Weight Loss – Attain Maximum Results By Calculating Your Specific Calorie Consumption Target


If you have ever thought about going on a diet, you probably know that to lose weight you have to burn more calories than you consume from your meals.

Calories are units of energy contained in the foods you eat.  So you need to be able to answer the question, “How many calories do I need to consume every day, given my particular lifestyle and level of activity to BREAK EVEN?” (By break even I mean the number of calories you can consume daily, that will neither cause weight loss or weight gain).

In order to calculate this “break even” number of calories, you first have to determine your “BMR” (basal metabolic rate).  In simple terms this is the number of calories you need to fuel basic body functions only.  Imagine getting up and staying in bed and not walking or doing any other kind of work or exercise. The amount of calories required to do this is your BMR.

A simple formula allows both men and women to calculate their BMR.

For women:

Multiply your weight in pounds by 4.35 (write down that amount, and call it # 1).
Multiply your height in inches by 4.7 (write down that amount, and call it # 2).
Multiply your age in years by 4.7 (write down that amount, and call it # 3).
Add # 1 and # 2 together and to that amount add 655 (write that down and call it # 4).
Finally, subtract # 3 from # 4 (#4 minus #3) and THAT IS YOUR BMR in calories. 

For men:

Multiply your weigh in pounds by 6.23 (write down that amount and call it # 1).
Multiply your height in inches by 12.7 (write down that amount and call it # 2).
Multiply your age in years by 6.8 (write down that amount and call it # 3).zza
Add # 1 and # 2 together and to that amount add 66 (write that down and call it # 4).
Subtract # 4 from # 3 (#3 minus #4) and that amount is your BMR in calories.

Remember your BMR is just the minimum amount of calories you need to keep your body functions running, it doesn’t’ reflect the additional calories you need to provide energy for walking around and doing physical tasks.  So now that you know your BMR you can multiply it by the following factors that vary depending upon how active you are. 

If you basically sit at a desk all day and don’t exercise on a consistent basis then multiply your BMR by 1.2 
If you are slightly active (light exercise 1-3 days a week) multiply your BMR by 1.375
If you are moderately active (moderate sports 3-5 days a week) multiply your BMR by 1.55
If you are very active (hard exercise 5-7 days a week) multiply your BMR by 1.725

The result of multiplying your BMR times these factors gives you the amount of calories you can consume daily without losing or gaining weight.  If you are extremely muscular, with little body fat, you can consume 15-20% MORE than you calculated to maintain your current weight.  If you are over-weight by 30 lbs or more, you need to consume 15-20% LESS than you calculated to maintain your current weight.

Ok! Now you know how many calories you can consume daily to maintain your current weight, but many of you reading this article will want to be able to calculate how many LESS calories you will have to eat daily to lose weight.

Since a pound of fat contains about 3500 calories, to lose a pound of fat a week you have to create a caloric deficit of 3500 calories. Dividing 3500 by 7 = 500 calories.

So you have to take in 500 calories less than your calculated amount every day to lose one pound of fat each week.  This may not sound like a lot but at the end of four months you will have lost 16 lbs of fat.

If in addition to the reduction in daily calorie intake, if you also introduced a daily 30 minute walk, you would lose 24 lbs. of fat in four months.  That’s pretty darn good!

Excess weight places undue strain on your heart and joints and is known to increase the risk of cancer, arthritis, diabetes and even dementia.   Also, a recent study from Tufts University has shown that caloric restriction in humans actually boosts our immune response.  For more information about caloric restriction and longevity please read my previous Ezine article:  http://ezinearticles.com/?Caloric-Restriction-=-Weight-Loss-and-Longevity&id=4238613

I hope that I didn’t overwhelm you with math but made it easier for you to determine specifically what you need to do to get slimmer and healthier.

I wish you the best of health,

Curt Hendrix B.S. M.S. C.C.N. C.N.S.

Moderate Aerobic Exercise Can Lead to Good Quality Sleep

Not enough can be said about the importance and health benefits of getting consistent, quality sleep at any age.

Many of the regenerative functions of the body occur when we are sleeping. Migraines increase in those who don’t sleep well. Immune function can be compromised and fatigue and depression are also associated with poor sleep.

A recent study a Northwestern University, studied the effects of aerobic exercise, in people 55 of age and older.  This particular age group often has chronic insomnia.

After 4 months of moderate aerobic exercise, the researchers found that, this group of people suffering from chronic insomnia:

  • Fell asleep and stayed asleep significantly faster
  • Reported less depression
  • Had less day time sleepiness
  • Felt more vital and energetic

Other studies of the effects of aerobic exercise in similar age groups have also shown that aerobic exercise may protect brain function as well. 

Get your loved ones who may be a bit too sedentary, to start doing moderate aerobic exercise at least 5 times a week.  Something as moderate as a 20 minute walk at a reasonable pace, would be excellent.

Curt Hendrix M.S. C.C.N. C.N.S.