How to Calculate Your Calorie Needs (And Get the Right Number)

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Updated February 19, 2015.

Every diet should start with basic questions about calories. To begin with, you should know how many calories you need each day.  It sounds simple, but depending on the method you use to get your number, you might get different answers.  So how do you know which number is right?

There are different ways to determine your caloric needs. You can get a quick estimate online or a more specific (and expensive) test performed in a lab.

There are pros and cons to each method. The best method for you depends on your goals, how much money you want to spend, and your access to various health services.

Look at these five different methods for determining your caloric needs and evaluate the pros and cons for yourself.


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