How was your weekend? Mine has been wonderful. I am writing this post from the hospital as I am a doula to one of my clients. We’ve been up all night — she’s been in labor for over 24 hours! We’re not sure what she’s having, but she has been a rock star during her contractions. I cannot wait for the delivery! I’ll keep you posted.
In the meantime, I promised last week that I would share how to figure out how much cardio to do in order to lose some lbs. I am officially out of videos — and will film those soon. In the meantime, we’ll talk about things like this. If you have a question, please send it along — I am always looking for good topics.
Technically, there is no magic number of calories we should all eat each day to lose weight. While most people can lose weight eating around 1,500 calories, you can assess your own personal caloric needs with a little math.
Why Estimate Your Caloric Needs?
To estimate how many calories you should consume in order to maintain your weight, you’ll need to do a little math. By using a simple formula called the Harris-Benedict principle, you can assess your basal metabolic rate — also known as your BMR.
(Then, to lose weight, you’ll need to cut calories or burn extra calories and shoot for a level lower than the results you get with this formula.)
Calculate Your BMR
Your BMR is the amount of energy your body needs to function.
We use about 60% of the calories we consume each day for basic bodily functions such as breathing.
Other factors that influence your BMR are height, weight, age and sex.
Step one is to calculate your BMR with the following formula:
655 + (4.3 x weight in pounds) + (4.7 x height in inches) – (4.7 x age in years)
66 + (6.3 x weight in pounds) + (12.9 x height in inches) – (6.8 x age in years)
Step two: In order to incorporate activity into your daily caloric needs, do the following calculation:
If you are sedentary : BMR x 20 percent
If you are lightly active: BMR x 30 percent
If you are moderately active (You exercise most days a week.): BMR x 40 percent
If you are very active (You exercise intensely on a daily basis or for prolonged periods.): BMR x 50 percent
If you are extra active (You do hard labor or are in athletic training.): BMR x 60 percent
Add this number to your BMR.
The result of this formula will be the number of calories you can eat every day and maintain your current weight. In order to lose weight, you’ll need to take in fewer calories than this result.
As you lose weight, you can re-calculate the formula to assess your new BMR.
Create a Calorie Deficit
In order to lose weight, you must create a calorie deficit. It is easier and healthier to cut back your calorie intake a little bit at a time. Every 3,500 calories is equivalent to one pound.
So, if you cut back 500 calories a day, you should lose about one pound per week. That said, If you exercise to burn off 500 calories a day you should lose approximately one pound per week. Do both, and … you get the picture. Ideally, you should do a combination of both, (such as cut back 250 calories; burn an extra 250 calories).
Your weight loss will vary from week to week and at times you may even gain a little weight — if you’re working out you could be developing muscle, which weighs more than fat. Don’t kill yourself though by weighing yourself every day . . . . maybe like once a month.