Caloric requirement calculators

Anyone else find the caloric requirement calculators to WAY over estimate the number of required calories? I’ve just gone on the ‘eat when I’m hungry’ path, and I find I’m having about 1600 calories per day (roughly, on average). I started out pushing myself to get in 2000 calories per day. Most caloric requirement calculators say I shouldn’t be below about 1800 per day, which strikes me as odd.
I pretty well let my body set the 1600 per day number. I don’t feel like I’m starving myself, certainly seems to be the ‘sweet spot’ for me, but no matter how I play with the numbers on the calculators, they all say I should be eating more than I am, (6’1”, 219 lbs as of my last weigh in, target weight FWIW around 200 pounds, male, 36 y/o)

I eat a little over 2100 calories a day and I’m 5’11", 173 lbs. I exercise a little (less than I should). So I probably get a couple hundred calories a day more than the calculators say. My weight has been steady for years. That is what I go by.

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I agree with you. I think they give a decent estimate, but as with most nutrition everyones mileage may vary.


What’s weird, is while I don’t do any ‘intense’ exercise, I’m fairly active. I walk about an hour a day (with the dogs), so you’d think the basal metabolic rate would be too low for me, but it seems like it’s not even close, and way too high. Maybe I’m miscounting calories…

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I have a theory that some people process or use calories more efficiently than others. It sounds like you are very efficient in this respect and I’m slightly less efficient than average. I have no proof at all. :slight_smile:

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You going to link to an actual post or just a spam site?

I’ve also had a hard time finding the correct number of calories. The online cals are a good starting point but it takes some trial and error to find the right balance for you.

Soylent makes it so much easier as I know precisely the number of calories in a bottle/bag and can easily adjust up or down.

I did for a while restrict my calories a little too much and was often very dizzy and more frighteningly, lost hearing in one of my ears. Increasing my calories fixed everything. I now know that’s my lower limit at for that level of training. For me that limit is ~1600 cal/day. (Male, 38, 5’9", 145lbs).

I also find it useful to keep detailed logs. Everyday I log my sleep, my weight (upon waking and before bed), everything I eat, all exercise, all supplements taken, and the details of my day. I can look back and see how each of these areas affect my productivity, mood, weight, etc. and make adjustments to find the optimal combination.

But to optimize for something simple like calories to gain/maintain/lose weight start with what the Calc says. Consume precisely that number of cals a day for a week. Weigh yourself everyday at the same time. Say you’re trying to lose weight, take the 7 day trend of your weight, if it’s going up, reduce cals by 500. If it’s that same reduce cals. If it’s going down by 1lbs you’re good, stay at that cal consumption. If it’s going down faster increase by 200. You don’t really want to be losing more than a 1lbs a week. But that depends on how weight you have to lose. The more you have the quickly you’ll initially lose.

Either way Soylent is just a tool. It’s up to you how you use it to achieve your goals.

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