When you get the correct number of calories every day you’ll be at a healthy (ideal) weight. But first, you need to determine, “How much should I eat?” And that depends on several things:
- whether you are male or female
- how old you are
- what size (weight) you are now
- how physically active are you now
- whether you are nursing or pregnant
Call to Action:
Here are several formulas to help you compute how much should you eat.
1. Calculate how many calories you need just to breathe and be awake:
Basal Metabolic Rate (BMR) Formula
Women: BMR = 655 + (4.35 x weight in pounds) + (4.7 x height in inches) – (4.7 x age in years)
Men: BMR = 66 + (6.23 x weight in pounds) + (12.7 x height in inches) – (6.8 x age in years)
2. Calculate how many calories you need factoring in your level of activity:
Harris Benedict Formula
If you’re sedentary (little or no exercise): Calorie Calculation = BMR x 1.2
If you’re lightly active (light exercise/sports 1-3 days/week): Calorie Calculation = BMR x 1.375
If you’re moderately active (moderate exercise/sports 3-5 days/week): Calorie Calculation = BMR x 1.55
If you’re very active (hard exercise/sports 6-7 days/week): Calorie Calculation = BMR x 1.725
If you’re extra active (very hard exercise/sports and physical job or double training): Calorie Calculation = BMR x 1.9
As an example, a 50-year, lightly active woman who is 5’5″ tall and weighs 140 pounds has a BMR of 655 + (4.35 x 140) + (4.7 x 65) – (4.7 x 50), or 1,335. Since she’s lightly active, multiply 1,335 x 1.375 for a total of 1,836, which represents the amount of calories she needs each day to maintain her weight, but since she wants to lose 15 pounds, she’d need to eat less than 1,836 calories a day and/or increase her activity level.
Once you calculate the number of calories based on your own numbers this may help explain why the weight tends to stay on or why you see success reaching your desired weight.
To your wellness,
p.s. You can also access online calculators if you wish. Here is one: www.nutritiondata.com.