The Definitive Caloric Guide

The Definitive Caloric Guide

Jan 28, 2017




You’re probably asking why you need this article when there are calorie calculators. The fact is, most of them are off by A LOT!

I wanted to give you the best chance at success by giving you the right numbers based on your sex, weight, age and activity level.


Let’s get started:


First you need to find out what your basic energy needs are. Basically, this is how many calories your body burns at complete rest.


The quick way is to multiply your current weight (in pounds) by 10 if you’re a woman or 11 if you’re a man.

The more accurate way is to use the formula in the table below, which factors in your age in addition to your sex.


For your convenience, I’ve added a full chart with the equations.


BMR ( Basal metabolic rate) Calculations
Age Men
18 to 30 [15.3 x weight (in kilograms)] + 679
30 to 60 [11.6 x weight (in kilograms)] + 879
Older than 60 [13.5 x weight (in kilograms)] + 487
* Women
18 to 30 [14.7 x weight (in kilograms)] + 496
30 to 60 [8.7 x weight (in kilograms)] + 829
Older than 60 [10.5 x weight (in kilograms)] + 596





A 40-year-old woman who weighs 150 pounds will calculate her BMR as shown below.

150 pounds ÷ 2.2046 = 68.03 kilograms

68.03 kilograms x 8.7 = 591.861 calories

591.861 calories + 829 calories = 1,420.861 calories


So, the women’s BMR or the number of calories that her body needs at complete rest to function properly is about 1,420 calories.

If you figure her BMR by using the shorter method, her basic needs are 1,500 cals per day (150 pounds x 10 = 1,500) obviously, this is a little higher than the full, more detailed calculation but still in the same ballpark and will work in a pinch.


Now that we’ve figured out your BMR let’s find out what your activity level is.

It is very important that you are very truthful with how you answer, how active are you? If you are not truthful, it will skew the number quite a bit.

Find the description that best describes your lifestyle in the following table.

If you have a desk job but squeeze in 30 min of exercise, you should choose the light or moderate category.

If, Throughout Most of Your Day, Your Activities Include Your Activity Level Is Your Activity Factor Is
Sitting or standing; driving; painting; doing laboratory work; sewing, ironing, or cooking; playing cards or a musical instrument; sleeping or lying down; reading; typing Very light 0.2
Doing garage, electrical, carpentry, or restaurant work; house-cleaning; caring for children; playing golf; sailing; light exercise, such as walking, for no more than 2 miles Light 0.3
Heavy gardening or housework, cycling, playing tennis, skiing, or dancing; very little sitting Moderate 0.4
Heavy manual labor such as construction work or digging; playing sports such as basketball, football, or soccer; climbing Heavy 0.5
  1. Now multiply your BMR by the activity level.

Using the woman’s example from earlier, she multiplies her BMR of 1,420 by 0.3 because her activity level is light — running around after her crazy kids and dog, taking care of the house, and walking 2-miles  every other day at her favorite park. This tells us that she needs 426 calories for her activity level.

1,420 x 0.3 = 426 calories


  1. Now we will determine the number of calories that you need for digestion and absorption of nutrients.

YES! eating food burns calories. Crazy, right?! Digesting food and absorbing nutrients uses about 10 percent of your daily energy needs.

Add together your BMR and activity calories and then multiply the total by 10 percent.

The calculation for the woman’s caloric needs for digestion and absorption looks like this:

1,420 calories + 426 calories = 1,846.

1846 x .10% = 184.6.

1846 + 184.6 = 2,030.6 total calories.

This is how many calories she needs to maintain her current weight of 150 pounds.


So how do I lose weight Jack?

Easy! Just subtract 300-600 from the final number. Start with 300 and evaluate your weight at the end of the week. If it hasn’t moved, then subtract another 100 from that total number. A safe weight to lose per week is 1-3 pounds depending on how much you weigh to begin with. This ensures you are losing mostly fat and not muscle.


2030.6 – 300 = 1730.6 per day



How to gain weight/muscle.

It’s the exact opposite. Just add 300-600 to the total number.

If your weight hasn’t moved at the end of the week add another 100 to the total. This is exactly like the weight loss. You don’t want to gain weight too fast either. 1 pound per week or every 2 weeks is perfect.  This will ensure you are gaining mostly muscle.


2030.6 + 300 =2330.6


Now you’re saying “How do I know how many Carbs, Protein and fats to eat Smarty pants?!?!?”


Don’t worry. I got you covered!

These percentages have worked great for my clients and myself.

40% Carbs

35% Protein

25% Fat

You can also adjust these percentages to lower the carb intake.


35% Carbs

35% Protein

30% Fat

I recommend starting with the first example and re-evaluating after 1-2 weeks and adjusting as needed.

Here is an Example of what that breakdown would look like:

Total cals 2330.6 x .40 = 932.24 Total calories from carbs

Total cals 2330.6 x .35 = 815.71 Total calories from protein

Total cals 2330.6 x .25 = 582.65 Total calories from fat


To figure out how many calories are in a gram it’s very easy.

Protein and Carbs have 4 calories per gram

Fat has 9 calories per gram.



Carbs: 932.24 cals ÷ 4 = 233.06 grams

Protein: 815.71 cals ÷ 4 = 203.92 grams

Fat:        582.65 cals ÷ 9 = 64.73 grams


Easy, right?


Now that you have your total grams per day for Protein, Carbs and Fat, just divide those numbers by how many meals you eat per day.


Carbs 233 ÷ 5 = 46.6 per meal

Pro     203 ÷ 5 = 40.6 per meal

Fat       64 ÷ 5 = 12.8 per meal


I recommend eating 4-5 meals per day with a protein shake thrown in to help hit those protein needs. Eating a meal every 3 hours keeps you anabolic. This will allow you to keep all that muscle you worked so hard to get.



If hope this helps you reach every fitness goal you have for this new year and for the rest of your life.

** PRO TIP**

Whether you are trying to gain weight or lose it, your goal should be 1-2 pounds per week. Any more than this and you are risking gaining fat if you are trying to gain muscle and losing muscle if you are trying to lose fat. So be patient and you will get much better results without ruining all that hard work you’ve been putting in.

I recommend that you add this to your favorites so you will always have the calculations.


If you have any questions, don’t hesitate to ask.

Always remember,



-Jack DiBenedetto



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