Average Daily Caloric Intake?

I hope this is an easy post…

How many calories do you eat per day on average? Mine is below.

Gender Male
Age 42
Weight 183 lbs
Body Fat 16
Workout Day 2400
Rest Day 2000

  • 1500 - 1999
  • 2000 - 2499
  • 2500 - 2999
  • 3000 - 3499
  • 3500 - 3999
  • 4000+

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Now the reason for the question. I’ve been running around the calories you see above for a very long time, i.e. 10 years. This is an average deficit of 500 calories per day or more and for about 2 months and I’m seeing no impact to weight. I’m starting to think I’m chronically under fueling myself and have been doing so for about 10 years. I ride around 10-15 hours per week with week day rides in the 2 hour range and weekends in the 2-4 hour range. I would not normally try to “replace” calories burned during exercise, rather eat my normal meals and then and fuel the workouts while I’m riding with 100-150 calories per hour of riding.

Anyway the gist of this post is to get an idea from other people that are training, how many calories they are consuming and see if I can glean some information that is applicable to my situation. I think a lot of us think we need to eat less to lose weight but you can’t eat just barely over your BMR + daily living caloric expenditure and think that is a long term strategy.

Anyway I think this could be helpful for people.

I’m going for 2200kcal/2300kcal daily because that’s what I’ve calculated based on my average daily consumption of 2900kcal. Garmin seems to agree with Matt Fitzgeralds calculations which I compared and added 500kcal deficit. But I do focus on getting 2g/kg protein and about 65% carbs in my system every day. Just started trying it out but I feel great.

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Hi Grenhall,

If your on 2200 calories, those carb and protein macros must put your fat consumption pretty low?

Matt Fitzgerald’s book is on my reading list, so I’m not to familiar with his recommendations.


My weight is trending slightly up over the past month due to the end of my season and a little bit less strict diet control, but in general I eat 3,000-4,000 calories/day and maintain my weight pretty consistently throughout the year

Looking at my average weekly kJ - I’m somewhere around a min of 5,500 and a max of 13,000 over the past two months with an average around 8,500.

My (estimated) consumption without workouts is 2,100, plus somewhere around 1,200/day to keep up with my workouts.

Yes. He has some conflicting recommendations. For example for me doing between 7-10hrs/week of training he recommends 3,25-3,75g/lbs of carbs.

On the quick start plan he then recommends 30% protein intake which would be 660kcal or 165g of protein.

So I made a few changes that put me at

  • 61% carbs, 336g
  • 25% protein, 138g
  • 14% fat, 34g

It could possibly be that the carb-recommendations are when one has reached target racing weight but I still think it’s quite high approx. 63% carbs. But that would make more sense than at the deficit diet.

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The body will recognize and adapt to accommodate chronic under-nutrition. There are tons of non-essential, but nice-to-have body processes, and when those get ramped down for extended periods your quality of life can suffer in hard to diagnose ways (fatigue, illness, mental, libido). We constantly hear eat-less, lose weight as if that’s the only thing going on.

I suspect there is a window for healthy metabolism, where a bit over or under is fine (re: weight and health) but go outside that for an extended duration and the body responds with countermeasures (eg, lowering your basal metabolism or making you fat). And getting out of that situation can be tricky (how to eat enough to restore your basal metabolic rate with getting fat first).


I just ran all the calculations in Racing Weight book and I’m coming up with an average of 2,800 calories per day to maintain weight with an average workout expenditure of 870 kcal. So to lose 1 pound per week I would be at the 2,300 range. This leads me to believe something else is going on that I’m eating around 2,100 to 2,400 and maintaining my weight. It’s interesting so far to see that the split is almost even with people above 2500 and below.

You really need to factor is steps, and other activity.

My steps can vary from 3k to 20k. This makes a significant difference in calories required. I lost a ton of weight this year via steps alone.

Getting around 3000-3500 a day. It’s pretty helpful really knowing I can still eat a fairly large amount of food and drop a pound per week. Just gotta make sure I keep riding otherwise I’ll turn into the Michelin man

If you’re seeing no impact on your weight, either that may not actually be a 500 calorie deficit or you may be miscounting calories.

On the other hand, I generally run only about 10-15 lb more than you and your calorie inputs sound pretty low.

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2000-2500 calories, plus whatever I burn while on the bike each day…usually +700-1100 calories.

Had been aiming for a 500 calorie deficit…but man short power build is just kicking my ass. So i’m hoping to just maintain weight…will try to cut 10-15lbs of jiggle after cross season, and be a lean mofo for hilly gravel races in april.


Yeah, hear you, but I’m literally scanning the bar codes on what I’m eating and track every calorie. The numbers are correct. The food is made up of veggies, whole grains, no sugar, chicken breast, etc. so the food quality is good too.

I like this idea, here is what I am currently up to. Hope it helps!

Age: 27
Height: 6’3"
Weight: 141 lbs
Body Fat: 7.5%
Workout Day: ~3200
Rest Day: 2300

Carbs: ~65%
Protein: ~20%
Fat: ~15%

Currently in second stage of Ironman training which eats up a good 16-18 hours a week of workout time. While on the bike I current try to eat 1g of carb per minnute spent on work outs to mimic what is necessary on race day. I do try to overeat as you can see by height and weight I am essentially a string bean.

I have lost ~25 pounds over the 5 months doing this so I have increased my caloric intake so I don’t go lower and start losing muscle.

Holy god you’re thin. I’m nearly 30 lbs heavier than you at the same height and I cannot imagine losing even half that much weight

2400 calories on a workout day seems low at 183lbs. Even your rest day seems low. I know we are all our own subject and it’s not possible to compare, but at 180lbs I’m eating around 500-1000 more cal than you on a given day and that’s just to satiate my hunger.

What muscle? In all seriousness, I would be curious to see how you age at this height/weight. You have an insane furnace!

Haha ya, I have always been tall and lanky growing up but my families eating habits were what you would call undesireable at best. Once I got bit with the triathlon bug its a fight to put on weight!

Are you guys eating differently during your rest days and workout days or why are you specifying those separately?

I’ve gone through one week of 500kcal/day deficit from my weekly average calories spent living and exercising. So I eat the same during restdays as on trainingdays.

I specified my rest day calories as more of a base line of what my body needs to maintain weight vs how much I need to fuel on workout days. Though I could have been more specific on my calorie intake on specific workouts. Usually any of my swim + bike/run days I get to around 3100 but on my long bike/run day I need roughly 4.1k.

THough my situation is pretty different compared to someone trying to lose weight. Hope that clears it up a little :smiley:

Currently on a deficit to try reduce bodyfat. Around 2000kcal on a rest day, on training days I’ll generally eat what the training burned. Recovery seems fine although looking forward to eating a bit more again.