Calorie calculator: how many calories a day to lose weight?

You want to lose weight? You can quickly find out where your personal calorie requirement lies and how much less you should eat in order to reach your goal with our calorie requirement calculator. In addition, further down on this page: many valuable tips on the subject of calories and weight.

Calorie requirement calculator: Calculate daily calorie requirement

Table of contents

Determine calorie requirements to lose weight

The difference between calorie intake and calorie consumption is crucial when it comes to losing weight. If you eat more than you consume, you will inevitably gain weight over time.

For example, if you eat 250 calories a day more than you need, you will gain 3.5 kilograms of weight after 100 days. However, if more calories are consumed than the body takes in, it goes to its reserves. This is the principle on which almost every diet works.

However, when losing weight, it is not only important to consume fewer calories, but also to know what those calories are. But how many calories must be burned to lose a kilogram of body fat?

One gram of fat has 9.3 kilocalories. This means that one kilogram of fat has 9300 kilocalories. These would have to be burned in order to lose a kilo of weight. However, it does not work quite so simply. Because a kilogram of body fat rarely consists exclusively of fat. Proteins and water are also included. It is therefore more realistic to calculate about 7700 kilocalories to lose a kilo.

If 500 kilocalories are saved through diet, it theoretically takes two weeks for this kilo to melt away. The practice looks somewhat different. Because it is not only fat that is lost, but also muscle mass. This reduces the basal metabolic rate. In order to lose weight in the long term, it therefore only helps to keep an eye on calorie consumption and at the same time to keep the basal metabolic rate at a constant level or even to boost it with regular exercise.

It is important not only to avoid "calorie bombs" such as sugary and fatty foods. Diets should be high in fiber, include plenty of fresh vegetables, salad and fruit, and plenty of protein. Many have had good experiences with greatly reducing carbohydrates when losing weight.

What are calories anyway??

In the word calories is the Latin term "calor". The means translated "heat. This describes the energy required for the organism to maintain vital functions.

This energy is produced by the burning of nutrients. A calorie is scientifically defined as the amount of energy required to raise the temperature of one kilogram of water by one degree Celsius.

This is why people who move around a lot and play sports need more calories than those who are sedentary and prefer to take it easy in their free time.

What does calorie requirement mean?

Calories almost always play a role when it comes to losing weight.

However, very few people know how many calories they are allowed to eat per day to lose weight or avoid gaining weight.

The one calorie requirement for all does not exist. The number of calories a person is allowed to eat per day depends on gender, age and size.

Furthermore, factors such as regular exercise, sports and the profession play a role. After all, a worker on a construction site needs significantly more energy than an employee in the office. Nevertheless, most calories are burned at rest.

The body needs 70 percent of the amount supplied for its basal metabolic rate. The technical term for this is basal metabolic rate. The basal metabolic rate ensures that all vital functions are maintained. These include respiration, heartbeat and supply to the individual organs.

However, many people eat far more than their daily calorie requirements, which sooner or later shows up as obesity. Others reduce their calorie needs so much to lose weight that they slide into a starvation metabolism.

If you know your daily requirements, you can take the necessary precautions to keep the pounds off or keep the weight off. Some people who are underweight need to be careful about gaining weight. For them, too, it is important to know their calorie requirements.

How many calories do I need per day?

The basal metabolic rate

For the calculation of the individual basal metabolic rate some formulas exist. Each of these is only an approximation of the actual basal metabolic rate. Age, weight and exercise habits as well as occupation must not be disregarded. A simplified formula is:

  • Formula for men: Basal metabolic rate = body weight (kg) x 24
  • Formula for women: Basal metabolic rate = 0.9 * body weight x 24

The number 24 is included in the calculation because it is assumed that one kilogram of body mass consumes an average of 24 kilocalories per day at rest.

