I’ve been MIA for a while due to vacation and a crazy tornadic storm that hit my hometown and damaged my roof, but here I am again!
So, I still write a column for our work newsletter every month that’s completely health based. I’ve written about how to eat well when dining out, the best ways to be healthy, and what to eat. This time, I wrote about how to calculate your basal metabolic rate (BMR) and how to factor activity and goals into that rate for personal calorie intake each day. Using the most up-to-date formula, I composed an article explaining how to use the formula to customize calorie intake.
Here’s the article below:
“Most government and medical websites provide cookie cutter guidelines for daily caloric intake. As I was beginning to write this article, I googled, “how much should I be eating?” The results were overwhelming, and each automated calculator gave me different answers. However, there is a more accurate way to calculate how much we should be eating each day based on age, weight, height, goals, and activity levels. Learning to calculate your basal metabolic rate, or BMR, will help you find a place to start with controlling portions and food intake. Your BMR is the number of calories it would take to run your body in a completely neutral environment, such as lying in bed all day. To find your BMR, use this formula:
For men: BMR = 10 x weight (kg) + 6.25 x height (cm) – 5 x age (years) + 5
For women: BMR = 10 x weight (kg) + 6.25 x height (cm) – 5 x age (years) – 161
Obviously, we cannot stay in bed every day, so we need to take activity into account. To calculate the amount of calories one would need in order to maintain his or her weight taking activity level into consideration, multiply your BMR by one of the following options:
Sedentary (Very little exercise/desk job) 1.2
Lightly active (Light exercise on 1-3 days a week or 2 hours of walking a day.) 1.375
Moderately active (Moderate exercise/sport on 3-5 days a week or 3 hours of walking a day.) 1.55
Very active (Hard exercise/sport on 6-7 days a week or 4 hours of walking a day.) 1.725
Extremely active (Hard daily exercise/sport and physical job including 5 or more hours of walking a day.) 1.9
This is the amount of calories you would need to maintain your weight while doing that activity. To lose weight, we need a caloric deficit. A pound of fat is worth around 3500 calories, so a 500 calorie deficit each day would yield a one pound loss each week. It’s safest and most sustainable to lose weight slowly, so a deficit of more than 1000 calories a day is not recommended. Keep in mind that this formula does not take into account any lean body mass or body fat percentage, so it’s only an estimation based on the average person of your weight, height, and age. As always, if you need extra help deciding how much to eat, have your doctor refer you to a nutritionist.”
I get that it’s not optimal to have to convert Imperial measurements of weight and height to metric measurements, but it makes the most sense. We can convert pounds to kilograms and inches to centimeters pretty easily just by typing it into Google. You just type it in and Google provides an automatic calculator. It’s so simple!