The basic principle to lose weight is to burn more calories than you consume. Basic, but not easy. Basically you need to know how many calories you need to just perform basic bodily functions, which will tell you how many calories you need to maintain your weight. Add in some exercise calories, cause lets face it, exercise is good for you regardless of if you’re trying to lose weight or not. And then if you are trying to lose weight, we’ll cut a few more calories, and viola, you have YOUR magic number of daily calories you can eat and still lose weight. Stay within that number, eat yummy healthy food, and the pounds will drop right off. Lets get started:
You will need the following info to start with (I’ve included mine):
Age – 28
Weight – 144
Height – 5’2
Goal Weight – 110
Fitness plan – 6 days/week
#1 Your BMI (Body Mass Index)
BMI = weight (in kilograms) divided by height (in meters) squared
to convert pounds to kilograms, multiply pounds by 2.2
to convert inches to meters, multiply inches by 2.54 for centimeters, then move the decimal 2 places to the left for meters
144 lbs divided by 2.2 = 65.45 kilograms
5 feet 2 inches = 62.4 inches x 2.54 = 158.50 centimeters = 1.58 meters
65.45/(1.58 x 1.58) = 65.45/2.50 = 25.78
#2 Goal Weight
What is your goal weight? It could be a size/weight you were in high school. It could be a round #. It could be a weight at the top/middle/low end of the BMI spectrum.
I picked my goal weight of 110 based on the BMI weight chart for small framed women (and it seems like a nice round #). Are you small/medium/large framed?
Do you currently exercise? If yes, figure out how many days/week you exercise and for how long. I exercise 6 days/week, and burn about 400 calories each day. That’s 2400 calories burned a week.
#4 BMR – Basal Metabolic Rate
This is the number of calories your body need each day to perform basic bodily functions that don’t require you to get out of bed. To determine this, you follow a formula.
Women BMR = 655 + (9.6 x weight in kilograms) + (1.8 x height in cm) – (4.7 x age in years)
Men BMR = 66 + (13.7 x weight in kilograms) + (5 x height in cm) – (6.8x age in years)
Kristin’s BMR = 655 + (9.6 x 65.45) + (1.8 x 158.50) – (4.7 x 28)
= 655 + (628.32) + (285.3) – (131.6)
=1437.02 calories needed per day for basic bodily functions
#5 Lifestyle assumption
Now you need to add in your activity level. This is the activity level for the majority of your day, NOT the level you work out at. As I sit at a computer all day long, I have a sedentary lifestyle.
So I take my 1437.02 calories x 1.2 for sedentary lifestyle = 1724.42 calories needed/day to maintain your current weight
what are #s if not sedentary lifestyle?
Sedentary = BMR X 1.2 (little or no exercise, desk job)
Lightly active = BMR X 1.375 (light exercise/sports 1-3 days/wk)
Mod. active = BMR X 1.55 (moderate exercise/sports 3-5 days/wk)
Very active = BMR X 1.725 (hard exercise/sports 6-7 days/wk)
Extr. active = BMR X 1.9 (hard daily exercise/sports & physical job or 2X day training, i.e marathon, contest etc.)
#6 Add in calories for working out
Take the # of calories burned in #3, and divide by 7.
2400/7 = 342.86.
Add that to #5. 1724.42 +342.86 = 2067.28 calories needed per day.
#7 Calorie deficit to lose weight
Now, if you want to lose weight, you have to create a calorie deficit. 1 pound = 3500 calories. So to lose 1 pound/week, you’d need to deduct 500 calories per day. To lose 2 lbs/week deduct 1000 calories per day NOTE: women should eat at least 1200 calories each day. Going below 1200 calories will trigger the body’s protection mechanism as the body thinks its starving and will lower it’s metabolism and burn calories more slowly to protect itself. Men should eat at least 1500 calories per day to keep the body from thinking it’s starving.
2067.28 – 500 = 1567.28
2067.28 -1000 = 1067.28 = 1200 calories/day.
That’s the basic plan. The starting point. We all know life gets in the way. Friends want to go out for drinks and dinner. That ice cream in the freezer is calling your name. You have a crappy day at work. I deal with these same things… but I know that I will feel better about myself in the long run if I just buckle down and stay within my calories. Or if I go for a quick run before I give into the ice cream, cause chances are I won’t ever get back to it. Sometimes distraction is your friend. Distract yourself and you’ll feel better tomorrow.