Nutrition: How Many Daily Calories Do I Need? - as part of the expert series by GeoBeats. In order to lose one to two pounds per week, you would have to subtract 500 to 1000 calories per day from what you are currently eating. You want to make sure that you are making that deficit of calories between both food and exercise as to not go too low where your body would go into starvation mode and then it would be tough to lose weight. For example, let's say I needed a 2,000 calories to maintain my current body weight. If I were to take 500 calories away from that through food by cutting back on portions and choosing leaner options and lower calorie options and also by burning about 500 calories per day in exercise, which would be the equivalent of about an hour of jogging or intense cardiovascular activity, that would create a 1,000 calorie deficit, which would equate to two pounds per week.