Health & Fitness Calculators
Calorie Calculator

Calorie Calculator

This calorie calculator computes how many calories are required daily to maintain, decrease, or gain weight. Learn about the different types of calories and how they affect you.


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Extreme Weight Loss

-2 lb/week 1,626 cal/day 62%

Weight loss

-1 lb/week 2,126 cal/day 81%

Mild weight loss

-0.5 lb/week 2,376 cal/day 90%

Maintain weight

0 lb/week 2,626 cal/day 100%

Mild weight gain

+0.5 lb/week 2,876 cal/day 110%

Weight gain

+1 lb/week 3,126 cal/day 119%

Extreme Weight gain

+2 lb/week 3,626 cal/day 138%


9000 J = 2151.05 cal

2000 cal = 8368 J

Table of Contents

  1. Energy Converter for Food
  2. The Equation of Mifflin-St. Jeor
  3. The Revised Equation of Harris-Benedict
  4. The Formula of Katch-McArdle
  5. Counting Calories as a Weight Loss Tool
    1. 1. Use one of the given equations to estimate your BMR
    2. 2. Establish your weight-loss objectives
    3. 3. Determine a calorie-counting strategy and work toward your goals
    4. 4. Recognize that weight reduction isn’t the only aspect to consider regarding health and fitness
  6. Calorie Cycling in a Zigzag Pattern
  7. What Are Your Calorie Requirements?
  8. What are calories
  9. Calories in Everyday Foods
  10. 2000, 1500, and 1200 Calorie Sample Meal Plans
  11. Calories Burned by Standard Activities
  12. Food Sources that Provide Energy

Calorie Calculator

You may use the Calorie Calculator to compute how many calories a person requires daily. This calculator can also give some easy weight-gain or weight-loss advice.

Energy Converter for Food

The tool below may convert calories and other popular food energy units.

The conclusions of this calorie calculator depend on an approximate average and are based on many equations. The Harris-Benedict Equation was among the first formulas for calculating basal metabolic rate (BMR), or the amount of energy spent each day at rest. This formula was updated in 1984 to make it more reliable.

It was used until the Mifflin-St. Jeor Equation was developed in 1990. Currently, the Mifflin-St. Jeor equation is considered to be the most accurate for estimating BMR.

The Katch-McArdle Formula estimates resting daily energy expenditure (RDEE). It considers lean body mass, which the Mifflin-St. Jeor and the Harris-Benedict Equations ignored.

The Mifflin-St. Jeor Equation is the most accurate for determining BMR among these formulas. The Katch-McArdle formula is more accurate for slimmer people who know their body fat percentage.

The calculator uses three equations, stated below:

The Equation of Mifflin-St. Jeor

Gender Formula
Males BMR = 10W + 6.25H - 5A + 5
Females BMR = 10W + 6.25H - 5A - 161

The Revised Equation of Harris-Benedict

Gender Formula
Males BMR = 13.397W + 4.799H - 5.677A + 88.362
Females BMR = 9.247W + 3.098H - 4.330A + 447.593

The Formula of Katch-McArdle

Gender Formula
Universal BMR = 370 + 21.6(1 - F)W
  • W - body weight in kg
  • H - body height in cm
  • A - age
  • F - body fat percentage

The result estimates how many calories a person may ingest in a day to keep their body weight at rest. One pound of food, or 0.45 kilograms, corresponds to about 3,500 calories.

People generally are not at rest all day. And to achieve a more realistic estimate of sustaining body weight, that figure is multiplied by an activity factor (usually 1.2-1.95). This factor is based on the usual amount of exercise for a person.

Experts recommend that people cut 500 calories from their estimated daily calorie requirement to lose 1 pound each week. For example, suppose a person needs 2,500 calories a day to maintain weight by consuming 2,000 calories daily for one week. In that case, they could lose 3,500 calories or one pound.

A combination of good nutrition and physical activity is the best approach to weight loss. Lowering calorie consumption by over 1,000 calories per day is not recommended. Losing more than 2 pounds per week can be dangerous and have the opposite effect pretty quickly by slowing your metabolism. Losing over 2 pounds weekly will significantly result in muscle loss, resulting in decreased BMR. Keep in mind that less muscular mass equals lower BMR.

Depriving the body of essential nutrients as part of a highly unhealthy diet can have serious consequences. Dehydration can also lead to rapid weight loss, which is dangerous. Therefore, maintaining a nutritious diet is crucial, especially while exercising and dieting. The body needs to sustain its metabolic processes and restore itself.

Some experiments have shown that weight loss achieved through extreme starvation and dehydration is counterproductive. Weight loss can often be restored as fat, leaving the individual in an even worse condition than when they started the diet. In addition to counting calories, it's essential to watch your body's needs for fiber and other nutrients.

