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How Many Calories Should I Eat? - How to Calculate Calorie Needs

How To Calculate Calories Needed – How Many Calories Should I Eat?

How Many Calories Should I Eat?

How to Calculate Calories Needed

How Many Calories Should I Eat

I often get asked often ” How many calories should I eat ?”.  It is an important question and since there are many programs out there that are not clear how many calories you should eat to lose weight, I wanted to show you all how to calculate what is right for you and your specific goals.  This video will give you  step by step instructions on how to calculate calorie needs.  Below this video is the step by step process written out so you can follow along.  I have also included links to a few different nutrition plans that we followed to lose weight.

How to Calculate Calories Needed

How many calories should I eat?

  1. Go to the cordianet site linked here
  2. Select gender, select height, and input age
  3. Choose “Little to no exercise” because the way the other settings are calibrated, it doesn’t match what is actually burned during your specific workout.
  4. The best way to determine your daily workout calorie burn is with a heart rate monitor over a week’s time and average the daily calorie burn.  For P90X and Insanity, that is approximately 400 calories per day averaged for the whole week including your rest day (which is zero).  For Power 90 it is about a 300 calorie daily burn
  5. After you click “Calculate”, you will see the Caloric needs down the screen.  The number you will look at is the Estimated TDEE which stands for “Total Daily Energy Expenditure“  That number matches the calories you would need to eat to MAINTAIN your weight if you are not working out.  For my case based on my height and age would be 2124 calories.  My height is 5’ 11” and my age is 31
  6. Add your average daily exercise calorie burn to the TDEE to find out what you would need to eat to maintain your weight with your workouts.   If I was doing P90X burning an average of 400 calories per day, then I would need to consume 2524 calories to maintain my weight.
  7. Next you will need to calculate your calorie deficit to lose weight.  If you choose a daily 500 calorie deficit you will lose approximately 1 pound per week.  A 1000 calorie deficit will help you lose about 2 pounds per week.  Subtract the amount you want for a deficit from your total TDEE plus exercise calories.  For my example I went with a 1800 calorie plan to lose weight with P90X which was a 724 daily calorie deficit. (2524 – 1800 = 724)
  8. If you are looking to put on muscle mass then I would choose 500 calories ABOVE your maintenance TDEE number plus exercise calories.  In my case that would be 3024 calories (2524 + 500 = 3024)
  9. A lot of people lose more weight the first few weeks (usually water weight) so don’t be alarmed if you lose more than 1 or 2 pounds per week at first.
  10. A couple things to keep in mind… I would not go more than a 1000 calorie deficit.  1000 calorie deficit is pretty extreme.  If you are at 15% body fat or less as a man or less than 25% body fat as a woman then I would not go below a 500 calorie deficit
  11.  The absolute minimum calories anyone should be at is 1500 for a man and 1200 for a woman… any less than that could risk in going into starvation mode and your weight loss will plateau..  The important thing is also to eat every 2.5 – 3 hours throughout your day to keep your metabolism up and body fueled through the day.
  12.  The next step is to track your nutrition through MyFitnessPal.  My next blog and video will teach you how to customize your myfitnesspal goals to match your caloric needs calculated by this process.


This post should have answered the question “How many calories should I eat ?”  If you have any questions on this process, please comment below or send me an email through the “Contact Us” section of this site.

Here is our sample 1800 calorie day plan that follows the fat shredder ratios (50% protein / 30% carbs / 20% fat)… please note that there is only one scoop (1/2 serving) of the P90X Results and Recovery formula, and only after intense workout days…not after Yoga and such.


Here is a sample 1500 calorie day plan that follows the fat shredder ratios (50% protein / 30% carbs / 20% fat):


Here is a sample 1200 calorie day plan that follows the fat shredder ratios (50% protein / 30% carbs / 20% fat):


For support on your Fitness Journey, be sure to create your free Team Beachbody account and choose Tekoa or me as your free coach so we can support you along the way!  We will stay in contact with you on a regular basis and also have a Facebook Group that we can plug you into for additional support from hundreds of others we coach on their own fitness journey

To make me (Chris) your coach CLICK HERE

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