You are looking for a weight loss calorie calculator online so you can figure out exactly how many calories you need to eat to lose weight, yes?
Well don’t worry because you have stumbled across the perfect spot.
I am going to give you everything you need to know in this article to make this the final piece of information you will ever need on this topic.
I know there are tons of calculators out there as well as people on instagram and tik tok telling you to eat 1200 calories if you want to lose weight.
This is going to be a real, sustainable weight loss calorie calculator you can use specific to you and your goals.
Most coaches would charge you money for stuff like this ( I don’t know why, but any who).
I don’t. It is all here for free.
My only ask, really I beg of you, is to read the article in full.
I truly want you to leave here having nothing but utter confidence in what you will need to do to lose weight moving forward.
Do we have a deal?
Perfect, let’s go then.
Weight Loss Calorie Calculator
Why Calories Matter
If you are reading this right now you are probably at least somewhat aware that the food you intake plays a large role in determining your body composition.
For that, I applaud you. It takes a lot of people a long time to realize that.
With that being said let’s dive a bit more in depth on what calories are and why they matter when it comes to losing weight.
Calories Are A Unit Of Measurement Of Energy
Broken down in the simplest form a calorie is simply a unit of measurement of energy.
The calories within food provides our body with the energy that it needs to survive.
Our body is provided energy through food and it expends energy throughout living everyday life.
If you want a more in depth breakdown of how your body burns calories, I will link a podcast HERE that I did talking in depth on that topic.
Yet simply put, you intake calories and you burn calories, that is the process of human life.
When it comes to losing weight what has to happen is you need to consume less calories than your body is burning. This is called a calorie deficit.
This is the only way possible to lose weight. I don’t care what diet you do, I don’t care what drink you drink, and I certainly don’t care what sweat belt or waist trainer you use.
If you are not in a calorie deficit you will not lose weight.
On the flip side very quickly, this is also how you gain body fat. If you are consistently consuming more energy than your body is expending, your body will store the extra energy you are giving it that it is not using as extra body fat.
Your next question is going to be “Well if I have to eat less calories than my body is burning, how do I know how many calories my body is burning!?”.
(By the way, I am going to be using my 2nd skill other than coaching which is a mind reader and answer questions as they pop up so don’t worry).
The answer is, you don’t.
Hear me out.
When it comes to tracking how many calories you burn on a daily basis, there is no accurate way of tracking that.
Your apple watch or fit bit has been found to be up to 93% inaccurate when it comes to tracking how many calories your body burns.
Therefore worrying about tracking how many calories your body burns is something I would not concern yourself with.
What do you do instead?
You track the calories you intake, aka eat or drink.
We have a much more accurate way of tracking the amount of calories you are consuming rather than how much you are burning.
If you need some help on how to track calories (which believe me, most people do), head HERE to read this article I wrote.
It has helped a ton of people out and it can help you too.
Point being, do not worry about how many calories you are burning and solely focus on how many calories you are eating.
Are All Calories Created Equal?
We just learned that calories are simply a unit of measurement of energy.
When it comes to calories, no matter if it is 200 calories from a cookie or 200 calories from a greens salad, 200 calories is 200 calories.
Now, your next question is going to be “wait a minute so if all calories are just a unit of measurement, could I just eat ice cream and pizza and lose weight?!”
The answer is technically, yes. You could eat 1500 calories of pizza, beer, and ice cream and lose weight.
People have done it and documented it. In fact, one of the best coaches in this industry, Jordan Syatt, ate a big mac every single day for 31 days and lost 7lbs. You can watch that HERE if you want.
Yet just because you can do it, doesn’t mean you should nor does it mean it is smart.
Just because your car is able to go 200mph doesn’t mean you should be doing it through a school zone as you go to pick up your kid, right?
Right. Same thing here.
Just because a calorie is a calorie does not mean all calories are created equal, and let me explain.
200 calories from a cookie is the same as 200 calories from a salad in terms of energy and calories, yes.
Yet what differs is the nutrient breakdown of those calories.
The cookie is going to a lot higher in carbs and sugar. It is going to be lower in protein and actual food volume in comparison to calories, meaning a little cookie can be 200 calories which is not that much food in your stomach.
On the flip side the salad is going to be higher in food volume and lower in calories, meaning you are going to eat a lot of actual food going into your stomach for very little calories.
It is going to be lower in sugar and carbs.
This doesn’t mean the cookie is “bad” for you and the salad is “good” for you, they are both 200 calories, it simply means they are different.
Think of it like this.
If you run a mile in the sand, walk a mile on the pavement, or swim a mile in the ocean, it is all still a mile.
The composition is different. The sand, the pavement, and the ocean, yet the fact remains it is all still a mile.
Same goes for calories. The composition of calories can different but a calorie is always a calorie.
