I've found counting calories to be a simple way to monitor what goes into my mouth, which helps make me more aware of improvements that I can make in my eating habits.
But how many calories should you be consuming?
It requires a little math, but the Harris-Benedict principle can determine your basic metabolic rate, or BMR (how much energy you need to breathe, etc). From there, you can lower the amount of calories you consume and should theoretically lose weight over the long haul.
The way to calculate your BMR is:
655 + (4.3 x weight in pounds) + (4.7 x height in inches) - (4.7 x age in years)
66 + (6.3 x weight in pounds) + (12.9 x height in inches) - (6.8 x age in years)
Multiply your BMR by 0.2 (if you're sedentary), 0.3 (if you're lightly active), 0.4 (if you exercise most days a week), or 0.5 (if you exercise intensely on a daily basis), and add that number to your BMR.
For example, my BMR is:
655 + (4.3 x 170) + (4.7 x 67) - (4.7 x 29) = 1565
1565 x 0.3 = 470
1565 + 470 = 2035
This is how many calories you should consume each day to maintain your current weight (assuming you stay on the same activity level and your stress doesn't go up).
Create a caloric deficit by consuming LESS than that number of calories per day.
I'd recommend lowering your caloric consumption by 250 calories per day AND exercising to burn off around 250 calories every day.
One pound is 3,500 calories, so this means you're cutting out 500 calories per day, which equates to one pound of weight loss per week.
What activities burn 250 calories per day?
- Walk at a brisk pace (3 mph) for 45 minutes
- Hoola hoop for 45 minutes
- Bicycle at a moderate pace for 30 minutes
- Water aerobics for 45 minutes
- Ballroom dance (fast) for 30 minutes
- Slow dance for an hour and 15 minutes
- Clean the house vigorously for an hour and 15 minutes
- Scrubbing floors and bathroom for 45 minutes
- Walk/run/play with your pet for 40 minutes
- Vacuum for an hour
- Weed and cultivate your garden for 45 minutes
- Play a musical instrument for 2 hours
- Blog (typing) for 2 and a half hours
- Wog for 30 minutes
- Kiss/Hug/Makeout with someone for 2 and a half hours
- Snorkel or Kayak for 40 minutes
(You even just burned a few calories giggling at this!)
Labels: DIY, fitness