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How many calories to lose weight?

The answer to this question is very simple but one of the hardest things I have ever had to do. The trick to know how many calories to lose weight is simply to consume less and exercise more, easy right?

So, to be a bit more helpful lets look at how you got to be the weight you are now, don’t worry if your weight varies up and down just be honest with yourself and take an average over the last six weeks (for example; 200 lbs, 210 lbs, 205 lbs, 195 lbs, 195 lbs and 200 lbs total 1,205 divide by 6 gives you an average of 201 lbs).

Now you have to work out the amount of calories you are consuming to be at this weight, but first you need to establish the following factors;


Basal Metabolic Rate (BMR)

This is the lowest daily amount of calories your body needs to perform basic involuntary functions, like breathing. To work out your BMR is easy you just need your sex and age, see BMR Chart below:

BMR Chart

Hourly BMRs for men and women by age

Age Men Women Age Men Women
20 39 37 55 36 35
25 38 36 60 35 33
30 37 36 65 35 33
35 37 36 70 34 32
40 37 36 75 34 32
45 37 36 80 33 32
50 37 35

Body Surface Area (BSA) Factor

The body surface area (BSA) is the measured or calculated surface of a human body. For you mathematicians out there here is the most widely used is the Du Bois formula: BSA = 0.007184 x Weight0.425 x Height0.725

 

For the rest of us I have provided an easy to use Body Surface Area Factor by Height and Weight Chart below, you just need to know your age and weight;

 

Body Surface Area Factor by Height and Weight Chart
Body Surface Area Factor by Height and Weight
4ft 10in (1.45m) 5ft 0in (1.5m)
70lb (32kg) – 1.1 140lb (64kg) – 1.5 80lb (36kg) – 1.2 160lb (73kg) – 1.7
80lb (36kg) – 1.2 160lb (73kg) – 1.6 100lb (45kg) – 1.3 180lb (82kg) – 1.8
100lb (45kg) – 1.3 180lb (82kg) – 1.7 120lb (55kg) – 1.5 200lb (91kg) – 1.9
120lb (55kg) – 1.4 200lb (91kg) – 1.8 140lb (64kg) – 1.6 220lb (100kg) – 2.0
5ft 2in (1.55m) 5ft 4in (1.6m)
80lb (36kg) – 1.3 160lb (73kg) – 1.9 100lb (45kg) – 1.4 180lb (82kg) – 1.9
100lb (45kg) – 1.4 180lb (82kg) – 1.8 120lb (55kg) – 1.6 200lb (91kg) – 2.0
120lb (55kg) – 1.5 200lb (91kg) – 1.9 140lb (64kg) – 1.7 220lb (100kg) – 2.1
140lb (64kg) – 1.6 220lb (100kg) – 2.0 160lb (73kg) – 1.8 240lb (109kg) – 2.2
5ft 6in (1.65m) 5ft 8in (1.7m)
100lb (45kg) – 1.5 180lb (82kg) – 1.9 120lb (55kg) – 1.6 200lb (91kg) – 12.0
120lb (55kg) – 1.6 200lb (91kg) – 2.0 140lb (64kg) – 1.7 220lb (100kg) – 2.1
140lb (64kg) – 1.7 220lb (100kg) – 2.1 160lb (73kg) – 1.8 240lb (109kg) – 2.2
160lb (73kg) – 1.8 240lb (109kg) – 2.2 180lb (82kg) – 1.9 260lb (117kg) – 2.3
5ft 10in (1.75m) 6ft 0in (1.8m)
120lb (55kg) – 1.7 200lb (91kg) – 2.1 120lb (55kg) – 1.7 200lb (91kg) – 2.1
140lb (64kg) – 1.8 220lb (100kg) – 2.2 140lb (64kg) – 1.8 220lb (100kg) – 2.2
160lb (73kg) – 1.9 240lb (109kg) – 2.3 160lb (73kg) – 1.9 240lb (109kg) – 2.3
180lb (82kg) – 2.0 260lb (117kg) – 2.3 180lb (82kg) – 2.0 260lb (117kg) – 2.4
280lb (127kg) – 2.4 280lb (127kg) – 2.5
6ft 2in (1.85m) 6ft 4in (1.9m)
140lb (64kg) – 1.8 220lb (100kg) – 2.2 160lb (73kg) – 2.0 240lb (109kg) – 2.4
160lb (73kg) – 1.9 240lb (109kg) – 2.3 180lb (82kg) – 2.1 260lb (117kg) – 2.5
180lb (82kg) – 2.0 260lb (117kg) – 2.4 200lb (91kg) – 2.2 280lb (127kg) – 2.6
200lb (91kg) – 2.1 280lb (127kg) – 2.5 220lb (100kg) – 2.3 300lb (136kg) – 2.6
300lb (136kg) – 2.6 320lb (145kg) – 2.7

 

Now multiply these two factors together, e.g. Female age 40 / height 5ft 6in / weight 201lb = BMR of 36 multiplied by BSA 2.0 = Hourly BMR of 72 (multiply by 24 hours per day for daily BMR) Daily BMR 1,728 – Nearly there…

Physical Activity Level (PAL)

Finally you need to calculate the total calories you burn each day this is your Physical Activity Level (PAL)

 

Daily Activity Chart
Your Level of Daily Activity PAL Factor
Very light – (most of the day sitting at work or at home, a little slow walking, some standing and household chores)

1.3

Light – (mostly sedentary, standing or slow walking, but including about 2 hours a day of further activity – e.g. gardening, heavy housework, brisk walking)

1.4

Moderate – (some occupational walking rather than just sedentary work, plus a little vigorous additional exercise, e.g. dancing, swimming)

1.6 (women)

1.7 (men)

Heavy – (high levels of activity, both at work and in leisure hours)

1.8 (women)

1.9 (men)

 

How many calories to lose weight?

Once you have done this simply multiply your Daily BMR by your PAL Factor, e.g. 1,728 x 1.4 = 2,419.2. This is how many calories you burn or need in a day to maintain your current weight. So, how many calories to lose weight? It’s simple; consume less calories than you do currently and exercise more.

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