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How do you calculate calorie needs?

How do you calculate the amount of calories you need to achieve weight loss goals. I am 6 feet 1 inch, weigh 229 pounds am in good health and exercise high intensity daily for minimum 60 minutes. Would like to loose 15-20 pounds in 3 months.
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Avatar universal
I know you'll get an answer here, but calories are not the most important factor in weight loss or gain.  How well you digest what you're eating and how quickly you metabolize what you're eating into sugar is more important.  Here's my well-aged example:  eating high calorie salmon never made anyone fat (unless they ate a ton of it) while eating much lower calorie white flour has made a lot of people overweight.  The way to achieve weight loss goals is to change your diet from foods that are unhealthy to foods that are healthy, and if you need to consume less consume less.  As for your exercise, if you're doing a lot of resistance training and you're all muscle, you might not need to lose any weight at all.  If it's flab, then you might.  I'll let others now weigh in who do believe calories are the key, as I know others on this site believe this to be true.  And I'll add, I'm not sure what 60 minutes of high intensity exercise is and whether it's a good idea to do it every day.  I'm pretty old and I work out a lot longer than that when I work out, so what is it you're doing?
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Thanks for the input. I eat pretty well with mostly whole grains, fresh produce,meats and wine++. Not much processed food at all. I do have excess fat around the belly and have been unable to take it off with ramping up the exercise. This includes a variety of cardio daily for 45-60 minutes including squash, x-country skiing, biking , elliptical plus weight training twice a week. I think I need to cut the calories but can't figure out exactly by how much. I figure that 1-2 pound weight loss per week would be the right rate.
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Body Weight Planner

The Peak 8 routine it will quickly raise your heart rate 8 times for very short bursts, with a cooling
down period in between. Ideally you’ll be sprinting or cycling full throttle for 30 seconds with a 90
second cool down in between each outburst.
This is the fastest way to lose fat and build muscle in the body. Peak 8 actually stimulates the growth
hormone in the body. I encourage you to visit Dr Mercola’s site to learn more about Peak 8 fitness
because I personally feel that it is one of the best ways to exercise, especially considering the speed at
which you can lose fat and build muscle.
I highly recommend you read this article and watch the videos on the page. It will give you all the
information you need to know about Peak 8 – Flood Your Body With This “Youth Hormone” In Just 20
What you eat after Peak 8 training does matter
It’s recommended that you do not eat sugar or carbohydrate for 2 hours after the Peak 8 exercise
because these foods can impact the release of the growth hormone in the body. The links are
Figure your heart rate by this formula
The Karvonen Formula is a mathematical formula that helps you determine your target heart rate zone.
The formula involves using your maximum heart rate (MHR) minus your age to come up with a target
heart rate range (which is a percentage of your MHR). Staying within this range will help you work
most effectively during your cardio workouts.
First thing in the morning before you get out of bed have a clock with a second hand and check your
resting heart rate then figure your rate by the Karvonen Formula
The following link will help you figure your heart rate by the Karvonen Formula.
You burn 30 percent more fat from doing cardio after a weights session as opposed to cardio on its own
Avatar universal
Thanks for the peak 8 suggestion but I already do interval training twice a week with 15, 30 sec max speed intervals followed by 30sec rest each. My equation goes wrong on the consumption end. I want to figure out calorie needs and components but have not yet got that answer.

Avatar universal
From what you say, you eat pretty well.  Assuming that's all you eat, cutting down on the animal food will reduce your fat intake and might make the difference, assuming you're eating, say, beef, which is always high in fat as opposed to buffalo or venison, which is low.  Fatty fish doesn't count, as it doesn't present the same problems.  But basically, what you're hearing here is that calories aren't the proper measure, really, results are.  I also wouldn't recommend skipping breakfast, and given you exercise hard and regularly, I wouldn't skip any meals.  Here's one suggestion:  just eat less at each meal and add more resistance training and see if it does the trick.  Try getting protein from non-meat sources more often, as this may help as well.  But given your exercise habit, you do need protein.  Try beans and nuts and seeds instead of meat, say for even just one meal a week, and see if it helps.
And I meant to add, exercising once a day is a modern oddity.  Long term studies that have been going on for years in various places around the world find that exercising hard once a day but being sedentary the rest of the time leads to weight gain.  People who don't purposely exercise at all but move a lot all day do better.
Avatar universal
Thanks paxiled for the excellent suggestions. I'll try to be less of a carnivore keep as generally active as possible leave some food on the plate and keep my fingers crossed. I'll do my next weight in a week and see what happens.
This is a good weight reduction smoothie

1 ¼ scoops chocolate protein powder. (Any protein whey or casein protein powder that has less than 3 grams of fat and less than 3 grams of carbs will work.) I suggest buying a whey protein
concentrate not isolate!
As for the Cocoa, buy CocoaVia.
Most cocoa brands contain to much
cadmium and or lead.

