*I started typing this out and realized it was going to be a long post so I’m doing it in 2 segments. This first part is basically about figuring out how many calories you actually need a day therefore how many you’d have to cut in order to lose weight (or gain..or maintain).
A big part of trying to lose weight is understand what you need to change in order to do so. I’m sure we all know calories in versus calories out. If you’re deficient in enough calories, you will lose weight. If you eat too many, that’s when you gain. In order to really be successful at weight loss you have to know how many calories you’re consuming and how many you need to cut each day.
Calories come from macronutrients: protein, carbohydrates, and fat (also alcohols but we’re not really going to get into that). So, when people refer to “their macros” they’re referring to the amount of proteins, carbs, and fats (in grams) that they’re trying to consume each day.
Here’s a calorie breakdown of each macro:
Protein= 4 calories per gram
Carbohydrates=4 calories per gram
Fats= 9 calories per gram
So, ya just gotta remember 4-4-9!
(Source. Great info in this article).
First, let’s figure out how many calories you need to survive each day (I’ll be the example) or your basal metabolic rate (BMR). You need to know your height (in inches), weight, sex, and age. Once you have those numbers, you can just plug them into this handy dandy BMR calculator and it will tell you.
Here’s my information:
Height: 5 foot 5 inches
Sex: pretty sure I’m female
Age: 29…will this change when I’m 30?
My BMR is 1,324.45. That’s how many calories I need each day to survive even if I was just laying in bed..which sometimes happens so this is good to know.
Obviously, we don’t sit in bed all day…at least not most days….so we’re constantly burning calories. So, now we will figure out how many calories we need a day to maintain our current weight. First, try to decide what your activity level is. I found this great (And very helpful) video on YouTube that breaks down different activity levels:
-Sedentary = BMR x 1.2
– Lightly active = BMR x 1.375
– Moderate = BMR x 1.55
– Active = BMR x 1.725
– Very active = BMR x 1.9
The lovely gentlemen in the video broke down each activity level to make it easier to decide. I chose “active” and I workout usually about 5-6 days a week so that might help you pick yours.
So, I took my BMR, 1324.45 and multiplied it by 1.725 which equals 2,284.67. That’s the amount of calories I need to maintain my current weight. If I wanted to lose a pound a week, I’d subtract 500 calories per day from that number (add 500 if you want to gain. 500×7 is 3500 which is the amount of calories you need to lose or gain a pound).
So, lets say I want to lose weight my calorie goal each day would be 1784.67 (you could also shoot for losing half a pound per week instead of a pound).
That would be my starting point. The next post will go more into each macro and how many grams, therefore calories, of each I would need a day to hit this caloric goal. This is something you could drive yourself totally insane with but it’s good to have an idea of the numbers if you actually want to change your weight.
Finally, here’s something off topic to make you laugh :).