Side Note :
This is why there are no “good” and “bad” foods when it comes to dieting. One thing you may struggle with (here I go again, reading your mind) is thinking that you can’t have “bad” foods in your diet if you are looking to lose weight.
When it comes to losing weight you can enjoy foods you like in moderation and still lose weight.
Why? Because of what we have been talking about above. If you are in a calorie deficit you will lose weight.
No one food inherently makes you gain weight or is bad for you. Cookies don’t make you fat. Donuts don’t make you fat. Tacos don’t make you fat.
The only way you gain fat is if you are in a calorie surplus and the only way you lose fat is if you are in a calorie deficit.
Yes your food choices matter, and we are going to talk about why they matter right below.
Yet please don’t think you can only eat “clean foods” if you are looking to lose weight because it is simply not true.
When it comes to losing weight and using this weight loss calorie calculator I am going to give you below, even though you can eat 1500 calories of pizza, cookies, and ice cream and still lose weight, it is not optimal for these reasons.
When you are on a diet what happens? You get tired and hungry.
If you get tired and hungry, what normally happens then? You over eat.
If you are eating nothing but pizza, cookies, and ice cream, you are going to be incredibly tired and hungry leading it to be almost impossible to lose weight.
You are making it that much harder on yourself.
As opposed to if you are eating nutrient dense whole foods like salads, high protein, good quality carbohydrates, you will be way less tired and hungry which will lead to you sticking to your diet better.
Therefore, seeing better results.
Even though a calorie is a calorie, the food you eat still matters a ton.
Try to stick to the 80/20 rule.
80% of your foods should come from minimally processed, nutrient dense whole foods. Things like
Then 20% of your foods can come from other things and or treats you enjoy.
This 80/20 rule makes up the style of dieting which is called “flexible dieting” . I wrote an entire article on this topic if you would like to dive more in depth you can find it HERE .
Therefore once you get your number from your weight loss calorie calculator, keep in mind that the food you eat still does matter.
Weight Loss Calorie Calculator
How To Find Your Calorie Number
Before we got into the calculation of how to find out how many calories you should be eating to lose weight, I wanted to make sure you understood the reasoning behind the importance of calories.
Most people just say “here, eat these calories!” Yet give no context as to why.
What happens then is you may eat those calories for a week or two, but since you have no education backing why you are doing things, you fall off and quit.
One thing I am big on with you reading this as well as any and all of my online coaching clients is I want to educate and empower you.
You need to understand why you are doing things and the importance behind them so you are able to adhere to them better. If you don’t know why you are doing something, why on earth would you keep doing it or even be motivated to do it!?
Now, let’s get down to the fun stuff shall we?
In order to find out how many calories you need, simply follow this equation below.
Take your goal body weight (in pounds) x 10-12
This is by far the easiest equation you can do that already does all of the leg work for you. It takes into account the amount of calories your body burns based on your goal body weight and gives you a calorie number to hit to be below that.
There are other more complicated equations out there you may find on the internet and if you would like to take a stab at those be my guest.
Yet this has worked me and all of my clients since the beginning of time and I know for a fact it will work for you too.
A Quick Note On “Goal Body Weight”
I mentioned taking your “goal body weight” and multiplying it within that range.
Here is the thing. Let’s say right now you weigh 280 lbs and your goal body weight is 130.
I would not use 130 for this equation. Why? Because it is going to give you an unrealistic, unsustainable number that will probably end up being entirely too low.
If you have say more than 30lbs to lose, I would choose incremental goal body weights.
For example if you weigh 280 lbs and your “end goal” is 130, I would pick 240 as your first “goal body weight”.
Then once you reach 240, I would pick 210. Then once you hit 210, go to 180, and so on, and so on.
This way you can make this sustainably and not entirely starve yourself along the way.
Now, I gave a range between 10-12.
Your next question is going to be “well how do I know what to pick?! 10, 11, or 12?!”.
First off I will say everyone is different. Unless I work with you directly I cannot truly tell you.
I can tell you though that this is a kick ass starting point.
Next I will tell you this.
I always start with taking your goal body weight x 12 and that is for a few different reasons listed below.
#1 Why not eat more calories and still lose weight?
If you can eat 2000 calories instead of 1500 calories, and still lose weight, why wouldn’t you?
That is as simple as I can put it. I love food I don’t know about you.
#2 Keep your metabolism high
You may have heard before that eating too low of calories can slow down your metabolism.
That is true and not true at the same time. I would encourage you to watch this YouTube video here I did talking about what happens to your metabolism when you eat too little.
Yet the fact does remain the lower calories you eat the lower your metabolism will go.
To avoid slowing down your metabolism too much and keeping it as high as possible, I generally like to start with the x 12 equation.
#3 Be More Flexible With Your Diet
You can be a bit more flexible with your diet, enjoy some of your favorite foods more, and make this a more sustainable lifestyle change.
