Here’s the quick answer: Multiply your bodyweight in pounds by 15.
Whatever number you get, multiply it by .75.
That is how many calories you should eat each and every day.
If you want to learn the specifics of how we got this number, and how to make it more accurate, keep reading.
Step 1: Calculate Your Calories Per Day for Weight Loss
If you didn’t know, there are roughly 3500 calories per pound of fat.
There are 7 days in a week.
Therefore to lose 1 pound of fat per day, you would subtract 500 calories from your maintenance calories.
What are your Maintenance Calories?
They are the number of calories you would eat if you wanted to MAINTAIN your current weight of 250 pounds.
The following formula is not very accurate.
It is only an estimation, however, I tweaked it to base it off your current physical activity level to make it more accurate.
Note: Subtracting 500 calories a day from your diet is fine, however, if you want to lose those extra pounds faster, you should subtract more calories a day.
This is why I use percentages as you’ll see below to lose weight faster, but safely.
Step 1.1: Find Your Estimated Maintenance Calories
Formula Your bodyweight in lbs x 14, 15, or 16.
How do you choose between 14, 15, or 16?
- If you are sedentary, choose 14 (sedentary means you only get exercise physical activity from the gym and nothing else, or you just don’t do any physical activity at all).
- If you are lightly active, choose 15 (Lightly Active means you workout 3-5 times per week, but also don’t sit around all day – fits most people).
- Choose 16 if you’re very active (Very Active means you workout 3-6 times per week, but you also move around constantly due to work, or other activities other than the gym)
Because you weigh 250lbs, we will use that for the rest of this example.
Also, we will assume you are sedentary.
250lbs x 14 = 3500
So, you would eat roughly 3500 calories every day to maintain your weight of 250lbs.
Step 1.2: Multiply .75 by Your Maintenance Calories
3500 x .75 = 2625 calories to eat to lose weight
This would be your calorie deficit.
Therefore, as long as you stick to this new calorie intake, based on your body weight, you will lose weight.
Note how I said STICK to it.
Weight loss will NOT occur if you do not stick to these calories on a daily basis.
Technically, I have answered your question already, however, you could’ve gotten a similar answer from any calculator online.
I want you to succeed and to do that, I need to give you more tips and tutorials on how to not only lose weight, but keep it off!
Also, I’ll throw in some diet and exercise tips at the end.
Step 2: Divide Your New Calories (based on 250 pounds) Into Macros
Macros (or Macronutrients) are the 3 major nutrients that our bodies need to survive.
Each has their own caloric make-up for each gram.
For example, protein has 4 calories per 1 gram.
Carbohydrates have 4 calories per 1 gram and Fats have 9 calories per 1 gram.
This is how we will divide our calories into grams so you can track them throughout your day.
Step 2.1: Why Should I Track Macros? Why Should I Care?
You should care because if you were to just:
- eat fewer calories,
- and lose a lot of weight,
9 times out of 10, you’re going to look end up looking flabby and with no muscle definition.
This is known as being skinny fat.
I promise you that you don’t want this.
Instead, if you eat enough protein, fats, and carbs, you will ensure that the weight you lose is not mostly coming from muscle.
The way to combat it completely is to track macros and do a lot of resistance training.
Tracking macros is also called If It Fits Your Macros or IIFYM.
Step 2.2: 40/40/20 Macro Split
What does 40/40/20 mean?
It means that
- 40% of your calories will be coming from protein,
- 40% will be coming from carbohydrates
- and 20% will be coming from fats.
This is a very popular and well-known Macro split.
You can play around with the percentages, so long as you keep protein high.
By “protein high,” I mean anywhere from 0.8-1g of protein per pounds of body weight.
I have an entire article on the best macros for cutting if you want to learn more.
Let me show you how to set them up.
Step 2.2: 40% from Protein
There are 2 steps to do this. Remember our calorie deficit based on 250 lbs?
All you do is take your calorie deficit and multiply it by .40
2625 x .40 = 1050 calories from protein.
To divide this into grams of protein, you simply divide the number you got by 4.
Because there are 4 calories per gram of protein.
1050 / 4 = 263 grams of protein.
And there you have it.
You should eat roughly 263 grams of protein per day.
Remember, you can always switch the percentages around if you don’t want to eat too much protein.
Something like a 30/50/20 split is what I use.
Step 2.3: 40% from Carbohydrates
This step is exactly the same as above.
Same numbers and calculations since we are using the same 40%.
263 grams of Carbs
Step 2.4: 20% from Fats
Again, there are 2 steps for this part.
First, multiply your calorie deficit by .20
2625 x .20 = 525 calories from fat
Now we divide this number by 9 because there are 9 calories per gram of fat.
525 / 9 = 58 grams of Fat
Step 2.5: Recap of Our Calculations
To recap, here are our calories (both maintenance and deficit respectively):
- 3500 Calories
- 2625 Calories
And here are your macronutrients based on a 40/40/20 split:
- 263g of Protein
- 263g of Carbs
- 58g of Fat
Step 3: Putting it All Together
That was pretty simple, right?
Now all you have to do is track your calories and macros.
How do you do that exactly?
Well, you can use an app like MyFitnessPal.
That’s what I use.
In fact, I have an entire book showing you how to lose fat WITHOUT giving up your favorite foods.
Your calories and macros don’t have to all come from bland foods like:
While there is nothing bad about these foods and they should be in some part of your diet, they shouldn’t be every meal.
My book will show you why you don’t have to give up:
I’ll show you how to eat those foods and still lose fat!