# how do i calculate # of calories...

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how do i calculate the number of calories that i can consume each day while trying to lose weight. RIght now I am eating 1500 a day and doing some form of workout each day with somedays being way harder then others. I don't know if this is accurate though if you know how i should do this I'd like to know...thanks

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Whether your goal is to lose weight or gain weight you first have to know how many calories you need to consume each day to maintain your body weight. Once you know your Daily Maintenance Calories (DMC) you either create a caloric deficit or surplus to reach your goals.

Your DMC is comprised of your Resting Metabolic Rate (RMR) plus the calories you expend through activity. There are several ways to determine your RMR. You can actually have your metabolic rate measured in a lab through heat output (direct calorimetry) or exhaled gas exchange (indirect calorimetry). The first technique is impractical for most but some gyms have portable devices (i.e. The Body Gem) that can measure your RMR using the gas exchange technique. Or, you can use one of several formulas to estimate your DMC. This is obviously the most practical for most of us.

Two of the more popular equations are the Harris-Benedict and the Katch-McArdle formulas. The Harris-Benedict equation uses height, weight, age, and sex to determine resting metabolic rate. The only variable it does not take into consideration is lean body mass.

Men: RMR = 66 + (13.7 X weight in kg) + (5 X height in cm) - (6.8 X age in years)

Women: RMR = 655 + (9.6 X weight in kg) + (1.8 X height in cm) - (4.7 X age in years)

[1 inch = 2.54 cm]

[1 kilogram = 2.2 lbs]

The Katch-McArdle formula does take into account lean body mass so, if you've had your body composition tested, you can calculate RMR even more accurately.

RMR (men and women) = 370 + (21.6 X lean mass in kg)

Whichever formula you use, you then multiply your RMR by an activity factor to determine your daily maintenance calories.

Activity Multipliers

Sedentary = RMR X 1.2 (little or no exercise, desk job)

Lightly active = RMR X 1.375 (light exercise/sports 1-3 days/wk)

Mod. active = RMR X 1.55 (moderate exercise/sports 3-5 days/wk)

Very active = RMR X 1.725 (hard exercise/sports 6-7 days/wk)

Extr. active = RMR X 1.9 (hard daily exercise/sports & physical job or 2X day training)

Since your goal is to lose weight a good place to start is to cut your daily maintenance calories by 15-20%.

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Can you give that to us in US measurements? Seriously though....GREAT POST!

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Can you give that to us in US measurements? Seriously though....GREAT POST!
I went back and highlighted the conversions but for the "metrically challenged" ...

To convert your weight from pounds to kilograms simply divide by 2.2

A 175lb individual (divided by 2.2) weighs 79.5kg

To convert from inches to centimeters you multiply by 2.54

A 5'10 (70 inch) individual is also 177.8 centimeters tall (70 inches times 2.54).

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Although weight lifting helps tone muscle mass, do cardio every day. Don't get hung up around how many calories you consume but the type of calories you consume. Eat a balanced and HEALTHY diet and you will do fine. The key to weight loss is change of life. Also it is very hard to do when you plattau, when that happens then change it up.

good luck!

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well looks like im at about 1600 calories to eat a day if i wanna lose some weight which is close to where i was at, but does this mean that if i run a mile i can't eat an extra 100 calories since i added the activity calories already?

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well looks like im at about 1600 calories to eat a day if i wanna lose some weight which is close to where i was at, but does this mean that if i run a mile i can't eat an extra 100 calories since i added the activity calories already?
Yes. Those calories are already accounted for by the activity multiplier.