How Many Calories Do I Need?

 

Daily Caloric Intake and Basil Metabolic Rate

Click here to determine approximately how many calories your body needs at rest in order to sustain your current condition (i.e. weight, body fat%, fat weight). Remember, this is your body at rest. You then must add on additional calories for physical activity. Please read further to determine your approximate total caloric intake per day.

Gaining weight and losing weight is a very simple formula. When caloric intake exceeds caloric expenditure you will gain weight. When caloric expenditure is greater than caloric intake, you will lose weight. Thus, you must know how many calories (kcal) are in a gram of protein, carbohydrate, and fat. You should also know approximately how many calories you should consume and expend in a day. Food

Simply put, you must burn off more calories than what you consume in any given day in order to lose weight. Knowing how many calories you are consuming every day is going to be an important part of losing weight. Therefore, you should know how many calories are in the nutrients you consume.

  • Protein – one gram equals 4 kcal
  • Carbohydrate – one gram equals 4 kcal
  • Fat – one gram equals 9 kcal
  • Alcohol – one gram equals 7 kcal

To find out approximately how many calories you are consuming in a day is easy. There are apps available for smart phones and tablets such as lose it and fitness pal. These apps can help you to stay focused on your eating habits and keep you aware of the amount of calories you’ve been consuming. If you don’t have access to apps, then you can keep track of your caloric intake by writing down the foods you consumed in a daily food journal. Be sure to write down all foods, portion size, and liquids. You must do this for one full week. We then can compare your average daily caloric intake to your approximate Basil Metabolic Rate (BMR).

Your BMR measures the amount of energy expended at rest and usually represents about 70% of an individual’s total daily energy expenditure. Additional calories are then added on to one’s BMR based on physical activity level. Depending on whether the person is sedentary or very active, 400 to 800 kcal may be added. For example, if you have a job that requires you to sit at a desk all day and you don’t workout regularly, then you should add 400 calories on to your BMR. So, if your BMR equals 1,200 calories then add 400 calories to that number. This equals 1,600 cal/day to sustain your current weight and body fat. Remember, your BMR tells us how many calories your body needs in order to sustain your current condition (i.e. body weight, % body fat, muscle tissue) at rest. Now, if you are trying to lose weight you should try to decrease your daily caloric intake by 500 cal/day. This can be done by decreasing food intake, exercising more, or the combination of the two. Try to burn or reduce 3,500 calories in one week. That is equivalent to 500 calories a day. This will help you to lose 1 lb in one week (3,500 calories equals one pound of fat).

Basil Metabolic Rate is influenced by several factors. One’s BMR is primarily effected by body size (height and weight). If two people, one weighing 100 lbs and the other weighing 130 lbs, jog one mile together, the heavier person will expend more energy and burn more calories. Other important factors that effect one’s BMR include age and sex. BMR decreases with age and is highest in a growing child. Men have a higher BMR than women due to the fact that males are generally larger than females. Other factors related to BMR include diet, heredity, and hormones.

 

Lifestyle Changes and Weight Loss

 

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A healthy morning breakfast: one scrambled egg, one lean turkey sausage, and one cup of fresh fruit.

I was recently training two of my male clients at a local country club. I love these two guys, very fun, hard-working, nice, and both overweight. I put them through extremely challenging workouts consisting of high-intensity circuit training burning at least 600 calories per hour session twice a week. For the past 2 years I’ve been teaching these clients about healthy eating habits and the proper way to lose weight. Each of them needs to lose at least 25 pounds to get down to a healthy weight.

As with many people, my clients enjoy good food and great wine. What’s wrong with that, right? They over indulge, just like most people in America. I’ve been teaching them that all the exercise they do is not going to help them lose weight if they are not cutting back on their consumption of food and drink (alcohol). Of course, their weight has not changed much over these past several months because they have not been consistent with their changes in calorie consumption. It’s been disappointing for them, and for me, when stepping on the scale. When your main goal is to lose weight, you must cut back on caloric intake and change your behavior with food and alcohol.

While training my clients at their country club, an old friend of theirs was working out too. I’ll call him Jay. When my clients saw Jay they barely recognized him. In the past 6 months, this gentleman lost 77 pounds! After hugging him and congratulating their old friend, my clients asked, “How’d you do it? How’d you lose all that weight?” Jay enthusiastically said, “I stopped eating crap and cut out alcohol.” AH-HA! Thank you very much old friend! I smiled and told him that I”ve been teaching these guys this approach to weight loss for 2 years and they still haven’t embraced it! I had just met Jay a minute before and I felt so proud and happy for him. What an accomplishment!

Jeff Angel

Push-ups are a great exercise to build muscle and improve strength.

This weight loss story is a successful one due to behavior modification or changes made in Jay’s  lifestyle choices. He changed his behavior of eating food and drinking alcohol. He stopped going to restaurants to eat so he could control what goes into his meals. He also completely cut out alcohol for 6 months. This may sound terrible to some of you, but if you are serious about making a change to your body and your health, this is a very important, yet difficult, step. Jay was consistent with his exercise program and consistent with the changes in his diet until he reached his weight loss goal.

Now that his goal has been reached, he goes out to restaurants once a week. He drinks alcohol, in moderation, once a week. He exercises regularly every week. These behavior modifications helped to change and save Jay’s life. Losing weight can be a continuous lifetime battle for some of you. It’s difficult to change your lifestyle and behaviors. However, consistency, persistence, patience, and motivation must be intertwined in your life to have a successful weight loss story like Jay’s.

I asked Jay how he feels with that 77 pounds gone. He said, “I feel great! I feel like a new man!” If you’re needing to lose weight, you have to change your behaviors with food, alcohol, and exercise. Less food, less alcohol, more exercise. Behavior modification and healthy life-long choices will certainly help you reach your goals and change your life just like Jay. Nice work, Jay!