# Understanding the calorie calculator

The calorie calculator is a great tool. It can give you a good estimation of the calories you need daily in order to reach your goals. But remember, the number is an estimation and you’ll probably have to make some manual adjustments over a few weeks as you start to understand more about your energy intake and expenditure.

For example, let’s create 2 people

They both are female, the same age, height, weight etc and they’ve both put the same activity levels in the calculator and the calculator has given them an estimate of the calories they need daily to MAINTAIN their bodies as they are (not increase weight or lose weight)

After a few weeks, one of them is losing weight and the other is gaining weight

This is because their perceived activity levels weren’t actually completely accurate. Often, we think we are more active than we really are.

So if person 1 was the person gaining weight, it means she needs to make adjustments and either REDUCE the calories she consumes daily or INCREASE the calories she burns so she can maintain her weight as it is

For person 2, she would have to either INCREASE the calories she consumes daily or REDUCE the calories she burns so she can maintain her weight

As a real life scenario

I used the calculator and it said my maintenance calories were 2600 daily. So for 2-3 weeks I consumed 2600 calories daily and I was losing weight which meant my activity levels and energy expenditure was higher than I thought. So I made adjustments and now I know my maintenance calories are 2900. Now I know this, I can decide if I want to lose weight or gain weight but it took me a few weeks and some monitoring & adjustments to understand that.

So although the calorie calculator gives a good estimation, it’s also important to know that it is just an estimation. As you start to understand your body more and your activity levels, you’ll be able to make the adjustments needed to reach your goals in a sustainable way.

This is where counting calories can be really useful but as I’ve said before, it isn’t the only way to lose or gain weight, I’ll share articles on other strategies in the academy.

Summary

• The calculator will give you a good estimation but you’ll most probably have to make some adjustments manually
• Instead of seeing it as something stressful, you need to understand you’re learning about your own unique body and it’s energy requirements, it’s a process but it’s worth it’s for the long term