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Maintenance Calories


Hi all,

What method do you use to calculate maintenance calories?

I'm now 190lbs @ 12.5% BF - looking to get under 10% BF

I used to use the harris benedict formula - but in my opinion this equation overestimates maintenance calories (around 3000 for 190lbs)

I see Lyle McDonald uses a basic LBS*15 for men (but says that it can vary between (14 -16)*lbs

I used to weigh 120lbs at 6 foot, and got up to 204lbs, and I am now cutting for the first time ever; So this is the first time I've been worried about accurate calorie calculations.

I'm planning to eat around 2480 calories/day to shred excess bodyfat (2850 maintenance - 365). I will cycle this. On training days I will eat 2750 (4 days/week), non-training 2100.

Does this look like a good starting point?



You use the scale and a food log for about a month to determine what your maintenance calories are.


Okay, will do..

I've been a nerd over the last few months calculating everything, and realized that my maintenance falls in the lower bracket. I guess it will take some time to figure it out exactly, but worth the effort.



Yes.....that is a good place to start.


It's an okay place to start, but be ready to make adjustments if necessary. I always tell clients that while I may be pretty good at guesstimating starting macro #s, there's a constant assessment and reassessent process involved in body recomposition. Starting with an intelligently thought out set of #s is just the first step.



Thanks for the comments - I'll keep notes on my macro's and calories, and make adjustments when necessary.