Meal Calorie Calculator

Created by Bogna Szyk and Łucja Zaborowska, MD, PhD candidate
Reviewed by Adena Benn
Based on research by
Institute of Medicine (US) Committee to Review Child and Adult Care Food Program Meal Requirements; Murphy SP, Yaktine AL, West Suitor C, et al., Child and Adult Care Food Program: Aligning Dietary Guidance for All. Washington (DC): National Academies Press (US) (2011)See 1 more source
National Institute of Public Health (Poland); Mekus M. More often doesn't mean more -the meaning of consuming meals regularly (pol.) (Accessed on Jan 28, 2022)
Last updated: Jul 18, 2022

Eating healthy requires a little bit of an effort, doesn't it? If you have ever counted calories in your meals, you know how frustrating this task can be. Luckily, our meal calorie calculator is here to help. Thanks to this tool, you will know precisely how many calories per meal you should eat if you want to maintain your current weight. Keep reading to learn:

  • How to use our meal calorie calculator; and
  • How many calories per meal is best for your health.

If you'd rather lose or gain weight, be sure to take a look at our macronutrient calculator, which divides your daily calorie intake into proteins, fats, and carbohydrates.

Number of meals per day

The number of meals per day varies from person to person. Generally, you should avoid eating less than three meals per day, as it is considered unhealthy by most dietitians.

The optimal number of meals per day is three to five. Naturally, if you are on a special diet (for example, because of diabetes), you might eat more meals per day. This meal calorie calculator is not suited for such individual cases - please consult your physician for personalized diet recommendations!

While here, you may also check the risk associated with your diet. 🥦🍩

How many calories per meal should I eat?

The answer to this question depends on multiple factors. First, you need to know your recommended calorie intake per day. This value, in turn, changes with your:

  • Height - taller people need to eat a bit more.
  • Weight - the more you weigh, the more you need to eat to maintain your current weight.
  • Age - the older you are, the fewer calories you need.
  • Sex - in general, women need fewer calories than men.
  • Physical activity level - the more active you are, the more energy you need.

Once you know the recommended daily calorie intake (or maintenance calories), you can divide it into meals. This meal calorie calculator suggests a split between three, four, or five meals.

If you eat three meals a day, you should consume:

  • 30-35% of daily calories for breakfast
  • 35-40% of daily calories for lunch
  • 25-35% of daily calories for dinner

If you eat four meals a day, you should consume:

  • 25-30% of daily calories for breakfast
  • 5-10% of daily calories for morning snack
  • 35-40% of daily calories for lunch
  • 25-30% of daily calories for dinner

If you eat five meals a day, you should consume:

  • 25-30% of daily calories for breakfast
  • 5-10% of daily calories for morning snack
  • 35-40% of daily calories for lunch
  • 5-10% of daily calories for an afternoon snack
  • 15-20% of daily calories for dinner

Of course, these numbers are just guidelines - you don't need to stick to them religiously. Depending on your metabolism, nutrition habits, and daily routine, you might discover that you need to adjust them. Still, this meal calorie calculator can serve as a good rule of thumb for how many calories per day you should eat. When in doubt, consult a dietitian for a personalized diet plan.

Additionally, remember that the meals should be distributed more or less equally in time. A typical breakfast should be eaten one hour after waking up, and dinner 2-3 hours before going to sleep. If your eating patterns are different, adjust your calorie intake accordingly.

Now that you know how many calories per meal are good for your health, you might decide to take your exercise habits to the next level! Head straight to the calories burned calculator for some extra motivation :)

How to use our meal calorie calculator

This remarkable tool is relatively simple to use. All you need to do is follow the steps laid out below.

  1. In the calories section, you need to input the number of calories you aim for in a day.
  2. Enter the number of meals you eat per day.
  3. Now you can see the number of calories you should eat for each meal.
Bogna Szyk and Łucja Zaborowska, MD, PhD candidate
Calories
kcal/day
Meals per day
three
Breakfast 🍳 650 kcal (min: 600, max: 700)
Lunch 🍽 750 kcal (min: 700, max: 800)
Dinner 🥗 600 kcal (min: 500, max: 700)
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