Daily Calories Needed Calculator

Daily Calories Needed Calculator

Step right up and calculate how many calories you need during the day. It doesn’t matter if you want to gain or lose weight, we can do the math for you:

Weight (in pounds):
Height (in inches):
Age (in years):
Gender (not perceived, but actual):
Activity Level (be honest now):
Your Weight Gain/Loss Goal:


Your BMR (Base Metabolic Rate):
Your Maintenance Calorie Needs:
Your DCT (Daily Calorie Target):
Recommended Calorie Spacing
Time of Day % of Total Calories Your Estimated Calories
6 a.m.
9 a.m.
12 p.m.
3 p.m.
6 p.m.
5 Total meals 100% of DCT


Your BMR, or basal metabolic rate, is simply a calculation of how many calories your body needs for one day while at complete rest. Not real useful, but it gives us a starting point for the other calculations.

Your maintenance calorie needs assumes you don’t spend the day at complete rest. The more active you are throughout the day (for example if you have a physically demanding job), the higher this number will be.

The bottom number, the calories you need to achieve your weight loss or weight gain goal. This is your DCT, which is often referred to as your daily target in the DFP (Daily Fitness Plan). Write this number down, along with your maintenance calorie number, because you will be targeting both on different days.

Remember, This is an Estimate!!

I’ve used the Harris-Benedict Equation for this calculator, if that means anything to you. If not, ignore what I just said.

What you should know, though, that no calorie calculation equation is perfect, so the best you can do is get a ballpark number and adjust from there.

To adjust, try the following:

  • If you’re trying to gain weight and aren’t after a week or two, try moving your daily calorie count up by 5%.
  • If you’re trying to gain weight but it’s coming on too fast and a lot appears to be fat, reduce your daily calorie count by 5% to slow things down.
  • If you’re trying to lose weight and aren’t after a week or two, and you feel you still have plenty of energy, then you’re still probably eating too many calories. Move the daily calorie count down by 5% and see if things start moving.
  • If you’re trying to lose weight and aren’t after a week or two, but you feel lethargic, then you may not be getting enough and your body is in starvation mode. Bump up the calories by 5% and see if you begin to feel more energetic again.