Exactly How Many Calories Do You Need?
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Contrary to years of low-cal marketing, your body actually needs calories to do its job. Calories only become a problem when you’re eating too many too often.

Plenty of smartphone apps and websites can decently estimate the calories you need with the input of your age, sex, height, weight, and activity level (one option: the USDA’s free SuperTracker). But if you want to dive deeper into your calorie requirements to sustain that temple you’ve built (or the one you want), there are a few other things to consider. The best part: Once you get the hang of what your calorie counts should look like, you can game the system to include a pizza. (Maybe.)

Here are a few diet and lifestyle scenarios, and the calories each one requires. Keep in mind, the calorie amounts below are based on a 45-year-old Joe weighing in at 200 pounds, standing 5 feet 9 inches. Your personal calorie goal may be higher or lower.