With constant addressal about calories, one needs to understand, what is a calorie and how it affects our body weight? The amount of energy in a food item or drink is measured in calories.
The next question that follows is, How to help a person calculate his/her daily calorie needs?
The answer lies in the simple fact that, how many calories you need, depends on your basal metabolic rate and activity factor.
Basal Metabolic Rate
One useful way of estimating BMR is:
Women: 10 x weight (kg) + 6.25 x height (cm) – 5 x age (y) – 161
After calculating the BMR, multiply the result with an activity factor.
- Sedentary lifestyle: little or no exercise at all, your daily calorie requirement is BMR x 1.2.
- Slightly active lifestyle: If you do light exercise between one and three times a week, your daily calorie requirement is BMR x 1.375.
- Moderately active lifestyle: If you do moderate exercise three to five times a week, your daily calorie requirement is BMR x 1.55.
- Active lifestyle: If you do intensive exercise six to seven times per week, your daily calorie requirement is BMR x 1.725.
- Very active lifestyle: If you do very intensive exercise twice a day, with extra heavy workouts, your daily calorie requirement is BMR x 1.9.
This will give a rough idea of the daily calorie intake you need to keep your body weight where it is.
- To lose 0.5-1kg of body fat each week, you will need to create a calorie deficit of 200-300 calories each day. It is for this reason that weight loss diets often focus on 1200 and 1500 calories — they are roughly 200-300 calories less than the person needs to function.
Tips To Lose Extra Weight
Some tips for burning energy and losing weight more effectively. The rules may vary fom one individual to another due to factors like heredity, disease or body-type.
- Eat Healthy Breakfast: A protein and healthy fat breakfast can keep you full for longer and help prevent snacking during the day.
- Eat At Regular Intervals: This can help you burn calories more effectively and helps prevent mindless snacking.
- Follow”Five Meals-a-Day:” Fruits and vegetables can be a tasty snack and they can bulk out your meals. They are high in nutrients and fiber and low in calories and fat.
- Exercise Regularly: This can help burn off extra calories, and it can make you feel good. A brisk daily walk is easy for most people to do and costs nothing. Challenge yourself with a pedometer.
- Drink water: It is healthful, has no calories, and can fill you up. Avoid alcohol and sodas as these can easily provide far too many calories. If you crave sweet drinks, choose unsweetened fruit juices, or better still, get a juice maker.
- Eat more fiber: Fiber, found in fruits, vegetables, and wholegrains, can help you feel full and encourage healthy digestion.
- Check For Hidden Sugar & Fat: Some items have hidden fats or sugars. “Ten percent less fat,” might not actually mean very much less fat, and it does not necessarily mean that you can eat more of it or that it is really more healthful. If you are counting calories, the label will help you keep track.
- Eat Slowly and rest between courses or extra servings, as it can take 20 to 30 minutes for your body to realize it feels full.
- Get Enough Rest: Sleep loss affects the metabolism, and it has been linked to weight gain.
- Avoid Eating 2 Hours Before Bed: Eating within 2 hours of sleeping can interfere with sleep quality and promote weight gain.
Food is to be enjoyed and nourish the body. Fasting or eating less can leave you undernourished, so be a smart eater.