How to Calculate Your Daily Caloric Needs

Below are step by step instructions with a few key equations and calculations to accurately determine your macro-nutrient intakes based on your training. These calculations give you a simple and sustainable program to work off of to supplement your goals of fat-loss or muscle gain. 

Step 1: Calculate BMR

Basal Metabolic Rate is the amount of energy expressed in calories that a person needs to keep the body functioning at rest.

Males: (10 x weight in kg) + (6.25 x height in cm) - (4.92 x age) + 5

Women: (10 x weight in kg) + (6.25 x height in cm) - (4.92 x age) – 161


BMR Calculator

Step 2: Determine Daily Activity

Provided below is a chart to help you determine your Current Daily Activity level. Based on the number of days you spend per week training or getting some sort of exercise.  

We will be using the chart below to take a look at your Current Activity Level and the amount of activity calories you burn daily.

Sedentary (little or no activity) = BMR x 1.2
Mild activity level (intense exercise 1-3 times per week) = BMR x 1.3
Moderate activity level (intense exercise 3-4 times per week) = BMR x 1.5
Heavy activity level (intense exercise 5-7 times per week) = BMR x 1.7
Extreme activity level (intense exercise multiple times per day) = BMR x 1.9

Use this equation to determine a maintenance daily caloric intake.

Step 3: Determine fitness goal (weight loss, muscle gain)

A caloric intake at or slightly above your maintenance daily caloric intake will support lean muscle mass growth and development. However, if one of your goals is fat loss, you will be subtracting 300 calories from your estimated daily caloric intake that you just calculated.

Step 4: Diet Breakdown

Now that we have spent time calculating our daily caloric intake and determining our fitness goals we must take a look at  the types of foods we need to be consuming. Below is a macronutrient breakdown based on your individual goals:


Fats 35% Carbs 25% Protein 40%

Muscle Gain

Fats 20% Carbs 45% Protein 35%

1 Gram Fat = 9 calories

1 Gram Protein = 4 calories

1 Gram Carbs = 4 calories

I recommend performing these calculations on yourself every couple months as your body, activity level, and goals change.



Dr. Dale Bartek

Dale Bartek is a physical therapist and performance enhancement specialist with nearly a decade of elite-level training experience and advanced skills in manual therapy and functional dry needling.

Dale practices in Las Vegas, Nevada where he has helped treat some of the world's top athletes including MLB All-Stars, Olympic Gold Medalists, and top NCAA athletes from around the country.

Dale is committed to continued learning and helping people achieve their physical therapy, fitness, performance and personal goals. He has a strong passion and a vision of combining high performance strength training principles, elite sports performance physical therapy, and pain free training approaches to revolutionize the way athletes look, feel, function and perform.