Whether you are looking to lose a few pounds or simply maintain your current weight, determining how many calories you need every day is important but simple.
Step 1: Get your weight in pounds and height in inches Weigh yourself and note your weight in pounds. Then use the yardstick to measure your height in inches.
Step 2: Calculate basal metabolic rate for women Calculate your basal metabolic rate if you're a woman. Multiply your weight by 4.35. Then multiply your height by 4.7. Add the two products. Then subtract the product of your age in years multiplied by 4.7 and add 655.
TIP: For example, a 150-pound woman who is 65 inches tall and 30 years old would have a basal metabolic rate of 1,472.
Step 3: Calculate basal metabolic rate for men Calculate your basal metabolic rate if you're a man by multiplying your weight by 6.23. Add the product of your height in inches multiplied by 12.7. Subtract your age in years multiplied by 6.8 and then add 66.
TIP: A 180 pound man who is 70 inches tall and 40 years old would have a basal metabolic rate of 1,804.4. A 180 pound man who is 70 inches tall and 40 years old would have a basal metabolic rate of 1,804.4.
Step 4: Determine your activity level Determine your daily activity level. Sedentary people get little to no activity. Light levels include activity a few days a week, moderate includes activity three to five days a week, and very active individuals play sports daily.
Step 5: Multiply BMR times appropriate activity factor Multiply your basal metabolic rate by an activity factor of 1.2 for sedentary, 1.375 for light, 1.55 for moderate, and 1.725 for very active.
TIP: If the 150-pound woman is active four days a week, her activity level would be moderate. Multiplying her basal metabolic rate of 1,472 by 1.55 gives her a calculation of 2,281.6.
Step 6: Calculation equals the total calories to maintain weight Factor the basal metabolic rate by the activity factor to give you the number of calories per day you can eat to maintain your current weight.
Step 7: Subtract 500 calories per day to lose a pound a week Subtract 500 calories per day to lose 1 pound each week. Keep tabs on your caloric intake and you'll stay fit and strong.
FACT: By walking an additional 10,000 steps each day, the average adult can burn an extra 500 calories – giving you a 1 pound loss in a week without cutting calories.