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Calculating calorie requirements - how many calories do I need?

In order to function, humans need a certain amount of energy every day - even at rest. In this respect, the calories consumed must be taken in again with food. So far so good: but how many calories does the body actually need per day? Our calorie requirement calculator determines your daily calorie requirement and also shows you how many calories you need to lose weight and build muscle. You can find everything you need to know about the calorie requirement calculator in today's blog post.

Table of contents:

  1. What is the calorie requirement made up of?
  2. Why is it important to determine your calorie requirements?

What is the calorie requirement made up of?

The calorie requirement is made up of the two variables basal metabolic rate and energy expenditure.

Total calorie requirement = basal metabolic rate + power metabolic rate

Basal metabolic rate

The basal metabolic rate is the energy that the body needs per day at rest at a constant ambient temperature in order to maintain basic vital functions such as circulation, respiration and digestion. It is also not a constant value, but is subject to temporal and individual fluctuations. For example, the basal metabolic rate drops by 10 % during sleep. In extreme cold, the basal metabolic rate increases by 2-5 %. An increase in body temperature due to fever also leads to an increase. Furthermore, the basal metabolic rate depends on age, height, gender, weight, ambient temperature, muscle mass and state of health. For example, women generally have a lower basal metabolic rate than men, as they have more fatty tissue. In this respect, muscle mass therefore increases the basal metabolic rate


The basal metabolic rate increases significantly up to the age of 4 or 5 and then slowly decreases again from the age of 20 or 25.

Performance metabolic rate

Performance metabolic rate is the daily energy that the body uses above and beyond the basal metabolic rate for exercise, for example through physical activities at work, leisure activities and sporting endeavours.

As a general rule, the more exercise you do, the higher your energy consumption. This results in an increase in calorie requirements.

You would now like to know how many calories you need per day?

For a rough guide, we have listed a table with the average values for the daily energy requirements of men and women.

Guideline values according to Biesalski K. and Grimm P. (2004)

Age in yearsBasal metabolic rate in kcalPerformance metabolic rate in kcal
lightmediumhardvery heavy
15 to under 1914602000230026002900
19 to under 2513901900220025002800
25 to under 5113401900210024002700
51 to under 6512701800200023002500
65 and older11701800180021002300
15 to under 1918202500290033003600
19 to under 2518202500290033003600
25 to under 5117402400280031003500
51 to under 6515802200250028003200
65 and older14102000230025002800

Why is it important to determine your calorie requirements?

Whether you want to maintain your weight, lose weight or build muscle - in order to achieve your personal goal, it is important that you know your daily calorie requirements. This is the only way you can adapt your diet to your individual needs. With our calorie requirement calculator, you know exactly how many calories you need to lose weight or build muscle.

As a general rule, if you eat more calories than your daily calorie consumption, you will gain weight in the long term. If you eat fewer calories per day than your calculated calorie requirement, you will lose weight.

In order to build muscle a calorie surplus as well as strength training about 2-3 times a week is necessary. Consequently,300 calories more a day can effectively build muscle mass. In this context, it is also important to ensure an sufficient protein intake . This is because the protein requirement is also increased when building muscle (1.0 - 1.4 g protein/kg body weight per day depending on the sporting activity). With our plant-based protein powdersprotein pancakes or -puddings this is very easy and time-saving.

If you want to lose weight then you need to consume fewer calories than you burn in a day. A calorie deficit of 20% of your daily calorie requirement is an advantage for losing weight in the long term and without the yo-yo effect. It is important that you never consume less than your calculated basal metabolic rate. Otherwise your metabolism will slow down.