3 tablespoons walnuts

1/4 cup almonds

2 tablespoons cocoa powder, unsweetened (CocoaVia)

2 tablespoons cacao nibs
(make your own buy Baker's brand
and grind into small pieces)

2 cups water

4 ice cubes

Nutrition Facts:

Protein: 49 grams(g)

Carbs: 24g (11g fiber)

Fat: 34g

Calories: 577
Only use the above, of course, if you're not allergic to dairy, as most are, but I will say, though I generally don't do a lot of dairy, whey protein concentrate doesn't usually bother people much, but casein itself is the protein dairy eaters have the biggest problem with.  And there's nothing magical about chocolate -- if you're just doing protein for the sake of doing protein, any flavor is fine as long as it's natural and not loaded with sugar.  As for cocoa, there's a ton of them out there that are fine, just look for organic brands and try to use dark chocolate.  I personally don't see how adding a smoothie reduces weight, though, unless you substitute it for a meal and if you do, you're probably losing a lot of nutrition for something that is just protein without any other virtue.  It isn't a balanced meal.  But it sounds like it would be great for those of us who do extra protein when we do resistance training.
You're wrong about chocolate and as for cocoa it contains flavanols that helps blood flow, pressure, cholesterol,
exercise, memory, wrinkles, blood sugar.  As for the ton of them for sale a ton of them contain cadmium and or lead!! I know of at least 10 that are contaminated!
The reason I mentioned that, Gym, is that a lot of people don't like chocolate shakes -- I don't, I prefer vanilla if I'm going to have one.  I wasn't saying not to do yours, just saying there are other options.  As for the benefits of chocolate, you can get them from a host of foods that don't contain caffeine and aren't usually sweetened to make them palatable, as chocolate in its native form is very bitter.  I don't use smoothies myself, I prefer to actually eat meals, and eat a protein bar because it's portable even though i know I shouldn't, but when I did drink them -- one store I managed had a juice bar -- I used to do a wheat grass chaser, which is so far superior to chocolate in every way that counts.  So while I love chocolate in other things, I don't in smoothies, so if someone else is also like that the chocolate is not at all necessary to getting the protein if one isn't eating meals.  As for contamination, Gym, if you want to eliminate that, you have to regulate the business world closely, and you don't want to do that, so how do you know that particular batch of chocolate you're eating isn't contaminated?  It comes from the water, most often, and that changes over time.    
Avatar universal
An exercise routine that encourages the use of circuit-training, density-training, supersets, trisets, finishers, or anything that increases you to work hard for 30 to 45 minutes.
Calories and diet matters!


Strength training still needs to be the number 1 to maintain muscle, even if fat loss is the goal.
What needs to be done is compound movements like squats, deadlifts, and bench presses with low to moderate rep ranges (3 to 6 reps). Doing that makes your body nudge to keep muscle, lower reps target more of the actual muscle fibers in addition to providing the neural stimulus needed for the central nervous system to maintain strength levels.
Higher rep style training is important and a part of any fat-loss program.
Gym, you seem to be contradicting yourself -- can you explain the difference between higher reps and lower reps?  I know that bodybuilders differ on this question -- more reps with lighter weight or fewer reps with higher weight -- so much that I just assume nobody really knows which is better.  For injury reasons, lower weights work better for me at the age I'm at now.  I also wonder why squats, very hard on the back, are any better than any other training that burns energy and works the body?  Wouldn't any resistance training be as good as any other for all-around health, though perhaps not if you're trying to look a certain way?
You shouldn't do the same routine all the time because lets say you're doing bicep curls at 30 lb and you can do 10 reps after a while the muscle grows and it becomes easy so what do you do you either increase reps or increase weight. I do two different routines.
Either doing 3 sets of 12 reps for about 2-3 weeks. Then I change the routine to lifting the max that I can do correct for say 10 reps then I reduce the weight and do 10 reps then I reduce the weight again and do 10 reps.
That's 1 set! I do that 2 more times with about 30-60 sec. rest between sets.
That routine they call drop sets.
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