Easy Way to Work Out Maintenance Calories

 In Articles, Diet, Fitness

Not everyone’s TDEE is the same, as lots of factors can affect how much energy your body burns every day, like age, gender, height, weight, genetics, and activity level (i.e. how much you move).

Jennifer Blow, Nutritionist

I remember back when I started out, I’d do this with a pen and paper! It was so old school, I loved it! But nowadays you can find these TDEE Calculators (Total Daily Energy Expenditure), which is the equivalent to the amount of calories you burn in a day (your maintenance calories).

Calculator here

My LipsettFitness App also shows you how to do this, as well as give you lots of other pieces of useful nutritional information and advice in the FAQ section.

It also gives you your daily and weekly macros with detailed meal plan around them.

Another Method

For another simple method to calculate your maintenance calories, Christian Guzman shows you one in this video.

Christian does a really simple sum, whereby just multiply your weight (in lbs) by 14, 15 or 16.14 if you’re sedentary, 15 if you’re moderately active and 16 if you’re very active. 

It’s important to note that, in this sum, these levels of activity aren’t to do with how much you go to the gym, it’s to do with your day-to-day activity. So if you’re in an office job, even if you go to the gym 5 times a week you’d probably choose 14.

If you wanted to lose weight or cut, you can just go into a 300-500 deficit. If you wanted to Bulk or gain muscle, you should be in a calorie surplus (+300-500).

For example, if you are 190lbs and work a 9-5, your maintenance is looking to be around 2,660

Why is it useful to know your specific Maintenance? 

The ‘government’ standard recommended calories is 2500 for men and 2000 for women. – but this is such an estimate, and therefore is wrong for a lot of people. 

Let’s do another one..

If you were 185lbs with moderate daily activity, your maintenance is gonna be towards 2,775. This means if you were cutting, your calories might be 2275, and 3275 for bulking.

Likewise, if you were 160lbs and had sedentary daily activity, then your maintenance would be 2250. Okay, that’s enough maths.

This is why it’s important to calculate your maintenance calories specifically to you, because it wildly affects what calories you should consume depending on your goals. Relying on the basic estimate of 2500 could set you wildly off track.

Therefore, find out what your maintenance is specific to you.


Blow, J. (2018). How To Calculate BMR & TDEE (& Why It’s Important) | MYPROTEIN™. [online] MYPROTEIN™. Available at: https://www.myprotein.com/thezone/nutrition/how-to-calculate-bmr-tdee/ [Accessed 31 Jan. 2020].

Guzman, C. (2018). Ultimate Diet Hack: The Easiest Way To Calculate Your Own Macros.

Available at: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=j8SCp6fha1A&t=632s [Accessed 31 Jan. 2020].

nhs.uk. (2019). What should my daily intake of calories be?. [online] Available at: https://www.nhs.uk/common-health-questions/food-and-diet/what-should-my-daily-intake-of-calories-be/ [Accessed 31 Jan. 2020].


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