May 8, 2012 CoachJoshP

How to Calculate Caloric Needs

Before you get started in any diet and fitness plan you will want to know what your daily caloric requirements are.  A few simple mathematic calculations will give you the information you need to get started.  Many skip this step because they don’t feel like figuring it out.  It’s really simple and only takes 2 minutes.


-First calculate your resting metabolic rate (RMR)

Body weight  x   10 = RMR (in calories)

165lbs  x  10 =  1650  calories

According to the calculation, I need 1650 calories to do basic life functions (breath, grow hair, pump blood…) and maintain weight.

-Next calculate daily activity burn

RMR  x  20%  = Daily activity burn

1650  x  20% = 330 calories

Daily burn accounts for calories required for daily movement aside from exercise (work, shopping, going to the mailbox, everyday tasks…).  This is a ball park figure, everyone will be different (Obviously a package delivery man will burn more calories than a computer programmer).


-Now add your RMR and Daily activity burn and the extra calories required for exercise (P90x is about 600)

1650  +  330  + 600  = 2580

According to the calculation I need about 2580 calories in order to maintain my body weight while doing P90X.

This amount, is the energy amount that would be used to select your nutrition level in the P90X Nutrition Guide.  I fall into Level II.

If you are performing other exercises, such as running, you will want to account for that as well by adding more calories (about 600 for every 45-60mins of high intensity exercise)

If you want to lose weight, you need to burn more calories than you consume.

If you want to gain weight, you need to consume more than you burn.


Exercise  + Nutrition  + Support  = Success

Make me your coach!


Comments (13)

  1. Great post. I like the My fitness pal app. on my I-phone. So important to know how you are fueling your body. Thanks for sharing.
    Very cool site. BTW!

  2. Thank you for this information! Just like Angela, I hear so many people say that to lose weight they have to limit their calories to 1200 per day. We are not all the same and we have to take into consideration all the other factors such as the fitness method we choose to implement.

  3. This is great information. Alot of people really dont know how many calories to eat. They think they’re supposed to eat 1200 cal daily and then workout. Then they dont understand why they’re not losing weight. By learning this method they’ll understand that diet means more than calories you need to consume there are other factors to consider.

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