How To Figure Out Your Caloric Needs.
I think its great that there are all these diets out there with general guidelines and rules that help you shed a few pounds. I’m talking about diets like the Paleo diet, the Atkins diet, and the South Beach diet. the problem I see with these diets is they are merely guidelines “eat this and don’t eat that is that” you can technically still overeat on these foods. It’s far better and to know your daily caloric needs and adjust the proportion sizes. In order to lose weight, you have to be in a caloric deficit. In other words, you have to eat fewer calories then your body needs to maintain its current weight. This is why when on one of these diets you may lose some weight initially but what happens is since you lost weight your caloric needs also go down and your basically eating at maintenance again. in order to continue to lose weight, you have to put yourself into a caloric deficit again. if you learn to determine your caloric needs as opposed to just following basic guidelines to lose weight you will break through this sticking point. so I’m going to tell you everything you need to do to do this.
Step One). Determine Your Height, Weight, Age, And Body Fat %
How do I get my body fat percentage you ask? here are 3 solutions to this problem.
1. Search Amazon for biomechanical impedance machine, they’re fairly inexpensive. They send a signal threw your body and determine your body fat percentage.
2. I’m assuming if your trying to lose weight you may have a gym membership, it doesn’t hurt to ask one of the trainers or the desk staff to use one of their bio impendence machines.
3. Look at this picture below and guestimate witch range of fat your in. it’s not as accurate but it will work for now.
Step Two). Calculate Your BMR (Basal Metabolic Rate)
This is the number of calories your body needs to sustain body functions, breathing, heart rate, temperature, repairing tissue.
There is a very complex equation for this, Lucky for us thanks to the good- ole- interweb there’s a much easier way to get this done! Although I’d suggest if your body fat % is over 15% for men and 20% for women where the site asks for your weight, you should use your lean body mass. Calculate this simply by taking your body weight in lbs x Body fat % then subtracting that number by your body weight.
Example; If you where 200 lbs at 25% body fat.
200lbs x .25 = 48 then 200 – 48 = 152 Lean body mass
Step Three). Adding Activity Level To Get Maintenance Calories
That number you got from step two is the number of calories you would burn if you sat in a chair and stared at the wall drooling all day. Now we need to get moving!!! Depending on how active you are we need to add some calories to this number.
Take your BMR number and multiply by one of these values
Sedative: 1.1 You sit all day long aside from the occasional walk to get food or two and from your car to go to your sit on your butt all day job.
Lightly active: 1.2 You might go to the gym on your days off or take the dogs for a walk here and there off but mostly your very Sedative otherwise.
Active: 1.3 You go to the gym 3-5 days a week for about 45 minutes to one hour but you still have a lightly physical job that may include walking or sitting a lot.
Very Active:1.5 You run 4 times per week for 40 minutes to 1 hour you lift weights 3-5 days per week and have an active job
Athlete:1.7 You do 1 hour of cardio 5 days a week and 45 minutes of weight training or sports-related training or more.
Example: If your BMR was 1760 x 1.5 =2640 Maintenance calories
Congratulations this is the number of calories your body needs to maintain your current weight!!! you did it !!! one more easy step!!!
Step Four). Caloric Deficit!
Now you just subtract 500 from your maintenance calories number
Example: 2640 – 500 + 2140
Now if you eat that amount of calories per day you will lose 1-5 lbs per week1!
Ok but your thinking “That’s great Jeff…. How the heck do I do that?
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