There’s A lot of misinformation out there about how many calories you need to be eating to maintain or lose weight…
I’ll set you straight!
2,000 calories? 1,200? 1,632? How the heck are you supposed to know? Everyone is different!
Yes, there are some great apps that are wonderful trackers in regards to weight loss or weight maintenance like MyFitnessPal, LoseIt!, and more. BUT, some of these can be inaccurate in regards to determining how many calories you should be taking in per day. The real way to do it is with this little equation that us Nutritionists use called…
the “Harris–Benedict equation”.
- This calculates something called your “Basal Metabolic Rate” which is how many calories your body burns just living and doing basic functions like breathing, standing, digesting food, etc. This is how many calories your body definitely needs per day to survive. Then, you use this BMR and multiply it by an “activity factor”, which is different depending on if you are sedentary, lightly active, or highly active. This then is the final number of calories you shall eat per day to maintain your weight.
- If you are trying to LOSE weight, in order to lose 1 lb per week (which is a safe and healthy amount), you shall subtract 500 calories from your daily total. That way, you are taking in 3500 calories less in a week, which is equal to ONE POUND.
- If you want to lose weight more slowly and over a longer period of time with less drastic cuts from your diet, you can subtract 250 calories from your diet and lose weight at an average of 1/2 pound per week.
MEN: BMR = 88.362 + (13.397 x weight in kg) + (4.799 x height in cm) – (5.677 x age in years)
WOMEN: BMR = 447.593 + (9.247 x weight in kg) + (3.098 x height in cm) – (4.330 x age in years)
**note: Divide weight in lbs by 2.2 to get weight in kg.
**note: Multiply height in in by 2.54 to get height in cm.
Multiple BMR by activity factor:
Little to no exercise: Daily calories needed = BMR x 1.2
Light exercise (1-3 x per week): Daily calories needed = BMR x 1.375
Moderate exercise (3-5 x per week): Daily calories needed= BMR x 1.55
Heavy exercise (6-7x per week): Daily calories needed = BMR x 1.725
Very heavy exercise/training (2x per day, extra heavy workouts): Daily calories needed = BMR x 1.9