How many calories do I need to maintain my weight?

Use this formula to calculate how many calories you need to maintain your current weight:

Step 1: Calculate your basal metabolic rate (BMR), the minimal number of calories your body needs just for daily survival. A simple method is to multiply your weight (in pounds) by 10.

Step 2: Calculate the number of calories you need for basic activities of daily living, excluding exercise, by multiplying your results from Step 1 by 20% to 30%.

Step 3: Add 100 calories for every 10 minutes of hard exercise or workout time.

Here is an example for a 200-pound athlete who practices for three hours per day:

Step 1: BMR = weight x 10 = 200 x 10 = 2,000 calories
Step 2: BMR x 20% to 30% + 2,000 = 2,000 x 0.20 = 400 + 2,000 = 2,400; 2,000 x 0.30 = 600 + 2,000 =2,600
Step 3: Total caloric needs = Step 2 result + 100 x 180 minutes
Total caloric needs = 2,400 + 1,800 = 4,200 calories per day.

(This answer provided for NATA by the Appalachian State University Athletic Training Education Program.)

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Important: This content reflects information from various individuals and organizations and may offer alternative or opposing points of view. It should not be used for medical advice, diagnosis or treatment. As always, you should consult with your healthcare provider about your specific health needs.