So, how many calories you eat to maintain your current weight or to lose weight is a numbers games.  It depends on a few different things.

I found this great website that has five (!) different calculators that help you determine how many calories you should be consuming in a day.

Let’s start with your Body Mass Index (BMI).  This is no more than a comparison between your height and weight. I’ve never given too much thought to my BMI (for example, if you are mostly muscle it could really throw off your BMI), but its a good number to know.

Now there is your Resting Metabolic Rate (RMR).  This is how many calories your body burns just being alive.  Even if you sit on your but all day long your body still needs calories to breathe and live. This number varies by age and body composition.  Mine is 1278 calories, which I round up to 1300.  So everyday I need to eat 1300 calories just for my body to function.

Then there is your Basal Metabolic Rate (BMR).  This is very similar to your RMR, measuring your body’s caloric consumption during complete inactivity. Mine number is 1294, which you can see is very similar to my RMR.

Next up your Lean Body Mass (LBM). This calculator measures your lean body tissue.  Basically everything but fat. Bones, muscles, and organs all weigh something and are taken into account with this measurement.  I don’t know my number because you need to know your body fat percentage and I have no clue what mine is.

And last but definitely not least the Total Daily Energy Expenditure (TDEE).  You burn calories all day long.  Even if you are mostly sedentary you have to get up to walk to the bathroom and move your fingers to change the channel on TV or move your  mouse. This number represents how many calories you should eat a day to maintain your current weight. My number is 2006, which I round down to 2000.

So this is where the number’s game comes into play.  To lose weight I would need to eat at least 1300 calories a day (any less my body would start using muscle to function instead of my stored up fat), but less than 2000.  To lose pound you need to cut out 3500 calories.  Take me for example.  If I want to lose a pound a week, I would need to eat 1500 calories a day (500 less than my TDEE, but more that my RMR).  If I kept this up I should lose a pound a week.  (500×7=3500).

So there you have it!  It’s just basic math people.  Really though, eat healthy and move more and you will love your body more.

Be sure to check out Fitness Frog.  It’s an awesome resource.

 

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