Calories to maintain current weight

I'm sure this has been asked before but I can't find a conversation about it. How do you calculate how many calories it takes to maintain your current weight?


  • cmriverside
    cmriverside Posts: 32,267 Member
    Go to "Goals" and input your info. Choose, "Maintain." That will give you a number that does not include exercise.

    Then track food and exercise for a period long enough to get good data, generally 4-6 weeks.
  • tess77h
    tess77h Posts: 40 Member
    Thank you, I'll do that. Back in the day, lol, weight watchers had a formula so you can see what it is taking to maintain your weight. Its interesting to me to see how many calories I must be eating.
  • mtaratoot
    mtaratoot Posts: 7,832 Member
    Well, you could also go to Sailrabbit and enter all your data to see how a variety of formulas estimate your maintenance calorie requirements.

    You can click on the little question mark to see the actual formulas.

    Note this is a different way of calculating than MFP. The formulas on Sailrabit are for total daily energy expenditure (TDEE) which includes your estimate level of activity. The MFP method gives you the number of calories without intentional exercise, and it adds calories to your allowance as you enter exercise.
  • nxd10
    nxd10 Posts: 4,556 Member
    edited August 2021
    After you use the calculator, keep weighing yourself and watching your macros.

    If I keep my carbs under 40% I can eat all my calories and exercise calories. If I go higher than that I'll slowly gain. So I can either watch carbs (I worry about the week not the day) or I can lower calories.

    Every body is different. They give you a good start. Adjust for how your body (and your logging) actually works.

  • sijomial
    sijomial Posts: 19,606 Member
    edited August 2021
    Unless the weight loss predictions have been spot on for you I would use my own recent rate of weight loss to work out my maintenance calories rather than start from population average calculations.

    How much weight have you lost in the last 4 weeks?
    (e.g. Simply put if you have been losing at 1lb a week then your daily maintenance calories will be roughly 500 higher.)

    The mathematics would be to add up all your calories eaten in last four weeks, add 500cals for each pound lost in that time, divide that total by 28. That's going to be close to your maintenance calories with the advantage it's corrected for your logging accuracy/inaccuracy.

    Whatever method you choose some fine tuning will no doubt be required to stay within your chosen goal weight range.
  • AnnPT77
    AnnPT77 Posts: 24,759 Member
    General discussion of this question in this thread from the Maintaining "Most Helpful Posts" area, too, though some of it repeats what's already posted above:

    As a generality, the "Most Helpful Posts" section of each forum topic tends to have good info on frequent questions/topics, worth reading some of these as background, and for sure when looking for specific info.
  • mjglantz
    mjglantz Posts: 449 Member
    You can do all that has been suggested and that may work. For me it was trial and error. I used the calculators when I hit goal and started to gradually add back calories. I was doing more exercise and factored that in and still kept losing. Since my goal was at the higher end of the BMI & my doctor was happy with my health I kept adding a few more calories and kept losing. yes, I was exercising every day - or at least doing something. When I hit 145 I was around 2,000 calories day - interestingly enough that was the level I set when I started to lose weight. With my exercise I found I stabilized and that was my "happy place." for calories. have been in the low 140's for about 7 years now.