Weight loss works on few simple principles: Workout, eat in calorie deficit and be consistent. This means, burn more than you eat. But if you feel like you’ve done it all and still don’t see the scale move in the right direction, then this little formula should help you.
The reason we need to calculate how many calories to eat and burn is because every body is different. Basically, everyone’s metabolic rate (the rate at which body burns calories) is different.
Here’s how to calculate metabolic rate:
It is a bit technical, but please bear with us. Plus, it is definitely easier than mindlessly working out and dieting.
In order to find out how many calories you should burn in a day, you need to know your total energy expenditure. First, find your basal metabolic rate (BMR), which you can measure with a machine like the InBody Test. It sends electrodes through your body to calculate your BMI, fat percentage and basal metabolic rate.
You can also do a math equation to find your BMR using the Harris-Benedict formula based on your total body weight, height, age, and sex. For a woman, the calculation is:
BMR = 655 + (1.8 x height in centimetres) + (9.6 x weight in kilograms) – (4.7 x age in years)
For instance, for a woman who is 30, 5’6” (167.6 centimetres), and 68 kilograms, her BMR would be: 655 + 301.7 + 653 – 141 = approximately 1,470 calories a day.
From there, you multiply your BMR by your activity level: 1.2 if you’re sedentary, 1.375 if you do light exercise one to three days a week, 1.55 if you do moderate exercise six to seven days a week, 1.75 if you’re very active (hard exercise every day or exercising twice a day), and 1.9 if you’re extra active (hard exercise two or more times per day).
So for this person who is moderately active, it would be: 1,470 x 1.55 = approximately 2,280. That’s about how many calories your body burns on any given day. To lose weight, you would have to create a calorie deficit.
One pound is equal to 3,500 calories. Therefore, if anyone was looking to lose one pound, they would need to cut their daily calories down by 500 calories per day.