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:
- Brown Rice
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:
- Or any foods you love!
I’ll show you how to eat those foods and still lose fat!
If you want to learn how to drop body fat WITHOUT giving up your favorite foods (or your sanity), then you want to get this book.
Get My Book Here
Learn How To Lose Fat Without Giving Up Your Favorite Foods
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17 thoughts on “If I Weigh 250 Pounds How Many Calories Should I Eat to Lose Weight”
Thank you that helped a lot
Thanks! Let me know if you have any questions!
Thank you this helps
You’re Welcome! Glad I could help!
My current weight is 247. I want to get down to 180. How many calories should I consume daily for fat loss? I exercise 30 minutes to 1 1/2 hours a day. I just started this a week ago.
Hey Shane, so I’d recommend anywhere from 2300-2500 calories to start. When it comes to calorie calculators and being a bit higher in weight, I believe that they aren’t as reliable.
Here, took a good range around your bodyweight x 10 (247×10 = 2470).
I hope this helps, and if you can, track your calories and macros and keep me updated by emailing me at Christian[at]leanwithstyle[dot]com.
I’m a 250 lb male. 5 ft 6 in tall. 51 years old. I exercise 3 to 5 days a week. I just started exercising 2 weeks ago. My target weight is 180 with medium sized muscle mass. How can I calculate my maintenance calories so I can adjust things from there?
How can I getyourbook?
Here’s a link to it on Amazon (both physical and Kindle format):
Here’s a link to it on my website via PDF purchase:
Hey there, if anyone could help me out this would be great.
I’m currently a 260 lbs, 19 year old male and wish to be around 200 lbs. I’m following a 2400 calorie meal plan with a daily protein intake of 186g and don’t should be eating 259g of carbs and 69g of fats, however I fall short on those two but meet my protein intake. I eat 3-4 meals a day (2 meals with meat and rice or bread or tortillas. And then 1 or 2 meals with a protein bar or shake or Greek yogurt with fruits). I workout 5 days a week and only do weight lifting and sometimes cardio. I go to the sauana almost every other day to burn extra fat.
That said I don’t feel like I’m losing weight I still feel big and clothes aren’t getting any loose. Am I doing something wrong? Am I eating way too less? My maintenance calories is 3900 but I eat 2400 that’s 1500 calories less per day. I thought they would be enough. I can provide a screen shot of my meal plan if someone likes. But I really need help and I am super concerned and stressed!!
Hi there, I can see that you’re frustrated and trust me, I know you feel.
The first question I would ask is are you actually tracking the foods you eat with an app like MyFitnessPal?
The second is, are you monitoring your weight every morning?
The third is, how did you get those maintenance calories? What formula did you use? If you used mine, did you lie about your activity level?
Let me know and we can talk further.
P.S., The sauna doesn’t help burn extra fat.
Excellent article! Just what I was looking for. How fast is too fast? You’re basing this on a pound a day, which would be around 21 lbs a month, which is nice, but would double that be a relatively safe rate? I can use your calculations to get to my number, but I want to do more. Thanks!
I would not recommend too fast at all. Slow and steady wins the race and if you just lose all the weight without building habits and a better relationship with food, you’re just going to gain it all back, or at least, most do.
Thank you for this. I’m right at 250 (249.4), so this eliminated my need to calculate! At what point should I re-calculate these numbers? After I lose 10 lbs, 20 lbs, etc.? Thank you again.
Hi Tasha, I think you should recalculate only after whatever calories you’re eating no longer product weight loss.
If you have any questions, feel free to email me [email protected]
hi christian – i would like to know more about how you came up with this formula? when i go to other online sources for calorie counting -they go down to 7.135 as a multiplying number -then they go UP for those who are younger . how did you come up with the number 10 -which i believe is correct! i believe it was 10 (if your sedentary _ 11 (if you work out for 1 time a day ) 12 -if your working out twice a day ) and 13 (if you work out 3 times a day ) – i didnt really see the 14 and the 15 but ,do YOU have any book resources that i could read to better understand this equation ? i always thought it was GOAL weight multiplied by 10 and your done ,and the goal has to be no more than 10 pounds. so if i was 290 my goal should be no more than 280 -other wise the body will begin to fight and resist . so do you have any books that speaks about the activity numbers ??
Thank you for explaining this in a clear and simple way. Very helpful.