How many calories do you need?        **Please always consult your physician before beginning any new nutrition plan.

There is no chart or number that will answer that question for everyone, but with the information on this page you can determine the number of calories that you need to reach your target weight and stay there. 

The concept of a "diet" or "how to lose weight" has kept many people overweight for years no matter which system that they try. If the idea of the system is to lose weight by restricting calories, points, etc. until you reach a certain weight and then to forget the diet, we all know how that will end. First you will lose weight and then gain it right back when you revert to your past habits. If the diet has been very  restrictive, your body will think that there is a famine or a shortage of food and learn to hold on to every calorie. In that  case, even if you go on a "maintenance diet" you will still gain weight quickly until your body determines the famine is over. The idea is to form new habits that you can live with for a lifetime.

There are many systems that are extremely effective at quick weight loss and sculpting your body in 60-90 days. These most commonly involve very restrictive diets (in some cases leaving you hungry all of the time and making you feel deprived when eating with others) and involve very intensive exercise (that is very hard to maintain over a lifetime and can result in injury in some cases). 

What is a person to do? Instead of starving yourself and working out to exhaustion, try picking the weight you want to stay at and eating based on that decision. You likely won't reach that goal in 60 to 90 days, but you can stay at that weight once you have reached your goal. It is a decision that you make each day, week, month and year. If you need to lose weight do so slowly! Then, it is much more likely to stay off. If you need to lose weight a general guide could be:

For males: Desired weight X 11 calories per day

For females: Desired weight X 10 calories per day

As you can see from the chart below this can be adjusted for factors such as age. strenuous activity or demanding sports training. 

Never extremely restrict your caloric intake without talking it over with your healthcare professional!! 

Extreme restriction is generally thought to be below 1,200 calories per day - again if you have questions about this consult your physician.

Adding regular exercise will also help keep you strong, flexible and keep your heart and lungs healthier. 

Once you have reached your desired weight try the information below to help you maintain this weight:

  Before looking at the numbers remember these steps to make them work for you.

1. Choose the calorie needs for your desired weight and activity level from the table below.

    If you choose carefully you may need to do little or no adjusting.

2. Eat the same # of calories per day for a month. 

3, Keep your activity level as consistent as possible.

4. Weigh yourself once a week when you first wake up (or weigh daily and take a weekly average).

5. Adjust your calories per day if you are moving away from your goal weight.

7. The idea is to adjust this until desired weight stays roughly the same week after week. 

8. Weigh weekly as long as you want to stay in this weight range.