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# Calorie Calculator Diet

by
Nancy Clarke
Nancy Clarke began writing in 1988 after achieving her Bachelor of Arts in English and has edited books on medicine, diet, senior care and other health topics. Her related affiliations include work for the American Medical Association and Oregon Health Plan.
A woman is cooking in the kitchen. Photo Credit: View Stock/View Stock/Getty Images

If your diet or weight fluctuates, counting calories will help you to know when you may be growing too fat or too thin, and why. In order to maintain your weight, you’ll need to set a daily calorie target for your body type and activity level. Then you can plan menus by subtracting the calories in each meal from your target number. Use the nutrition facts on food labels and the U.S. Department of Agriculture (USDA) Nutrient Database to calculate your daily calorie intake.

## Current Calories

### Step 1

Track your diet for seven days. List the foods you eat and their exact calorie counts, if possible.

### Step 2

Keep a list of the number of calories in your favorite, frequently eaten foods.

### Step 3

Average your current seven-day calorie count. Add up your daily calorie totals, and then divide by seven.

### Step 4

Weigh yourself and measure your height.

## Target Calories

### Step 1

Calculate your body mass index (BMI) value. Multiply your weight in pounds by 703. Divide this number by your height in inches, and then divide that amount by your height in inches.

### Step 2

Choose to maintain your current calorie count if your BMI value is under 25.

### Step 3

Choose to decrease your current calorie count if your BMI value is 25 or more.

### Step 4

Set your target calories from fat at 35 percent of your total daily intake, for a heart healthy diet.

## Counting Calories

### Step 1

Try low-calorie and low-fat foods that you don’t normally eat to see if you’ll enjoy them in your diet. Add the new calorie data to your Favorites list.

### Step 2

Create menus within your target range by combining foods from your Favorites list with other healthy, low-calorie foods.

### Step 3

Count daily calories backwards, by subtracting the number in each meal from your daily target number.

### Step 4

Track your diet again for seven days when you feel you are approaching your goal. Write down the foods you eat now and their calorie data.

### Step 5

Average your new seven-day calorie totals to see if they have changed or stayed the same. Weigh yourself and measure your height; then calculate your BMI value again to see if it has changed or stayed the same.

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GOAL
• Gain 2 pounds per week
• Gain 1.5 pounds per week
• Gain 1 pound per week
• Gain 0.5 pound per week
• Maintain my current weight
• Lose 0.5 pound per week
• Lose 1 pound per week
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GENDER
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• Male
lbs.
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