Counting Calories as a Weight Loss Tool

At the most basic level, we can divide calorie counting for weight loss into several basic steps:

1. Use one of the given equations to estimate your BMR

The Katch-McArdle formula can provide a more accurate measurement of your BMR if you know your body fat percentage. The results of these formulas are estimates. Reducing 500 calories from your BMR will not guarantee an exact 1-pound loss every week—it might be less or more.

2. Establish your weight-loss objectives

It's commonly understood that a deficit of about 3,500 calories is roughly equivalent to a weight loss of one pound (approximately 0.45 kg). By reducing your daily caloric intake by 500 calories below your estimated BMR, you can aim for a weight loss of about 1 pound per week. For more aggressive weight loss, consider reducing your daily caloric intake by up to 1,000 calories.

However, losing more than 2 pounds per week can be potentially harmful to your health. If you aim to lose more than this rate, it's advisable to consult with a healthcare professional or a registered dietitian nutritionist.

3. Determine a calorie-counting strategy and work toward your goals

Many simple smartphone apps can help you keep track of calories and your activity. Most, if not all, include calorie estimates for many brand-name meals or restaurant plates.

They can predict calories depending on the number of specific food ingredients. Checking the size and weight of meals and calculating their caloric content can be quite a hassle for many people. So, like any other method, calorie counting is not for everyone.

However, suppose you diligently measure and document the number of calories in some of your usual meals, whose calorie levels you already know. It becomes much easier to forecast caloric intake in this instance without weighing or evaluating your food every time. Some websites can also help with this, but if you keep an Excel spreadsheet or even a paper diary, that's also a reasonable alternative.

4. Recognize that weight reduction isn’t the only aspect to consider regarding health and fitness

You need to consider fat vs. muscle loss or gain. Monitor your performance over time and, if required, make modifications to meet your objectives better.

Significant weight fluctuations can occur due to water consumption or time of day. Collecting measurements over extended periods, such as a week, would be best. It’s also better to take measures under constant conditions, like weighing oneself first thing in the morning and before breakfast, instead of at random intervals throughout the day.


Calorie counting isn’t an exact science. The methods above are an effort at calorie counting at its most basic level. They don’t consider the macronutrient quantities ingested.

There is no particular macronutrient ratio (fats, proteins, and carbs) that is optimal for health. But different meals have been proven to have varying effects on health, appetite, and the number of calories spent. Minimally processed plant and animal foods are more helpful for maintaining a healthy weight.

There are various ways to lose weight. No single strategy works for everyone, so many special diets and exercise programs are available. While specific methods are more useful for each adult, not all weight loss procedures are the same.

Counting calories is one of the most prevalent and efficient weight loss approaches. At its most basic form, calories ingested minus calories exerted will aid in weight gain if the outcome is positive or weight loss if the number is negative. Regardless of efficiency or health, a sustained decrease in calorie consumption or increased physical exercise should lead to weight loss.

Calorie counting offers additional, less measurable benefits, such as assisting with dietary consciousness. Many people are entirely ignorant of their daily calorie consumption or severely underestimate it. Counting calories can allow you to better understand different types of meals, how many calories they include, and how those calories affect your sense of satiety.

You can make it easier to control your portions and avoid foods with empty calories. You need to understand how many calories are in a bag of Doritos, how many calories you consume per day, and how much the snacks satisfy your hunger and supply you with essential elements.

Accurate caloric measurements could also help reduce weight since you can define calorie targets instead of just trying to eat less. People prefer to load their plates and consume everything on them. Portion control by eating from a smaller plate might help reduce calorie consumption.

Many people don't realize that they are overeating because they are used to restaurant portions. Such portions are sometimes three or more times larger than what is considered normal and necessary for a healthy diet.

Calorie tracking also brings exercise into context, enhancing a person’s knowledge of how much activity is necessary to burn off a 220-calorie bag of M&M’s. It promotes healthier food choices. When a person can see the connection between the amount of exercise to which a snack corresponds, they can make more informed choices. For example, they conclude that skipping a packet of chips is preferable to doing a comparable amount of exercise.

You can choose a diet plan that works for you. Calorie counting is just one of many methods for losing weight, and even within this strategy, there are many tactics one may follow.

Calorie Cycling in a Zigzag Pattern

Calorie cycling in a zigzag pattern is a weight-loss strategy that attempts to combat the body’s inherent adaptive tendencies. Although counting and limiting calories is a reasonable approach to losing weight, the body can adapt to fewer calories ingested.

When this happens, it can lead to a weight loss plateau that is challenging to overcome. Zigzagging calorie cycling can help by stopping the body from adapting to reduced-calorie conditions.

