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Minimum Calories Per Day?


I used an online calorie calculator to figure out what my calories should be at what my weight should be and I need to eat between 1350 and 1500 cals per day.

I want to lose fat (I am 5.4" 215lbs) so does that mean I should subtract 500 calories per day from the 1350 and 1500 and only eat between 850 and 1000 calories per day?

Thank you


Which online calculator did you use... ? You need at MINIMUM 10 x BW in calories... which is 2150... what body fat are you at?


850 seems drastically low. What formula did you use? With training and recovery in mind, 850 could hardly be sufficient. Try using this to recalculate.



What's your lifting/cardio like? Do not go down to 1400ish calories. That's a horrible idea. Try looking up some fat loss articles on here that perscribe calorie requirements.

You don't want to loose all the muscle that you worked so hard to get.


I don't know which calculator I used, I plugged in my sex, age, height in inches, and weight(I put what I should weigh, 130)

I am brand new. My second time to the gym was last night. I do mostly machines and I do 3 set x 8 reps of whatever machines I do that night.

I will be moving to the free weights once I get more familiar with things.

I have no muscle


Hi! Welcome to the board... :slight_smile:

Which calculator did you use?? and how old are you??

Your BMR @ age 30 would be 1758 calories...

To calculate YOUR BMR... because we don't know your age... go here:


Once you know your BMR, you can calculate your Daily Calorie Needs based on your activity level using the Harris Benedict Equation:


THIS will allow you too see where you're at... based on how much activity you do... or are planning to do...


Since you've never trained before, you're going to be able to build some muscle while losing fat. But you'll need more than 1000 calories for that.


I am 41!

this is what came up for me when I used the BMR link
You have a BMR of 1698.35

So would I subtract 500 from that?


That still seems low to me, but try it out and see how that works for you. Although you'd probably be fairly hungry eating so little calories. Are you lifting and doing cardio? Because those will allow you to eat significantly more.


I thought that 1350-1500 was about right for a woman.

Then again, what the hell do I know.


If you're just starting out, I'd try something like John Berardi's "Don't Diet" approach. By my calculations (assuming you're 20% bodyfat - I have no idea), for you it would come out to be about 2400 cals. Check out the artcle and try it out for yourself.

Edit: Shoot, that might (probably is) be high for a woman, Still check out that article


You could be right, I just keep thinking about trying to eat 1500 calories a day and it does not sound fun.


Doesn't Berardi say that women should eat 50% of what a man does? If a man is getting 3000 calories, then wouldn't a woman eat 1500?

I do not understand why everyone thinks this is so low for her.


"Try it out"

Why didn't I think of that? I am so afraid right now of doing things wrong. I will try it for a week and see how I do. If I am too hungry but still losing weight I will up the calories. If I don't lose weight though, I can't imagine going lower!


It is subtracting the 500 calories to lose weight that makes it low.

850 - 1000 calories a day to lose weight


Experimenting is the best way, somethings will work for you that would never work for anyone else. I'd warn against simply going by weight loss though, because you could be gaining muscle or retaining water. Try and use the mirror, or measurements as well. If your progress stalls you could always move more rather than eat less.


Measurements! I have not taken any. Thank you for the suggestion.


Would you rather learn to accelerate and control an unstable mass in free space when your body is weak and your nervous system like a sponge, or after you've actually built enough strength to hurt yourself?

This is one of the absolute most deleterious notions in the fitness industry. The truth is, things should go the other way. Only once you've progressed past the beginning stages as a lifter, and developed some coordination with basic lifts, should machines become a consideration.

Learn to move your body dynamically in free space. Unless you have some kind of disability that prevents it, which I assume you would have mentioned.

Also, eating less than 1000 calories per day is not a good idea. As you begin to learn some basics about feeding yourself appropriately, that will become obvious.

Best of luck.


No worries. Keep us updated with your progress!


Your BMR is how many calories you would burn each day if you did nothing but sat on your butt and watched TV. You need to account for daily exercise as well as walking around, cooking, vacuuming, yard work, etc. I would bet when you account for all that stuff you're probably burning more like 2400 Calories per day.

Aim for about 2000 Calories per day and see if you can lose weight on that. If, after a week or two, you see no change in your weight, drop down to 1800 Calories per day and give it another couple of weeks. If your exercising vigorously 4 hours per week, I seriously doubt you'll need to drop below 2000 Calories per day.