Know How Many Calories You Need
The first step in weight loss is to determine how many calories your body uses just to survive. This is also known as your basal metabolic rate or BMR. Combine this amount to the amount of calories you use by being physically active and you get what is known as your TEE, or Total Energy Expenditure.
To calculate your specific numbers, you can use an online calculator or do it manually. If you choose the latter, the Harris-Benedict formula is a great calculation method to use. It is: (Note: 1 inch = 2.54 cm and 1 kilogram = 2.2 lbs.)
So, for instance, if you are a 35 year old female who is 5’4” (163 cm) and currently weighs 130 pounds (59 kilos), your equation would look like this:
Now that you know this number, you need to account for your physical activity level. You can easily do that by using the following chart:
To go back to our previous example, if the 35 year old 130 pound woman worked in an office, you would take her BMR (1,349) and multiply it by 1.2 to find that it takes 1,619 calories for her to keep her weight where it is. However, if she would work out just a few days a week, her calorie intake would go up to 1,821 per day.
Use These Numbers to Create a Plan
Once you know exactly how many calories your body burns, you can create a plan that will get you the weight loss you desire. So, for instance, if your goal is to lose a pound a week, you’ll need to cut 500 calories a day. You can do this by eating less, becoming more active or both!
The thing is, once you know how many calories you can consume then you can plan your meals accordingly. Aim for 5-6 smaller meals instead of three larger ones so that your body stays satisfied and cravings are kept to a minimum.
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