Nazy says:

    My BMR is 1238.5 and my AMR is 1919. Is it concidered good, since I think that my weight is ideal?

  7. Mandy Ritz says:

    So my BMR is 1465 and my AMR is 2015. I’m looking to lose 25-30 lbs. How should I adjust my calorie intake to achieve this in a healthy manner?

    1. Jessica says:

      Eat 500 less than the 2015 you need to maintain. You can either eat 500 less or eat 250 less and burn 250 through exercise.

  8. Dao says:

    Cassey, I read one of your blog entries where you talked about calorie count and weight loss. It was the first article I read from your blog and it really opened my eyes. In it, you said something about not starving yourself and eating more to lose weight. I was at a point where I did not lose any weight despite working 1.5 hrs/day 5 days a week. It was so frustrating! Thankfully, that article brought light to my diet and I realized I was putting myself in starvation mode. After that, I ate more and poof! The pounds came off!

    Thank you for posting articles like this one. They are so helpful and I have gained insights from them.

  9. sarah socha says:

    I did mine. b 1557.2 A2141.15 my question is, if I stay with the numbers for the weight I want t be, will that hell me achive that goal?

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  11. Amrie says:

    I dont think mine’s right. It says my BRM is 932.32 and my AMR is 1118.74. These numbers sound really low, should I really be eating that little?

    1. blogilates says:

      that sounds too low, check ur math again

  12. Patti says:

    My BMR is 1,561.9 and my AMR (with moderate exercise: I do yoga, pilates, kickboxing, or run 5 days a week plus serve on Saturday nights and act every other night) is 2,420.945. That means 250 calories less is 2,170.945 which. is. GREAT! Because I have been driving myself crazy trying to eat under 1,700 calories and really not succeeding. I am going to try to eat 150 g protein a day – it’s such a great suggestion, and a lot of my calories are from bread and drinks, so that should help. Here I go!

  13. Carlie says:

    For adding on your activity level, I would forget about what you do for exercise and only think about what you do for a job. There is a huge difference to sitting down for 8hrs plus one hr of intense exercise, vs someone who is on their feet all day, lifting heavy and moving their body for 8 hrs. A lot of people over estimate their activity level and then wonder why they aren’t losing weight.

    1. Mana says:

      That’s exactly what I was thinking, too! I walk around a lot – building to building, up and down stairs, etc. But it’s mostly a sitting job. Just because I do 1 hour of hard exercise at the end of the day doesn’t make me have a high activity level throughout the rest of the day!

  14. My BMR is 1508 and my AMR is 2338 and I’ve kept a food journal since last year, altough sometimes I forget, but I am trying my best to grasp the “eat clean” concept every day! Thanks! I’m doing dancing and cardio for 160 minutes a week, then pilates 80 minutes a week and finally I go jogging for 25 minutes on Sundays. I guess that’s moderate activity, right?

  15. Molly says:

    Hey I just found your site through youtube. I’ve already done a few of your workouts and I feel amazing! I love you positive energy and upbeat attitude! Thanks for helping me get toned! 😀

  16. Natalie says:

    I just did mine, BMR is 1782.4 and my AMR is around 2762.72. I thought it was a bit high so I double checked the sums and it came out the same. I weigh 213 lbs and I’ve recently started biking half an hour to work and half an hour back five days a week so I used the moderately active bit – mostly because it’s all up and down hills permanantly so I get a proper workout!!!

  17. Marie says:

    Hallo Cassy,
    first please excuse my english.
    The bmr is very different between individuals. I eat really a lot and my weight is stable (BMI 18) without workout at all. My best friend eats helpings I would starve on and she is always working out to keep her BMI lower than 28.
    And you have to consider the heart rate during a workout, if I remember correctly about 60%or more of the weekly workout is supposed to be indurance-sports with a heart rate for most people around 120-150 bpm to burn fat efficiently. This is because the fatburn works best during the aerobe episode. (Sport-physicians do treadmill or spinning analysis combined with ergospirometry to calculate the individual fatburn-heartrate and the point where the metabolism turns anaerobe). If the heartrate is to high there is no effective fat burn and more energy will be provided by glycogene and creatininphosphate out of muscles.

  18. Max says:

    Hi Cassey!

    My BMR is 1453.7. My AMR is 2253.235 and 2507.6325.

    I hope you have fun at the Equinox!