More accurate way to establish recommended calorie intake?

I’m a bit sceptical of the online calorie counter calculators as surely there are more variables than your weight, age, and height, and rough activity.

Are there other more detailed tests we can do to really find out how many calories we need a day - or are the rough guides enough?

I’ve got a Fitbit activity tracker which measures steps and heart rate.

That says I burn about 3500 calories a day on average, from walking during the day and going to the gym 2-3 times a week. It seems to say I walk about 15,000 steps per day.

The online calorie calculators say my maintenance level is about 2500.

I’ve only recently started with Huel, but would the Fitbit suggest I could have 3000 kcal a day of food/Huel and lose a pound a week as I’m 500 under per day?

Any better ways to find out daily maintenance levels of calories?


Yep, take 3,000 cals/day for a week and compare your weight at the end of the week to your weight now. :slight_smile:

I worked out an accurate calorie figure by tracking what I ate and exercised in myfitness pal and weighing myself once a week. Over a 6-8 week period I concluded that if I eat a net of 1500kcal I lose 0.5-0.75kg a week and a net of 1800-2000kg maintains my weight.

By net I mean after exercise. So my actual food consumption is more on days I exercise.

Even at the most scientific level measuring energy expenditure is based on estimations. Even if you had access to expensive Air Displacement Plethysmography (this is a gold standard method of assessing body composition which is a big factor in energy expenditure) it would still be based on estimates. We can only estimate better.

There is an institute in the USA where they conduct studies with subjects in one room the entire duration and they can monitor the oxygen consumption very precisely. I can’t for the life of me find the name though. Obviously not suggesting you head to the USA though!

Did you take gain in muscle mass into account? Wouldn’t that change the calorie consumption?

Btw @TimOfficeHuel that’s freaking awesome!

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Basic TDEE math.

Weigh yourself daily. Keep track of it somewhere, and count your daily calories as exactly as you can every day. Keep track of that. Count out your averages over the week, and track that as well.

Gaining weight? The average is above your TDEE.

Losing weight, your average is below the level.

After a few weeks/months of this you’ll have nice graphs detailing your average consumption and daily expenditure levels.

Don’t micromanage, just jot it all down and keep going about your business. You’re after a longterm curve.

It’s not rocket surgery.