The number of calories ingested alternates in zigzag calorie cycling. To reach the same overall weekly calorie aim, a person on a zigzag diet needs to have a mix of days with high-calorie intake and low-calorie intake. For instance, if your weekly calorie goal is 14,000, you could eat 2,300 calories three days a week and 1,775 calories the other four. Or you may eat 2,000 calories every day.

In both cases, the body will consume 14,000 calories during the week. But it would not adapt or adjust to a 2,000-calorie diet. This gives people greater diet flexibility, permitting them to schedule events like work or family celebrations when they may eat more food.

Ingesting fewer calories on some days allows people to enjoy these events or have a "cheat day." On this day, they may eat anything they want without feeling bad because their low-calorie days will help compensate for the extra calories.

No precise guideline or research specifies the best strategy to alternate or distribute calorie consumption. Nutritionists generally recommend that high-calorie and low-calorie days differ by 200–300 calories, depending on a person's activity. It's up to you to change your caloric intake.

The calorie differential should be more significant for someone who exercises more. The calculator presents two zigzag diet programs. The first plan comprises two days with greater calories and five days with reduced calories. The second plan progressively increases and decreases calorie intake. The overall weekly caloric intake is the same in both cases. It doesn’t matter which approach you employ to lose weight. What matters is that you pick a plan that works for you.

Calorie counting and zigzagging calorie cycling are two of several correlated weight loss strategies. Yet, even within these strategies, there are many routes a person might follow.

Define the method that fits your lifestyle and that you think you can stick with. And it will give you the best long-term and desired results.

What Are Your Calorie Requirements?

Many want to lose weight, and the most straightforward approach is to consume fewer calories daily. But how many calories does the body need to stay healthy? Experts determine this by the level of daily physical activity, which is typical for each person.

Several components are at play, some of which are not well recognized or known. Age, weight, height, sex, physical activity levels, and overall general health affect how many calories a person requires to be healthy.

A healthy and active 25-year-old guy 6 feet tall, for example, uses far more calories than a 5-foot-tall, inactive 70-year-old lady. Adult males need around 2,000–3,000 calories daily to maintain weight, whereas adult females need between 1,600–2,400 calories daily.

The body does not require lots of calories to exist. Consuming too few calories causes the body to operate improperly. It will only use calories for critical survival activities and overlook those important for overall health and wellness.

Unless medically supervised, Harvard Health Publications recommends that women consume at least 1,200 calories and men consume at least 1,500 daily.

For anyone trying to lose weight, experts strongly recommend that you monitor your caloric intake and modify it according to your nutritional needs.

What are calories

Carbohydrates, proteins, and fats are the primary sources of calories in an average person’s diet. According to some research, the calories shown on food packaging and the calories ingested and kept might differ substantially. This shows the complexities of calories and nutrition, which explains why there are many differing viewpoints on the "perfect" way to lose weight.

Scientific studies have proven that the way we chew food affects weight loss. Chewing food more thoroughly raises the number of calories burned during digestion. People who chew their food for longer periods consume fewer calories because it takes longer to achieve a state of fullness. Therefore, they eat fewer calories. Unfortunately, the effects of chewing and digestion on various foods are still not fully understood.

The components in specific products, including coffee, tea, chilies, cinnamon, and ginger, have been discovered to boost the rate of calories burned. They force the body to burn more calories because more calories are needed to break them down. Fruits, vegetables, lean meats, whole grains, and other meals require more effort to digest. It also makes you feel satiated for extended periods.

It’s also vital to consider the "quality" of calories ingested. Nutritionists divide foods into many categories, namely high-calorie foods, low-calorie foods, and empty calories.

High-calorie meals are calorically dense, meaning they have many calories per serving size. In contrast, low-calorie foods have fewer calories per serving size.

High-calorie foods include fat, oils, fried foods, and sweet foods. Avocados, quinoa, nuts, and whole grains, for example, are all high-calorie foods that, when consumed in moderation, are considered healthy.

According to research, eating 500 calories of carrots versus 500 calories of popcorn differs significantly. This may be partly due to differences in how food is eaten and processed, as mentioned earlier. For example, carrots make us chew more, which means we'll burn more calories while digesting them.

Low-calorie foods encompass vegetables and certain fruits, whereas empty calories, like those found in processed sugars and fats, are calories with no nutritional value.

There is no ideal proportion of macronutrients that a person should consume to maintain a healthy diet or lose weight. However, a "healthy" diet rich in unprocessed foods such as vegetables, fruit, and lean meats is considered more nutritious and more likely to result in long-term weight loss.

Remember that the number of calories listed on the nutrition label does not always reflect how many calories your body physically saves.

Beverages account for about 21% of an average person’s calorie intake. Empty calories make up much of this calorie total. Sodas are the apparent culprits. To avoid gaining calories from liquids, a person should consume water, tea, or coffee without adding sugar. But also, other beverages with high sugar content, such as juices and milk, should be drunk in moderation to avoid undermining their nutritional advantages.

