Wellness Tools
Nutritional Needs Calculator
Current weight:



Weight goal:

Physical activity level:

Note: : This tool should not be used for pregnant women, children under age 18, or people over 60.

How to Use

Do you know how many calories you need each day? To find out, use our Nutritional Needs Calculator. It estimates the calories based on your current weight, gender, age, weight goal, and physical activity level.

To stay at your current weight, you need to eat about the same number of calories that you burn. To lose weight, you must burn more calories than you eat. To gain weight, eat more calories than you burn.

If you haven't set a weight goal, this Calculator can help you do so.

  • Enter your weight in the box provided. If you entered your weight in kilograms, select Kilograms from the drop-down list.
  • Select your gender.
  • Enter your age.
  • Select your weight goal from the drop-down list.
  • Select the level of physical activity in your average day.
  • Click Submit/Calculate.
More About This Tool

When the calories you take in is equal to the calories you burn, you'll maintain your weight. When you take in more calories than you burn, you'll gain weight. And when you take in fewer calories than you burn, you'll lose weight.

The key to getting to a healthy weight is to find out how many calories you burn each day. Then you adjust your intake as needed. Perhaps your goal is to lose 10 pounds, and you burn 2,200 calories a day. If you eat 500 calories fewer calories (so that your daily intake is 1,700 calories), you'll lose around 1 pound of fat a week. (1 pound of fat equals about 3,500 calories). After about 10 weeks you would reach your goal!

Don't worry about crunching the numbers yourself. The calculator above will do the planning for you. Just fill in the information to get the:

  • Number of calories you burn in a day
  • Number of calories you should take in each day to meet your weight goal
  • Daily amount of key nutrients and food types you should get through your diet

Use the guide below to find out your activity level:

  • High activity: Vigorous physical activity for 60 minutes or more at least 4 to 5 days a week. This includes activities such as:
    • Jogging or running
    • Hiking uphill
    • Swimming laps
    • Kickboxing or step aerobic classes
    • Bicycling faster than 10 miles an hour
    • Working in a physically demanding job (such as a roofer or an aerobics instructor)
  • Intermediate activity: Moderate physical activity 2 or 3 times a week, 30 to 60 minutes each time.

    This include activities like:

    • Water aerobics or recreational swimming
    • Fast walking
    • Bicycling slower than 10 miles per hour on flat terrain
    • General yard work
    • Doubles tennis
  • Low activity: No planned, regular physical activity; occasional weekend or weekly activity is the only type of physical activity (like golf or recreational tennis).

Review Date: 03/03/19
Reviewed By: Linda J. Vorvick, MD, Clinical Associate Professor, Department of Family Medicine, UW Medicine, School of Medicine, University of Washington, Seattle, WA. Also reviewed by David Zieve, MD, MHA, Medical Director, Brenda Conaway, Editorial Director, and the A.D.A.M. Editorial team.
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