3 Easy Ways To Calculate Maintenance Calories

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This Video I talk about How to calculate your Calories to lose weight or Gain Muscle

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As I’ve explained, your daily calorie intake is by far the most important part of your diet plan no matter what your goal is (losing fat, building muscle, etc.).

And, the starting point for figuring out exactly how many calories you need to eat per day revolves around something called your calorie maintenance level.

Your calorie maintenance level is where your body is at when you consume and burn the same number of calories.

Meaning, when Calories In = Calories Out, you’ve reached your calorie maintenance level.

Here’s an example…

Let’s say you burn 2500 calories per day from a combination of exercise (weight training, cardio, etc.), normal daily activities (getting dressed, showering, driving, etc.), and your body doing the things it needs to do to sustain itself (breathing, pumping blood, digesting food, etc.).

That means 2500 calories is your daily calorie maintenance level in this example. If you then consumed 2500 calories each day, your body would remain pretty much the same. Your weight will not go up or down. Everything will just be “maintained.”

Why? Because you ate the same number of calories that you burned, and that means all of the calories you consumed were used by your body. There was no surplus or deficit. It was even.

Method #1: Body Weight (lbs) x 14-17 = Estimated Daily Calorie Maintenance Level

Just take your current body weight in pounds and multiply it by 14 and 17. Somewhere in between those 2 amounts will usually be your daily calorie maintenance level.

For example, a 180lb person would do 180 x 14 and 180 x 17 and get an estimated daily calorie maintenance level of somewhere between 2520-3060 calories.

People who are female, older, less active or feel they have a “slow metabolism” should probably stick more towards the lower end of their estimate. People who are male, younger, more active, or feel they have a “fast metabolism” should probably stick more towards the higher end of their estimate.

If you’re unsure, just pick a number somewhere in the middle. We’ll make sure it’s perfectly accurate later on. Don’t worry.

Method #2: The Daily Calorie Requirements Calculator

While method #1 is usually pretty accurate for most people, it still has the potential to be off to some degree because it doesn’t account for many of those individual factors I mentioned before (like age, gender and activity level), all of which affect what our daily calorie maintenance level is.

And that’s where the http://1percentedge.com/ifcalc/ comes into play.

This calculator is one of a handful of well accepted (and slightly complex) equations used for estimating your daily calorie requirements based on many of the factors I mentioned before, therefore increasing the potential for accuracy.

Rather than make you do any more math (math sucks, I know), I’ve included a link to a calculator below that will do it all for you (it will open in a new tab). Just fill it in and click the “Calculate!” button.

It’s here: The Maintenance Level Calculator

Method #3: The Experiment

While one or both of the methods described above will usually provide a fairly accurate estimate of a person’s daily calorie requirements, it’s important to remember that they are still just estimates.

The only way to truly find your EXACT calorie maintenance level is by doing a simple common sense experiment…

Basically, eat the same amount of calories each day for a couple of weeks and monitor what your weight does.
If it stays the same, you’ve found your exact maintenance level.
If it goes up or down, then just adjust your calorie intake in small increments, wait another couple of weeks, and see what your weight does then.
When it stays the same, you’ll know for sure that you’ve found your exact daily calorie maintenance level.

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