BMR = Basal metabolic rate. We all have one. It’s different for each person based upon their age, weight, height and sex. I just calculated mine on THIS SITE and it is 1363.25. That’s how many calories I need to consume each day just to be alive.
Then you use the Harris Benedict Equation which is based upon how many calories (approximately) you expend each day. You get to pick between five choices, Sedentary, Lightly Active, Moderately Active, Very active, or Extra Active. What each means is on THIS SITE, where I chose Very Active, because I wanted to be on the safe side. It tells me to multiply my BMR (1363.25) by 1.725.
1363.25 x 1.725 = 2351
2351 is the number of calories I need to consume in a day to maintain my weight.
Now, to lose the weight……
There are 3500 calories in a pound. You must create a deficit of 3500 calories over several days via exercise or lowering calorie consumption. Usually people aim to create a deficit like this or 7000 calories over a week. That is widely known as the most common, effective & healthy way to lose weight. This way you lose 1 – 2 lbs a week.
So, how do you determine calories consumed & calories burned? I use SparkPeople to track my calories. Some folks use The Daily Plate on LiveStrong. Some folks use iPhone apps. Some folks do it the old fashioned way and write it out. The websites are nice because they do the calculations for you and tell you your ranges. They are kind of a pain to set up but they are so awesome once you get them set up. When I first began tracking I did my first day eating my normal food & i found I was eating like 2500 calories a day and about 300 g of carbs!!!!!!!!!!! eeew! So I HIGHLY recommend doing this.
How do you determine how many calories you burn? Most likely if you are taking a class the fitness professional will be able to give you a good estimation. If you are doing a video or doing it on your own, google “how many calories do I burn doing a pilates video?” and it’ll give you some ideas based upon intensity. Same if you google “how many calories do I burn in Spinning?” or “how many calories do I burn sweeping my house?” To have a much more exact measurement wear a heart rate monitor. I know many of my clients burn in the 400 – 550 calorie range during my workouts. But that doesn’t count your 10 minute commute walking to work, or the 3 hours you just spent scrubbing the tub, mopping the floors or moving furniture. But that is where the Harris Benedict Equation comes in. And I know on SparkPeople it gives you a range of cardio minutes you need to get in each week, to reach your weight goal and you can enter in 45 minutes of spinning, 22 minutes of walking at a 3.0 mph pace, 29 minutes of house work, etc…
If you haven’t done this, DO IT. Only you can reach your goals. No one can do it for you.
The Get In Shape Girl