Find out approximately how much should you be eating for your specific goal with this Harris Benedict BMR calculator.
The Harris Benedict BMR calculator calculates the minimum amount of calories you need to maintain your weight as well as perform your day to day activities based on sex, age, height and weight.
The formula used is the Harris Benedict Formula and is only, at best, an approximate guestimate but it gives you a starting point. More on this formula later.
First of all, fill in the calculator below to get an approximate BMR figure. Then continue below for further instructions..
Now that you know your Total Daily Energy Expenditure..
WHAT IS YOUR GOAL?
|Lose Weight/Burn Fat
|If your goal is to build muscle, you should start by eating 5-10% over what your Total Daily Energy Expenditure is.
Expect to gain 1-2lbs per week when you’re starting out all the way to 0.5-1lbs a month, or even a year, if you’re a veteran.
Any more than this and you’re probably gaining too much fat and you’ll need to reduce calories slightly.
If you aren’t noticing any weight gain on an extra 500 calories, try gradually increasing this number by 5% weekly/monthly until you are maintaining or slightly increasing weight.
Do regular visual and measurement checks to ensure the weight gain is not mostly body fat, but some fat gain will be naturally inevitable when bulking.
NOTE: Remember that these are very basic assumptions. There could be a whole heap of other variables or scenarios for why you’re not gaining muscle that needs to be addressed. I.E. intensity of training, program effectiveness, recovery etc
|If your goal is to burn fat and lose weight, you should start by eating 500 calories less than your TDEE.
Expect to lose 0.5-1kg a week (1-2lbs) after the first week or two.
If you’re losing any more than this, it may be coming from muscle tissue.
If you aren’t noticing any weight or body fat loss, stick at it for another week and MAKE SURE you’re tracking your intake accurately.
If there is still no change, decrease your calories by a further 5-10% a week until you see the weight dropping OR increase your training frequency and intensity if feasible or preferred.
NOTE: Remember that these are very basic assumptions. There could be a whole heap of other variables for why you’re not losing fat that needs to be addressed. I.E. Overestimating your activity levels, TDEE not being as high etc
Important Note : Remember that your calorie number isn’t the end all and be all. While calories are absolutely the most important factor when it comes to manipulating your weight, you’ll want that number to include an optimal macronutrient split for health and your lifestyle. A diet high in protein, from minimally processed foods that are high in micronutrients, with the rest of your macronutrients split between carbs and essential fats (in ratios that suit your personal preference).
The Harris Benedict Formula is pretty accurate for most but the really muscular physiques (it will underestimate your calorie requirements) and the really overweight (it will overestimate your requirements).
If you find yourself in the latter situation, it would be wise to find out your LBM – Lean body mass.
You can do this by getting a body fat check, but most tests readily available to the public aren’t particularly accurate either.
The ones that are more accurate are the most expensive methods like a DEXA scan.
If you do manage to get an approximate read on your LBM, take your LBM and add 10% to it.
Then put that figure into the calculator for a closer estimate for what your daily calorie needs are.
For example if my LBM was 67kg, I’d add 10% to it. 67 + 6.7 = 73.7kg and I’d put that into the calculator.
If you fancy doing the math all on your own, there is a more accurate
formula than the Harris Benedict Formula that takes Lean Body Mass into account. It’s called..
The Katch-Mcardle Formula
This formula is more accurate for everybody but you’ll have to know your LBM first.
The formula works for both men and women because no guess work needs to be done with body fat levels once you’ve obtained your lean body mass.
BMR = 370 + (21.6 X lean body mass in kg)
– I’m 74kg in total weight
– I have a body fat % of 12%
So my lean weight is 65.1 kg
My BMR is 370 + 1406 = 1776 calories (very close to what the harris-benedict formula gave me)
Then multiply that figure again depending on your activity level (the calculator can do this automatically for you by clicking on the “advanced” button).
So mine would be 1776 calories x 1.375 (lightly active) =
2446 Calories needed to maintain weight
As you can see the difference in results between the Katch Mcardle Formula and the Harris Benedict Formula were negligible for me.
If you’re between 10-18% bodyfat for a man (20-33% for women), then the calculator at the top of this page will serve you fine (unless you’re extremely muscular).
If not, find out your LBM and use the Katch-Mcardle Formula or use the most accurate calorie and macronutrient calculator I’ve created to date.