The total metabolic rate

The effective total metabolic rate is also interesting. This means that other activities and movements are added to the basal metabolic rate at rest, the so-called power metabolic rate. The average basal metabolic rate of a 30-year-old man is 2400 kilocalories (kcal) per day. For each hour of work, 110 kcal of power metabolism are added. At eight hours this is 880 kcal. If a man goes out to play a round of tennis after work, he can add another 440 kilocalories of metabolic rate. In fact, this is how much is consumed during an hour of tennis. This results in a total metabolic rate of 3720 kcal. The effective total metabolic rate is therefore calculated according to the formula:

Basal metabolic rate + power metabolic rate = total effective metabolic rate

If you don’t want to dig around a lot in tables for calorie consumption and occupational activities, there is a very simple way to calculate the power metabolic rate for occupational activities. In order to obtain reliable results, the Physical Activity Level (PAL) was designed in different categories.

  • Office work: PAL 1.4 to 1.5
  • Walking or standing activity: PAL 1.8 to 1.9
  • Heavy physical work: PAL 2.0 to 2.4

To arrive at the power metabolism, the basal metabolic rate is simply multiplied by the PAL factor to obtain the effective total metabolic rate. Sports are added if necessary. A person who exercises regularly has a higher requirement than a person who does not exercise at all. Doing sports pays off anyway. This is because regular exercise builds muscle, which helps to increase the basal metabolic rate. Therefore, athletic people burn more calories even at rest.

How many calories a day does a man need?

Depending on age, the basal metabolic rate of a man weighing 80 kg is 2200 to 2500 kilocalories daily. If the person has an office job, it will be more than 3000, with regular exercise the total effective metabolic rate will quickly be 3500 kilocalories or even more.

The fact that less basal metabolic rate is required in old age is due to a slightly reduced metabolism. Men have the advantage over women that they consume significantly more calories at rest.

This results from the different structure of the body tissue of the sexes. Men have less fat, but more muscle. They are known to consume significantly more energy than fat.

Furthermore, the muscles of men are equipped with beta receptors, which additionally boost the body’s own power plant. This means that men lose weight much faster when dieting.

How many calories a day does a woman need?

For women, too, the calorie requirement decreases with age. Most people notice that during and after menopause they gain weight much faster or have problems getting rid of the excess pounds again.

Thus, the basal metabolic rate of a 60-year-old is 1700 kilocalories, while a 20-year-old woman needs 2000 calories daily. Sport also has an influence on the calorie requirement here. Half an hour burns between 200 and 400 kilocalories.

Especially in case of an office activity it is indispensable if the weight is to be maintained or reduced. Due to the higher proportion of estrogen in the blood, but also due to artificially supplied hormones such as those contained in the pill, women accumulate fat pads more quickly.

In addition, a woman’s body is programmed by evolution to put on fat for times of need and to accumulate enough reserves for pregnancy. In any case, the basal metabolic rate is increased by about 500 kilocalories per day during pregnancy, and by as much as 800 kcal during breastfeeding.

Since women have less muscle mass than men, weight training is ideal for them. This increases the total metabolic rate and also the so-called "after-burn effect" after the workout provides further calorie loss.


Calorie consumption is purely a matter of calculation. While it’s important to keep an eye on your personal needs, obsessive calorie counting shouldn’t take away from your enjoyment of life. If you want to live a healthy life, make sure you eat a balanced diet, exercise, and regularly recalculate your total metabolic rate to adjust your menu if necessary.

Sports and pulse

The biggest lever in calorie consumption is sporting activity. However, it is not only the type of sport that is important, but also the intensity. How many kilocalories are burned depends largely on your pulse rate. The right pulse in combination with how "10.000 steps a day you should walk", can thus have quite a significant effect.

The results are based on average values. The calculated values should not be used for medical decisions and do not replace a visit to the doctor. Do you have plans to lose or gain weight it is best to consult your doctor for advice.

CLICK HERE for all formulas& Calculation of the calorie calculator

According to the Mifflin-St.Jeor formula, the daily calorie requirement of an adult is as follows:

The factor is +5 for men and -161 for women. The activity factor ranges from 1 to 2,2. The calorie requirement can then simply be compared with what you actually eat during the day.

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Calorie calculator: how many calories a day to lose weight?
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