Calorie Intake Calculator (Simple)

Created by Dominika Śmiałek, MD, PhD candidate
Reviewed by Dominik Czernia, PhD candidate and Jack Bowater
Based on research by
Osilla EV, Safadi AO, Sharma S. Calories. StatPearls Publishing (Accessed June 20, 2022)
Last updated: Jul 19, 2022

With this calorie intake calculator, you can estimate the number of calories you need to consume each day. If you've ever ask yourself how to gain muscle?, how many calories to maintain weight?, or what should my weight loss plan look like? - you can put aside all your doubts with this calculator.

This calorie intake calculator is intended for healthy people who exercise a normal amount and have an average muscle mass. If you want to know how many calories you should eat to meet your weekly goals, click on advanced mode. For more personalised advice, take a look at our calorie calculator.

Who is this calorie intake calculator for?

As mentioned above, this calculator quickly estimates the number of (kilo)calories you should eat everyday to either keep or change your weight. If you're not sure what range of body weights is considered healthy for your height, check out our ideal body weight calculator.

Our calculator is based on a medical paper, that states:

  • To lose weight, you need to consume 10-12 kcal per lbs (12 kcal)
  • To maintain weight, you need to consume 14-16 kcal per lbs (15 kcal)
  • To gain weight, you need to consume 17-20 kcal per lbs (18 kcal)

This calorie intake calculator is designed to give you a fast and approximate answer depending only on your body weight, thanks to the use of the standardised numbers given in brackets above. They are the number of calories per pound that the average person would need to consume to achieve their weight goals. However, please be aware that the number of calories per pound may differ according to your:

  • Sex
  • Age
  • Muscle mass
  • Daily activity

Also, your daily calorie intake increases if you're expecting a baby.

Be aware that, although in everyday language we often say calories, the proper name is kilocalories (kcal) - a unit 1000x larger than a calorie. So, the average person needs 15 kcal (kilocalories), which is equal to 15 000 cal (calories) per pound to maintain their current weight.

How many calories to maintain weight should I eat?

Have you ever wondered how many calories to maintain your weight? Assuming that you exercise an average amount, and that your BMI is within a healthy range, multiply your weight in lbs by 15:

weight (lbs) * 15 (kcal) = kilocalories to maintain weight

If you use SI units, multiply your weight in kilograms by 33:

weight (kg) * 33 (kcal) = kilocalories to maintain weight

Remember that when using our calculator there's no need to know all of the differences between units. Just give us your weight - either in pounds or in kilograms (feeling free to change between them at any time) - and leave the counting to us!

If you're curious about weight unit conversion, feel free to use our weight converter there you can find all you'd ever like to know on the topic.

How to gain muscle?

Unfortunately, there's no unified and easy way to gain muscle. They say that the key to keeping a healthy body is 20% exercise and 80% nutrition. For a muscle gain diet, you should control the number of calories eaten in every meal. Our calorie calculator for weight gain makes it easy for you to know your daily requirements. You multiply your weight (in lbs) by 18:

weight (lbs) * 18 (kcal) = kilocalories to gain weight

If you know your weight in kilograms, just multiply it by 39.6:

weight (kg) * 39.6 (kcal) = kilocalories to gain weight

Apart from calories, your muscle gain diet ought to control the amount of carbohydrates, proteins and fats in your meals - these are your macro nutrients.

Weight loss tips

Finally, the question that you've probably asked yourself - how do I lose weight?. To lose some pounds, you have to have a calorie intake that is below your TDEE (Total Daily Energy Expenditure). Keep in mind that, to make dieting efficient, you should never go below your BMR.

Our counter also works as a weight loss calculator. We estimate your daily calorie intake to lose weight by multiplying your body mass (in lbs) by 12:

weight (lbs) * 12 (kcal) = kilocalories to lose weight

In case you use SI units, you should multiply your weight in kilograms by 26.4:

weight (kg) * 26.4 (kcal) = kilocalories to lose weight

No matter whether your goal is to lose, gain, or simply maintain your weight, the basis for any healthy diet is the correct daily water intake. Remember that if you want a fit and healthy body, it needs regular exercise, a good nights sleep and healthy mental well being.

In case of any doubts, always consult a doctor or a dietician.

Dominika Śmiałek, MD, PhD candidate
Body weight
Weight maintenance
Weight gain
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