## calorie confusion

Hi

I recently used one of those online calculators to determine how many calories i should eat. regardless of the accuracy I just have a question with regards to what the numbers actually mean

So the calculator says my maintenance level is 2973 calories
For weight loss I should eat 2379 calories and basal metabolic rate is 1784 calories.

Now if it says i should eat 2379 calories to lose weight is this amount regardless of exercise? what would be more correct - eat 2379 calories and lets say for example burn 600 calories at gym leaving me with a total of 1779 calories intake which is around my bmr number OR does it mean that i should eat lets say about 3000 calories and burn enough from exercise to leave me with 2379 calories intake at the end of the day?

Forgive me if what i just asked doesn''t make sense. Its much harder trying to explain by typing

Many thnx

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###### Our expert says:
DietDoc

The problem with trying to quantify everything with numbers is that the human body is not a machine. In general it is recommended that adult men require approx. 3000 kcal per day to maintain their weight if they are moderately active. To lose weight one needs to reduce one's energy intake by about 500 kcal per day, thus an average energy intake of 2500 kcal/day (you will notice that these average figures are reasonably close to the ones you have calculated). If you start doing really intensive daily exercise and use up 600 kcal per day then it is possible that you would need to reduce your energy intake by less than 500 kcal per day. However, most people who are not elite athletes require both energy reduction of about 500 kcal and an increased energy expenditure to lose weight. You can certainly try only reducing your energy intake and not do any exercise, but for better results you may find that doing exercise does improve the rate of weightloss. So diet and exercise are usually recommended in combination.
Hope this helps
DietDoc

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1
###### Posted by: DietDoc | 2011/02/03

The problem with trying to quantify everything with numbers is that the human body is not a machine. In general it is recommended that adult men require approx. 3000 kcal per day to maintain their weight if they are moderately active. To lose weight one needs to reduce one's energy intake by about 500 kcal per day, thus an average energy intake of 2500 kcal/day (you will notice that these average figures are reasonably close to the ones you have calculated). If you start doing really intensive daily exercise and use up 600 kcal per day then it is possible that you would need to reduce your energy intake by less than 500 kcal per day. However, most people who are not elite athletes require both energy reduction of about 500 kcal and an increased energy expenditure to lose weight. You can certainly try only reducing your energy intake and not do any exercise, but for better results you may find that doing exercise does improve the rate of weightloss. So diet and exercise are usually recommended in combination.
Hope this helps
DietDoc