How many calories do I need to fuel my body for
This has to be the BIGGEST QUESTION surrounding fitness and nutrition ever asked. No…I take that back. It is not the BIGGEST question but it is certainly the one MOST OFTEN asked! Between fancy formulas and fancier scales, someone new to fitness and nutrition might feel so overwhelmed that it just seems easier to grab a snickers and crash on the sofa.
Before anything crazy like that happens I wanted to share a few definitions and links to help make calculating and tracking calories a little bit easier.
1. BMI: BODY MASS INDEX. Your BMI is a measurement of body fat that is used to indicate if you are obese, overweight, normal, or underweight. A healthy BMI is in between 20-25. Below indicates you may be underweight. Above indicates you may be overweight. Click on the link below to calculate your BMI after putting in your height and weight.
[button link=”http://www.bmi-calculator.net/” bg_color=”#232fb0″ border=”#080c33″ window=”yes”]CALCULATE MY BMI NOW![/button]
2. BMR: BASAL METABOLIC RATE. Your BMR is the number of calories it takes just for you too exist. It is, simply put, the number of calories you would need if you stayed in bed all day long. Click on the button below to be directed to a website that will calculate your BMR after you plug in your height, weight, age and gender into the formula on the page.
[button link=”http://www.bmi-calculator.net/bmr-calculator/” bg_color=”#9c259c” border=”#3d003d” window=”yes”]CALCULATE MY BMR NOW![/button]
As you age, your BMR decreases. This is why you can’t eat as much as you did 10 years ago. It pays to check in once a year to see what your BMR rate is for that year! If that were the end of the story, it would be a pretty depressing story!
The good news is that muscle mass increases your BMR. Beachbody programs like P90X and X2, ChaLean Extreme and Body Beast are our best weapons against a decreasing BMR. If you prefer to work out at a gym, make sure to include weight training and don’t get in an exclusive relationship with the treadmill!
3. HARRIS BENEDICT FORMULA. The Harris Benedict Formula uses your BMR and factors in your activity level to determine the total number of calories you use in a day. This number is the number of calories you need to maintain your current weight at your current activity level. Remember if your activity level changes or your weight changes, you need to go back to the HBF and calculate your new daily needs. Click the link below to see how many calories you need today. Calculate your BMR first because you will need that number for this formula. Make sure to also have a calculator handy unless you are pretty good at math!
[button link=”http://www.bmi-calculator.net/bmr-calculator/harris-benedict-equation/” bg_color=”#127d39″ border=”#143d0c” window=”yes”]HOW MANY CALORIES CAN I EAT TODAY![/button]
This last link also has links you can click to determine how many calories you can have today if you want to lose weight or gain weight.
4. CALORIE TRACKING. Now that you have all of this information what do you DO with it? I am a BIG FAN of a website called My Fitness Pal. If you register and log on you can input every single thing you eat and MFP does the math for you. MFP has a HUGE data base of foods already in existence.The data base includes most foods found in grocery stores and many popular restaurant foods. The best part? MFP is free. So no excuses! The worst part? I now know the calories in Adam’s Peanut Butter Fudge Ripple Cheesecake from the Cheesecake Factory.
[button link=”http://www.myfitnesspal.com/” bg_color=”#107db0″ border=”#063332″ window=”yes”]SIGN ME UP FOR MFP NOW![/button]
The information on the websites listed provide great guidelines and starting points for assisting you in determining your daily caloric needs. The information should never replace the recommendations of your doctor. ALWAYS remember to consult with your medical professional before making any changes to you nutrition or fitness routine.