BMR and Calories: Count, Cut or Consume?
Counting calories is tedious work and all your efforts should help your fat loss program- not complicate it. Below is some information to help you calculate your BMR, determine how many calories you need, and to establish where those calories should come from, based on guidelines set forth by the American Council on Exercise.
Your Basic (or Basal) Metabolic Rate (BMR) is the amount of calories your body uses to live. These are the calories required to reproduce cells, grow hair, breath, circulate blood, etc. Your BMR accounts for the majority of calories used each day.
To find your BMR* (one of several reliable formulas), follow these steps:
Step 1: Convert your current weight (in pounds) into kilograms by dividing your weight by 2.2.
Step 2: For women only- multiply your weight in kilograms by .9
Step 3: Multiply the number by 24. The product is your BMR.
Next, we have to account for activity level. These are the calories you burn by doing activity: cleaning the house, gardening, bike riding, kickboxing, and the like.
Step 4: Multiply your BMR by:
1.3 for sedentary lifestyle, 1.5 for light activity, 1.7 for moderate activity or 1.9 for heavy activity
If you wish to maintain your current weight, this is the number of calories you should consume per day. However, if you are looking to shed some unwanted pounds, you need to take the equations a step further.
Step 5: Simply deduct 500 calories per day in order to loose fat at a rate of about 1 pound per week.**
Where Should the Calories Come From?
Now that you know how many calories you should be eating, you need to know where those calories should be coming from. The basic building blocks for your body include protein, carbohydrates, fats, water, vitamins and minerals. The three we are concerned with right now are protein, carbohydrates and fats, and they should be consumed accordingly:
Protein - approximately 12-20% of daily calories
Carbohydrates - approximately 55-65% of daily calories
Fats - approximately 25-30% of daily calories
*Not for children, pregnant women, nursing mothers, seniors, and others with certain health conditions who may require different calorie needs. Everyone: Please check with your doctor before beginning any exercise or nutrition program.
**If you add resistance training (highly recommended for health and the best fat loss results) you may notice a different number on the scale, as muscle weighs more than fat.
We are continuously striving for steady progress. This includes knowledge, awareness and application. See you next week!
Melinda Haynes, MA, LMFT
Licensed Marriage and Family Therapist
California lic. no. 102308
The persons depicted on this site are models. Photos do not represent or guarantee results.