T Nation

Calorie Calculators


#1

https://fnic.nal.usda.gov/fnic/dri-calculator/ says 3534 calories

health-calc.com says 4091 calories

And Baylor university calorie calculator says 3589 calories

However things like bodybuilding.com say like 2300

And calculator.com says like 2500 so the rangers are anywhere from 2300ish to 4000 calories!!!
Huge difference!

So which one do I go with?
I know the typical answer is to try each and if you gain weight you’re in surplus etc… but it’s really hard seeing what’s fat weight or food weight or water weight or glycogen etc…

So is there a certain calculator that I should follow?

I think I’ve mentioned my stats but here it is again

16 year old
Male
Hits above 10k steps at least daily
Goes to gym for 1.5 hours for 5/6 days a week
Student
156ish pounds
5 foot 10 inches

Could anyone guestimate?
Because sure having a tdee of 4000 calories would be amazing but some of these websites may be inaccurate or frauds so I just wanted your guys’ opinions.


#2

At your age (I am 65) I would say forget the calculators and just eat. Listen carefully to your body and stay as ‘paleo’ as you can (avoid processed foods and highly refined grain products).

You are probably not eating enough. You are expending enough energy to chase down a wildebeest so at the end of the hunt you need to eat the lion’s share of it!


#3

when using TDEE calculators always set level to sedentary, and THEN adjust based on changes in bodyweight


#4

I will just say that your age is somewhat of a confounding factor because during growth and development, caloric needs can be humongous.

My son is 12 years old, and 85 pounds and averages 2500-2600 calories a day and he isn’t even playing a sport-just P.E. class right now, and he is eating that much just to get himself up to the 20th percentile on the growth chart (and 40th in height).

I am 47 years old and 220 and lift 4 hours a week and my maintenance calories are probably 2800-2900 right now, plus at my age, my metabolism seems to fall off the table a lot faster with calorie reduction.

At 16 year old, if you are still growing and with your activity level you are definitely in the low 4000’s, but if you are pretty much done growing taller, you could be somewhere in the 2500-3000 range.

Are you still growing taller? Can you grow a full beard? Did you hit puberty close to your 11th birthday or closer to 12? How close are you to the height of other males in your family?


#5

Unless there’s something you’re not telling us, this feels like insanity.

To answer the original question though, there are so many different answers because there are so many different variables at play, it’s impossible to come up with an accurate answer. Unfortunately you are likely to have to pick a number, go with that consistently for a few weeks, weighing yourself regularly and adjust accordingly until you pick a weight gain/loss that meets your goals. I personally would recommend weighing yourself once a week, at the same time of day, ideally on a day where your routine is pretty steady from week to week.