T Nation

Daily kcaloric needs?

I just went through a few of the diets here on T-mag and so far My daily kcalorie needs while dieting have ranged from 3500 for Don’t Diet down to 1960 for the old 8xBW formula. Can anyone give me definitive answer on how calculate kcalories I need for maintenance and likewise for dieting??

No, actually, only you can. The short answer is pick one end, try it, and adjust to your needs.

All of those equations are just guidelines. They could be +/- 1000 calories. Get a good scale and pick a method like bioelectrical impedance or skinfolds to measure your body comp. That is the only way that I have found to figure out what kind of calories you need to eat. Start with the recommendations for a diet, then measure the change in body composition to make sure, you are not gaining too much fat on a bulking cycle or losing too much muscle on a cutting cycle. If you want maintenance then keep track of cals and body comp. When body comp, weight, and exercise patterns don’t change, you know that you have hit maintenance for that level of exercise.

The best approach I have ever seen is in the article “The Baseline Diet” by Lyle McDonald.