Before you burn calories, you need to know how many calories your body needs in order to function properly. You can find this out by calculating your basal metabolic rate, or BMR.

There are many detailed BMR calculators online, but here are some simple rules that will give you a good estimate of your caloric needs:

  • To lose weight, you need to eat 12 to 13 calories per pound of body weight.
  • To maintain your weight, you need 15 to 16 calories per pound.
  • To gain weight, you need 18 to 19 calories per pound.

Thus, a 150 pound person needs at least 1,800 calories each day to lose weight and keep their body running efficiently. This requirement can vary according to gender, age, medical conditions, and activity level. You can receive more customized results from online BMR calculators or your health care provider.