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In order to lose weight, gain muscle or maintain your current weight, you absolutely need to know how many calories you should be eating in a day. Not eating enough or eating too much can cause unwanted weight gain or weight loss, which is why you should know how many calories you need in a day. To better help you reach your fitness goals, I've got a simple formula to calculate your daily caloric intake. I'm a trainer and a Precision Nutrition Level 1 Nutrition Coach.

First you're going to need to know your weight in pounds. Next, determine what your goal is: weight loss, weight maintenance, or weight gain. From there match your activity level to your goal. The last step is to multiply how much you weigh by the two numbers given, which are determined by your goal and activity level.

ACTIVITY LEVEL WEIGHT LOSS WEIGHT MAINTENANCE WEIGHT GAIN
Sedentary (minimal exercise) 10-12 12-14 16-18
Moderately Active (3-4 times a week) 12-14 14-16 18-20
Very Active (5-7 times a week) 14-16 16-18 20-22

For example, if you weigh 137 pounds, and you want to maintain that weight and you're moderately active, you would multiply 137 x 12 and 137 x 14, giving you a daily caloric intake between 1,644 calories and 1,918 calories.

Remember, before making changes to your diet be sure to consult your physician.

Image Source: POPSUGAR Photography / Sheila Gim
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