How Many Calories?


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:
Women
655 + (4.3 x weight in pounds) + (4.7 x height in inches) - (4.7 x age in years)

Men
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?
(You even just burned a few calories giggling at this!)

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