All foods, including "healthy foods," should be taken in moderation. Differences can be deceiving because even natural foods such as fruits contain a lot of sugar. Foods branded as "health foods," like low-calorie foods and reduced-fat foods, can replace one unhealthy ingredient with another.

Many low-fat meals contain large amounts of sugar to compensate for the loss of flavor due to reduced fat. Therefore, examining a food product's components is vital when deciding whether or not to include it in your diet.

Calories in Everyday Foods

Food Serving Size Calories kJ
Apple 1 (4 oz.) 59 247
Banana 1 (6 oz.) 151 632
Grapes 1 cup 100 419
Orange 1 (4 oz.) 53 222
Pear 1 (5 oz.) 82 343
Peach 1 (6 oz.) 67 281
Pineapple 1 cup 82 343
Strawberry 1 cup 53 222
Watermelon 1 cup 50 209
Asparagus 1 cup 27 113
Broccoli 1 cup 45 188
Carrots 1 cup 50 209
Cucumber 4 oz. 17 71
Eggplant 1 cup 35 147
Lettuce 1 cup 5 21
Tomato 1 cup 22 92
Beef, regular, cooked 2 oz. 142 595
Chicken, cooked 2 oz. 136 569
Tofu 4 oz. 86 360
Egg 1 large 78 327
Fish, Catfish, cooked 2 oz. 136 569
Pork, cooked 2 oz. 137 574
Shrimp, cooked 2 oz. 56 234
Common Meals/Snacks
Bread, white 1 slice (1 oz.) 75 314
Butter 1 tablespoon 102 427
Caesar salad 3 cups 481 2014
Cheeseburger 1 sandwich 285 1193
Hamburger 1 sandwich 250 1047
Dark Chocolate 1 oz. 155 649
Corn 1 cup 132 553
Pizza 1 slice (14") 285 1193
Potato 6 oz. 130 544
Rice 1 cup cooked 206 862
Sandwich 1 (6" Subway Turkey Sandwich) 200 837
Beer 1 can 154 645
Coca-Cola Classic 1 can 150 628
Diet Coke 1 can 0 0
Milk (1%) 1 cup 102 427
Milk (2%) 1 cup 122 511
Milk (Whole) 1 cup 146 611
Orange Juice 1 cup 111 465
Apple cider 1 cup 117 490
Yogurt (low-fat) 1 cup 154 645
Yogurt (non-fat) 1 cup 110 461
  • 1 cup = ~250 milliliters, 1 table spoon = 14.2 gram

2000, 1500, and 1200 Calorie Sample Meal Plans

Meal 1200 Cal Plan 1500 Cal Plan 2000 Cal Plan
Breakfast All-bran cereal (125) Granola (120) Buttered toast (150)
Milk (50) Greek yogurt (120) Egg (80)
Banana (90) Blueberries (40) Banana (90)
Almonds (170)
Snack Cucumber (30) Orange (70) Greek yogurt (120)
Avocado dip (50) Blueberries (40)
Total 345 Calories 350 Calories 650 Calories
Lunch Grilled cheese with tomato (300) Chicken and vegetable soup (300) Grilled chicken (225)
Salad (50) Bread (100) Grilled vegetables (125)
Pasta (185)
Snack Walnuts (100) Apple (75) Hummus (50)
Peanut butter (75) Baby carrots (35)
Crackers (65)
Total 450 Calories 550 Calories 685 Calories
Dinner Grilled Chicken (200) Steak (375) Grilled salmon (225)
Brussel sprouts (100) Mashed potatoes (150) Brown rice (175)
Quinoa (105) Asparagus (75) Green beans (100)
Walnuts (165)
Total 405 Calories 600 Calories 665 Calories

Calories Burned by Standard Activities

Activity (1 hour) 125 lb person 155 lb person 185 lb person
Golf (using cart) 198 246 294
Walking (3.5 mph) 215 267 319
Kayaking 283 352 420
Softball/Baseball 289 359 428
Swimming (free-style, moderate) 397 492 587
Tennis (general) 397 492 587
Running (9 minute mile) 624 773 923
Bicycling (12-14 mph, moderate) 454 562 671
Football (general) 399 494 588
Basketball (general) 340 422 503
Soccer (general) 397 492 587

Food Sources that Provide Energy

Food Components kJ per gram Calorie (kcal) per gram kJ per ounce Calorie (kcal) per ounce
Fat 37 8.8 1,049 249
Proteins 17 4.1 482 116
Carbohydrates 17 4.1 482 116
Fiber 8 1.9 227 54
Ethanol (drinking alcohol) 29 6.9 822 196
Organic acids 13 3.1 369 88
Polyols (sugar alcohols, sweeteners) 10 2.4 283 68