How to Lose Weight Safely: Calorie Cheat Sheet


We have all heard the term calories in calories out. In reality, it’s more complicated than that because not all calories are created equal. This is why nutrition accounts for 80% of our fitness transformation.  Here is a quick cheat sheet to figure out how many calories you should be eating…

How many calories do I need in a day?

The amount of calories you need to consume each day is determined by a number of things including body type, goals, activity levels, and training frequency. Everything I will provide here is just a basic set of guidelines and is not set in stone.

Daily Calorie Energy Needs

*convert weight in pounds (lb) to kilograms (kg) by dividing your weight in pounds by 2.2 to equal weight in kilograms

  • Sedentary men and non-pregnant women: 31 calories/kg
  • Moderately active men and non-pregnant women: 33-38 calories/kg
  • Endurance athletes: 35-50 calories/kg depending on training
  • Strength-trained athlete: 30-60 calories/kg depending on training

Calorie Intake to Lose Weight

We should aim to lose only 1-2 lbs per week. This is a safe and effective way to shed those unwanted pounds. To lose weight consume 500 fewer calories a day. But, be mindful that you are getting the proper balance of fat, proteins, carbs, and nutrients.

We are talking about a healthy clean eating plan here. If you are eating junk or are nutrient deprived you will not get the results you want and could end up sick or injured!

Eating too few calories will slow the body’s metabolism down and can lead to very serious health consequences. Never consume less than 1200 calories a day for more than one day.

Calorie Intake to Build Muscle/ Gain Weight

When weight gain or building muscle is desired increase calories by 250-500 calories a day. Again remember to consider proper nutrition. Eating 250 calories of junk will not help you bulk up unless you want to add a layer of fat on top of your muscles!

How Do I Figure This Out?

  • body weight in pounds/ 2.2
  • results from #1 X daily calorie need chart
  • subtract 500 or add 250-500 depending on your goal
  • NEVER consume less than 1200 calories if your result is lower please round up!!!!


Beth weighs 150lbs, is sedentary, and wants to lose weight.

150/2.2 = 68
68×31 = 2108
2108-500 = 1608
Beth should aim for 1600 calories a day to lose weight
There you have it in action.  Time to calculate your numbers and start losing weight safely and at a manageable rate!



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