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Current weight:



Weight goal:

Physical activity level:

Note: This tool should not be used for pregnant women, children under age 18, or people over 60.

How to Use

Do you know how many calories you need each day? To find out, use our Nutritional Needs Calculator. It estimates the calories based on your current weight, gender, age, weight goal, and physical activity level.

To stay at your current weight, you need to eat around the same number of calories that you burn. To lose weight, you must burn more calories than you eat. To gain weight, eat more!

If you haven't set a weight goal, this Calculator can help you do so.

  • Enter your weight in the box provided. If you entered your weight in kilograms, select Kilograms from the drop-down list.
  • Select your gender.
  • Enter your age.
  • Select your weight goal from the drop-down list.
  • Select the level of physical activity in your average day.
  • Click Submit/Calculate.
More About This Tool

Over time, when the calories you take in equal the calories you burn, you’ll maintain your weight. When you take in more calories than you burn, you’ll gain weight. And when you take in fewer calories than you burn, you’ll lose weight.

The trick to getting to a healthy weight is to find out how many calories you burn each day. Then you adjust your intake accordingly. Perhaps your goal is to lose 10 pounds and you burn 2,200 calories a day. If you trim 500 calories from the amount you need to burn (meaning your daily intake should be 1,700 calories), you’ll lose around 1 pound of fat a week. (1 pound of fat equals about 3,500 calories). After about 10 weeks you would reach your goal!

Don't worry about crunching the numbers yourself. The calculator above will do the planning for you. Just fill in the information to get the:

  • Number of calories you burn in a day
  • Number of calories you should take in each day to meet your weight goal
  • Daily amount of key nutrients and food types you should get through your diet

Use the following guide to determine your activity level:

  • High activity: Vigorous physical activity for 60 minutes or more at least 4 to 5 days a week or working in a physically demanding job (such as a roofer or an aerobics instructor).
  • Intermediate activity: Moderate physical activity like swimming, jogging, or fast walking, 2 or 3 times a week, 30 to 60 minutes each time.
  • Low activity: No planned, regular physical activity; occasional weekend or weekly activity is the only type of physical activity (like golf or recreational tennis).

Review Date: 02/09/17
Reviewed By: Linda J. Vorvick, MD, Clinical Associate Professor, Department of Family Medicine, UW Medicine, School of Medicine, University of Washington, Seattle, WA. Also reviewed by David Zieve, MD, MHA, Medical Director, Brenda Conaway, Editorial Director, and the A.D.A.M. Editorial team.
The information provided herein should not be used during any medical emergency or for the diagnosis or treatment of any medical condition. A licensed medical professional should be consulted for diagnosis and treatment of any and all medical conditions. Links to other sites are provided for information only -- they do not constitute endorsements of those other sites. © 1997- A.D.A.M., a business unit of Ebix, Inc. Any duplication or distribution of the information contained herein is strictly prohibited.