How to Calculate How Much You Should Eat


I am on Quora a lot, asking and answering questions to help and be helped wherever possible with regards to health and fitness. A lot of people don’t really know how much they should be eating for their weight gain or loss (fat loss) and feel that it would be valuable to share how you can calculate that, trying to make sense of it as much as possible.

You can lose weight easily from just drinking water and not eating at all for about a week, but obviously this is unsustainable. The best way to lose weight is to be in a caloric deficit, eat less calories (energy) than you burn during the day (energy).

You can eat a lot of carbs and fat and without knowing how much you are gaining, you’ll find yourself becoming overweight, I believe I was at this stage at 17 and I really wish I had picture to show. I was heavy and just slow, not adding much value to the team I feel, but that passed as I learnt more the following year! Anyway, to the method: You have to calculate how much energy you use in a day at rest and considering how much activity you do in the week.


1. Calculate Basal Metabolic Rate (The amount of energy consumed at rest) Women BMR = 655 + (9.6 X weight in kg) + (1.8 x height in cm) – (4.7 x age in years)

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

2. Activity Factor (weekly activity)

  • Amount of Exercise/Activity
  • Description
  • TDEE

• Sedentary

Little or no Exercise/ desk job

TDEE = 1.2 x BMR

• Lightly active

Light exercise/ sports 1 – 3 days/ week

TDEE = 1.375 x BMR

• Moderately active

Moderate Exercise, sports 3 – 5 days/ week

TDEE = 1.55 x BMR

• Very active

Heavy Exercise/ sports 6 – 7 days/ week

TDEE = 1.725 x BMR

• Extremely active

Very heavy exercise/ physical job/ training 2 x/ day

TDEE = 1.9 x BMR


Using the points above, calculate your total daily expenditure and eat about 300 – 500 calories/day to gain or lose 0.25 – 0.5 kg/week. This is just a foundation of knowing how to track your calorie intake.  I hope everything works out, if you need more help, please feel free to contact me or send an email through.

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