Enter your details into the calorie calculator below to learn how many calories you should eat to reach your health and fitness goal.

The calculator defaults to the Mifflin-St Jeor equation, a highly accurate method of calculating caloric needs.

Your Stats


Total Daily Energy Expenditure (TDEE)


Basal Metabolic Rate (BMR)

No activity 2,053
A little activity 2,321
Some activity 2,679
A lot of activity 3,036
A TON of activity 3,393

Calories to lose weight

Slow (0.5 lb per week) 2,545
Moderate (1 lb per week) 2,464
Fast (2 lb per week) 2,384

Calories to gain weight

Slow (0.5 lb per week) 2,812
Moderate (1 lb per week) 2,893
Fast (2 lb per week) 2,973

If you’d rather crunch the numbers manually, use the Mifflin-St Jeor equation outlined below to determine your basal metabolic rate (BMR)—the average daily calories your body needs to carry out essential functions such as breathing, circulating blood, producing hormones, and so forth.

For men: BMR = 10 x weight (kg) + 6.25 x height (cm) – 5 x age (years) + 5

For women: BMR = 10 x weight (kg) + 6.25 x height (cm) – 5 age (years) – 161

To convert your BMR into your total daily energy expenditure (the total number of calories your body burns each day, also called your “TDEE”), multiply your BMR by the corresponding number below, according to your level of physical activity:

  • Sedentary: 1.2
  • Lightly Active: 1.375
  • Moderately Active: 1.550
  • Very Active: 1.725
  • Extra Active: 1.9

Finally, adjust the number you get based on your goals. 

To lose weight, trim your calorie intake by 20-to-25%.

For example, if your TDEE is 2,000 calories, and you want to lose weight quickly, reduce 2,000 by 25% to arrive at a daily calorie target of 1,500 calories. 

Conversely, to gain weight, increase your calories by 5-to-10%. 

For example, if your TDEE is 2,000 calories, and you want to gain weight quickly, increase 2,000 by 10% to arrive at a daily calorie target of 2,200 calories.

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How Many Calories Should I Eat?

Your calorie needs depend on your sex, age, height, weight, and physical activity level. 

For instance, a tall, young, muscular, active man will require more calories than a petite, overweight, older woman who engages in sporadic light activity.

According to the U.S. Department of Agriculture’s (USDA’s) 2020–2025 Dietary Guidelines, the average daily caloric needs for men and women are as follows:


While these estimates serve as a starting point, you’ll want to track your calorie intake more closely for effective weight loss, gain, or maintenance.

Here’s what you need to do. 

How to Use A Calorie Calculator to Lose Weight

To lose weight, you need to eat fewer calories than your body burns every day (also known as a “calorie deficit”).

To do this, use the Legion Calorie Deficit Calculator to estimate your total daily energy expenditure (TDEE), based on your gender, weight, height, age, and physical activity level.

Then, create a calorie deficit by consuming 20-to-25% fewer calories daily (20-to-25% less than your TDEE) or following our suggestions for slow, moderate, and fast fat loss in the “Calories to lose weight” section beneath the calculator.

To accelerate fat loss and maximize muscle retention while dieting, you should also do the following:

  • Do 3-to-5 strength training workouts weekly: This boosts the number of calories you burn and supports muscle retention, which is key to maintaining metabolic health and keeping weight off post-diet.
  • Eat 1-to-1.2 grams of protein per pound of body weight per day: This enhances workout recovery, accelerates fat loss, bolsters muscle retention, and increases satiety, reducing the likelihood of overeating.

How to Use A Calorie Calculator to Gain Weight

Counting calories isn’t only for weight loss—it’s also a powerful tool for gaining weight and muscle.

Rather than mindlessly consuming a fixed number of calories, like 3,000 or 3,500 calories per day, a smarter strategy to ensure most of the weight you gain is muscle is to use the Legion Calorie Calculator to determine your TDEE.

Once you’ve established this figure, consume 5-to-10% more calories than your daily expenditure or follow the guidelines for slow, moderate, and fast weight gain in the “Calories to gain weight” section beneath the calculator.

How to Use A Calorie Calculator to Maintain Weight

The Legion Calculator also doubles as a maintenance calorie calculator. That is, you can use it to calculate how many calories you should eat per day to maintain your weight.

To use it for this purpose, enter your data to calculate your TDEE, then use this as your daily calorie target.

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What to Eat to Reach Your Goal Weight

As I explain in my fitness books for men and women, Bigger Leaner Stronger and Thinner Leaner Stronger, irrespective of your goal, you should look to get most of your daily calories from whole, minimally processed food. 

Here are some good examples of food to include in your diet:

  • Protein: Meat, fish, eggs, high-protein dairy products, soy, and whey, casein, and plant-based protein powders.
  • Carbohydrates: Fruits, vegetables, whole grains (brown rice, corn, oats, quinoa, barley), legumes (beans and peas), and tubers (potatoes and other root vegetables).
  • Fat: Plant oils, nuts, seeds, and avocados.

Calories in Common Diet Foods

Now that you know the types of foods you should aim to eat while dieting, it’s helpful to understand their calorie contents.

Here’s the calorie content of some common diet staples and how many grams of protein, carbs, and fat each contains:

Calories in Common Diet Foods

Calories Burned During Exercise

Here’s the average number of calories you burn doing common exercises based on your body weight.

Calories Burned During Exercise