Now, beyond that, there are two things I would be aware of when looking at this equation.
Resist the urge to go straight for the lower number.
I know, I get it, you want to lose weight faster.
You are thinking “well if I do the lower number that will give me less calories! If I eat less calories that just means I will lose weight faster!”.
In theory you are correct.
Yet in application you could not be farther from the truth.
The number one mistake people make when doing a weight loss calorie calculator like this and starting their weight loss journey is they try to eat so few calories.
This makes it damn near impossible to be consistent with and sustain for a long period of time.
You will have to go super restrictive with your food amounts and choices.
You may be able to do it for say 4 days, but then what happens?
Friday comes around and you are starving, deprived of food, and have cravings out the wazoo.
What does this then bring on? A 3 day binge cycle on the weekends.
Yet Monday rolls around and you still think “Well I gotta get back on track, back to super low calories again!”.
Then the same cycle repeats itself over and over leading you to not be consistent at all and seeing no progress.
I understand the urge of wanting to eat fewer calories and lose weight faster but I promise you that is the #1 way to sabotage your journey before you even start.
Start with the x 12 equation and do what I will say a bit later in this article.
If you did that equation and thought “OMG No way, that is too many calories!”, That is the reason you have not been able to lose weight.
If the thought came into your mind that this was too many calories I can almost guarantee this is why you have not been seeing progress thus far.
Let me elaborate.
I spoke on it above but the reason you are not seeing progress if you are thinking like this is because you are in this constant over restrict – binge cycle.
You eat 1200 calories for 3 or 4 days, then you eat 3000 calories for 3 or 4 days.
You can not be consistent with those insanely low calories for an extended period of time.
Therefore if you picked a more moderate number, like the one I am probably giving in this article, you will be able to be incredibly more consistent.
Eating 1200 calories for 3 days is getting you no where and has gotten you no where for a long time now.
It is time to try something new.
As opposed to you eating 1200 calories for 3 or 4 days then binging on the weekends, if you can eat say 18-1900 calories for all 7 days and actually be consistent with that you will see incredible progress.
Let me let you in on a secret.
It is much less about the exact calorie number you hit, whether it is 1500 or 1700.
It is much more about how consistent can you hit either one of those numbers. You hitting 1700 calories with 90% consistency will get you more results than you hitting 1500 calories with 60% consistency.
It is just a fact.
This is not a game of perfection, this is a game of consistency. You do not have to be perfect to lose weight, you just have to be consistent.
Which brings me to my last point of this article which is, TRY IT!
How Do You Know If It Works?
You are probably now thinking “Okay I did my weight loss calorie calculator and I got x number, but how do I know if it works?!”.
Here is a concept that may sound foreign to you possibly but hear me out.
Trial and error.
The god’s honest truth is there is no perfect thing.
You looking for the perfect equation is probably the reason you are here right now. There is no perfect equation, not even this one.
Yet like I mentioned above this is not a game of perfection this is a game of consistency.
The more you are looking for perfect calorie number and debating back and forth between eating 1500 or 1700, you are actually doing nothing at all.
You keep debating and looking for the perfect thing that you are doing nothing at all, which I can assure you, you are not going to lose any weight that way.
Here is what I need from you.
Take this equation I just gave you, stick to it with 90% consistency for the next 4 weeks, and track your progress.
I said 90% consistency. That means in the next 31 days you need to hit these calories 27-28 days.
Anything less than that you cannot wonder if it worked or not because you were not consistent enough to see progress.
Do this for the next 4 weeks and track your progress.
I have a funny feeling you are going to see some damn good results.
Which by the way, for reference, a healthy good rate of weight loss is anywhere from .5-1.5lb per week on average.
I say on average because one week you may lose 2lbs and the next week you may lose 0. That would be an average of 1lb per week, which would be amazing progress.
Yet let’s just say you don’t lose any weight and you were 90% consistent.
Perfect. Now you know what doesn’t work so you simply adjust as needed.
There is no perfect plan and there is no way around doing the work.
Put in the work, track your progress, and make changes if need be.
Please just don’t forget that the most important part is
- Actually starting
- Being 90% consistent
Weight Loss Calorie Calculator: Final Words
My hope is that this was the most in depth weight loss calorie calculator piece of content you have ever come across.
This article started by me telling you I wanted to make sure you left this article feeling 100% confident moving forward and I hope you now do.
On top of that, I want to say I know this can be a bit overwhelming.
I kind of do this for a living if you could not tell. I coach people everyday through their weight loss journeys.
If you would like to see if we might be a good fit for coaching so I can take all of this guesswork out of it for you and be there to help you every step of the way, feel free to head HERE to fill out my online coaching application form.
Other than that, take this information and go get started.
No more waiting, you have done that long enough.
Now is the time.
You got this.
PS: if you or someone you know are more a visual person, I have a short video on this topic as well.