Finding your caloric intake is something I find very important when it comes to having accountability with becoming healthier and losing weight. Most people have never even once found out their ideal caloric intake, probably because of not knowing how to do so. This proven equation is used amongst the most highly educated trainers and is called the Harris Benedict Equation. The formula below will determine your basal energy requirements or BMR, which is the energy required to maintain your current weight without exercise or diet involved. While eating a clean diet has a stronger effect on losing weight than physical activity does, physical activity has a stronger effect in preventing weight gain and maintaining weight loss.
For most woman the average calorie intake is anywhere from 1500-1800 a day, so lets find out where you are …
Here is how to find your numbers. For men, replace 655 with 55:
(insert activity level – found below) x ( 655 + ( 4.57 x height in inches ) + ( 4.36 x current weight ) – ( 4.7 x age ) = calories to maintain your current weight.
- 1.2 is sedentary ( little or no exercise )
- 1.375 is lightly active ( light exercise 1 – 3 days a week )
- 1.55 is moderately active ( moderate exercise 3 – 5 days a week )
- 1.7 is very active ( hard exercise 6 – 7 days a week )
- 1.9 is extremely active ( hard daily exercise and/or a physical job )
This probably looks a little confusing so I’ll do an example for you-
Emily is a moderately active female, 29 years old, 5 feet 5 inches, and she currently weighs 160 pounds.
(activity level above) x (655 + (4.57 x height in inches ) + (4.36 x weight ) – (4.7 x age )
( 1.55 ) x ( 655 + ( 4.57 x 65 ) + ( 4.36 x 160 ) – ( 4.7 x 29 )
( 1.55 ) x ( 655 + ( 297.05 ) + ( 697.6 ) – ( 136.3 )
1.55 x 952.05 + 697.6 – 136.3
In this example – 2,037 calories is the amount needed every day for Emily to stay at 160 pounds.
- For her to lose one pound each week, subtract 500 from 2,037 – which is 1,537 calories.
- If Emily is comfortable with her weight she would do nothing, staying as close to 2,000 calories every day.
- If she choose to gain weight she would add 250-300 calories a day – which is 2,287 – 2,337 calories.
You can see by this example that even consuming as little as 300 extra calories a day to your diet can pack on pounds. Finding your individual caloric needs is so important and it’s where a lot of people mess up the most. Consume too many calories, and get farther away from the more confident you. Consume too few calories and your body goes into starvation mode, holding onto to every ounce of that unattractive fat. Now that you have your magic number I want you to keep it engraved in your head.
Was this number lower or higher than you expected? Are you feeling excited that you can start eating more calories now or are you bummed out that you have to start cutting some serious calories if you want to lose weight? I’d love to hear how this turned out! I always find this exercise so interesting- Leave me a comment below and share with me your magic number.