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How many calories do I need?

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This was one of the main questions that I had when I started to take my diet and nutrition seriously.  Before, I just worked out, ate what I wanted and kept getting fatter.  Everyone needs to know how many calories they need to maintain a healthy body weight.  The problem . . . everybody is different, everybody has different activity levels and not everybody’s body was created equal.  I will give you the basics and then you can adjust accordingly to fit your personal needs and requirements.  For example, I just finished a new Beachbody workout called Body Beast.  On this program I ate approximately 3500 calories a day.  The reason is that I was  trying to add muscle but maintain a low body weight percentage.  I was very pleased with the results, I increased size on my arms, chest and legs while losing 2 inches off my waist.  My body fat dropped a % as well.  In order to keep building muscle, I had to lift heavier weight and eat a ton of calories. (healthy foods, of course)

One of the things that I can tell you for sure is that I did not see the results I wanted until I began to count my calories daily.  As I have shared in other posts, I do this by using an app called MyFitnessPal.  It works great and keeps up with everything from calories,% fat, sodium, % carbs, calories burned and previous foods I have eaten, plus it FREE.


To maintain weight, see the calorie chart below.  This chart represents calorie guidelines to maintain weight based on  median height and weight — a BMI of 21.5 for females and 22.5 for males –  as well as activity level.

To lose weight — about 1 pound a  week — reduce calories in the chart by 500 a day and become more  physically active.

To gain weight, add 500 calories per day for each  pound you want to gain per week.

For successful weight loss that you can maintain over time, experts  recommend choosing foods that are lower in calories but rich in  vitamins, minerals, fiber, and other nutrients.

Gender Age Sedentary* Moderately Active* Active*
Females 19-30,31-50,51+ 2000, 1800, 1600 2000-2200, 2000, 1800 2400, 2200, 2000-2200
Males 19-30,31-50,51+ 2400, 2200, 2000 2600-2800, 2400-2600, 2200-2400 3000,2800-3000, 2400-2800

*Sedentary means a lifestyle that includes light physical activity  associated with typical activities of daily living.  Moderately active  consists of walking 1.5 to 3 miles daily at a pace of 3 to 4 miles per  hour (or the equivalent). An active person walks more than 3 miles daily  at the same pace, or equivalent exercise.

I have also added the formula for calculating daily calorie intake from the P90X nutritional guide.  I have used this several times for other Beachbody workouts and have achieved great results with it.  Remember, however, that everyone is different and you can adjust accordingly.

1.) Calculate your resting metabolic rate (RMR). This is basically the number of calories you need to breathe,pump blood, grow hair, blink—be alive.  Your Body weight _______ x 10 = _______RMR (In Calories)

2.) Calculate your daily activity burn, daily movement apart from exercise.  Keep in mind that all lifestyles aren’t created equal. A construction worker will have a higher daily burn rate than a computer programmer, so this figure should be treated as a ballpark estimate. You will probably need to do some personal adjusting to get it perfect. Don’t worry, this will become more obvious than you think once you get going.  Your RMR ______ X 20% = _______ Daily Activity Burn.

3.) Add the calories required for your exercise needs, which I have calculated at 600 calories per day.  Add it all up and you’ve got your energy amount.  You RMR _____ + Your Daily Activity Burn _____ + 600 = Energy Amount _____.

4.)  Now use your energy amount to determine your nutrition level.  Example: A 6-foot, 180-pound man RMR = 180 (body weight in pounds) x 10 = 1,800.  Daily activity burn = 1,800 (RMR) x 20% = 360 Exercise expenditure = 600 Energy amount = 1,800 + 360 + 600 = 2,760. Round down to the bottom of your level to create a slight calorie deficit.

There are also some great tools available to you in your Team Beachbody account.  Log in and visit the link below to assist you in calculating your caloric requirements.

Click Here for Team Beachbody Nutritional Tools

Not registered on Team Beachbody yet?  Click here to register for your Free Team Beachbody account so you can access these tools!


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*Note – If you have a “dud” coach and would like to change coaches, the process to do so is very simple. Simply email and tell them that you would like “Coach Todd Greene (Coach ID #99963) at ” as your coach. Please CC me as well so I can ensure to follow-up.


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2) Also, remember that the way I benefit from being your coach is that I earn a commission from any Beachbody products that you purchase, as long as you buy them through my site,, (If you buy from the plain Beachbody site I get no credit). It helps with the amount of time I spend answering all your questions and helping you out. Thank you! I really appreciate it! 


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