Fitness woman with healthy food

Published on May 3rd, 2014 | by Margaret Pardoe


How many calories do YOU need?

“Let food be thy medicine and medicine be thy food”



First you  need to know your Basal Metabolic Rate (BMR) – i.e. the number of calories required if you are at rest (aka how many calories you need to do nothing at all!)

Your BMR is relative to your body mass, age, weight and height.

It is also affected by your gender – men are believed to need more calories than women.

Then there’s the issue of having dieted in the past, which means you’ll most likely need about 10% calories less than if you hadn’t dieted – adaptive thermogenesis!

And this effect may last indefinitely!


Then you need to take into account what you actually do – you need to be completely honest with yourself about your level of activity!

Anything that results in an increase to your metabolic rate will increase your BMR. This includes exercise, stress, fear and illnesses.


There’s lots of places online with will calculate the mathematical formulae for you.

e.g. and click on “my health checker”


Want to know mine?

My BMR is:   1430

My total daily calorie needs are: 2216  (moderate exercise 3 – 5 days / week)


Basal Metabolic Rate Formulae:


How to calculate BMR, in [kcal / 24hrs] for men and women:

  • BMR for Men = 66.47 + (13.7 * weight [kg]) + (5 * size [cm]) − (6.8 * age [years])
  • BMR for Women = 655.1 + (9.6 * weight [kg]) + (1.8 * size [cm]) − (4.7 * age [years])

Once you’ve calculated your BMR, this figure is then put into another formula called the “Harris Benedict Formula”, which calculates your total calorie intake required to maintain your current weight. This is as follows (and is where you need to be honest with yourself with your actual level of activity):

  • Little/no exercise: BMR * 1.2 = Total Calorie Need
  • Light exercise: BMR * 1.375 = Total Calorie Need
  • Moderate exercise (3-5 days/wk): BMR * 1.55 = Total Calorie Need
  • Very active (6-7 days/wk): BMR * 1.725 = Total Calorie Need
  • Extra active (very active plus a physical job): BMR * 1.9 = Total Calorie Need




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About the Author

Margaret Pardoe

first trained and practiced as a State Registered Nurse and State Certified Midwife in the UK, and thereafter, as a Master Herbalist, Registered Iridologist and Accredited Journey Therapist. More recently she trained as a Neuro Linguistic Programming Practitioner with co-founder and creator of NLP, Richard Bandler. She has a lifetime of experience in both allopathic and alternative medicine and in mind/body healing techniques.

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