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How many calories do I need to lose weight?

I often get asked the question “how many calories do I need to lose weight”? So many people are still confused as to how to calculate the calories required to maintain your weight and how many to lose weight.

In this blog, I am going to take you through the calculation I use to calculate my client’s calorie requirements. This is a basic calculation used to ESTIMATE calories for YOUR body – it does NOT factor in extra calories burned through exercise. The client example explains how to add on Physical Activity Levels and factor it into your maintenance calories.

Get your calculator out.

Step 1- Find your maintenance calories

Your maintenance calories are the number of calories your body needs to maintain weight, i.e. neither lose or gain weight. You can work this number out using the formula below.

The formula for maintenance calories:
665 + (4.35 x weight in lbs)  + (4.7 x height in inches) – (4.7 x age) x physical activity level/exercise. See below client example, guidance on which PAL figure to use based on your physical activity level.

Step 2: To Lose 1 Lb per week:  
Reduce 500 calories a day from your daily maintenance calories figure worked out above.

Step 3: To lose 2 Lbs per week:
Reduce 1000 calories a day from your daily maintenance calories figure worked out above.

Step 4: Test your calorie figures:
In practice, your needs can be different from what comes out in an equation. That is why it’s crucial to use calculations like these as a guide, then test it and alter the numbers.

To test your worked out calorie figures:
– If you lose weight at the desired rate, keep eating those calories
– If you don’t lose any weight, reduce the calories slightly
– If you lose weight too fast, increase the calorie slightly


A 35-year-old female, who measures 5ft 4 inches and weighs 11 stone 10 lbs.

Her weight is 165 pounds, her height in inches is 54, and her age is 35, so slot them into the formula.

BMR = 665 + (4.35 x 165) + (4.7 x 64) – (4.7 x 35) = 1519 Calories

665 + 717.75 + 300.8 – 164.5 = 1519 Calories

BMR = 1519 calories

Now we can add in some exercise:
If this client walks 4 times per week for 30 minutes and occasionally goes to the gym, works in an office and is sedentary, her activity factor would be between 1.3 and 1.4. So we will settle for 1.35 in this instance.

Maintenance calories = BMR (1519) x Activity Factor (1.35) = 2050 calories
1519 x 1.35  = 2050

To lose 1 lb per week take 500 calories per day off 2050 = 1550 calories per day.

To lose 2 lb per week take 1000 calories per day off 2050 = 1050 calories per day.

Ensure you don’t overestimate your height or your activity level as this will give an inaccurate calorie allowance. This client can either increase her activity level and eat those extra calories burned or leave them as they are.

If you don’t want to count calories, my online 6 WEEK BIKINI BODY SHRED PROGRAM is based on portion control combined with a super sculpting workout. There are no counting calories and none of the hassle associated with it. You can get it for £39.

Alternatively, I have taken out all the calculation work for you in my 10 DAY FAT LOSS KICKSTART PROGRAM by giving you a simple guide to what calorie program you should be following.

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