From my post on metabolism testing I know my resting metabolic rate is 1127 calories. My lifestyle calories burned (based on a light lifestyle) is 451 calories. So the number of calories I can eat each day and maintain my weight at my current lifestyle is 1578 (1127+451). So the next step is to figure out how I can use my metabolic rates to lose weight. To do that we have to know a few more things.
First, one body pound is equal to 3500 calories. So to lose one pound of weight I have to eat 3500 fewer calories or do enough exercise to burn off 3500 calories or some combination of eating and exercise. Since it doesn’t make sense to try to lose weight on a daily basis, we will do calculations based on a weekly rate.
A good rule is to weigh yourself every day when you are trying to maintain your weight, and weigh only once a week when you are trying to lose weight. I weigh every Monday after I pee and before I eat breakfast. Monday weigh-ins keep me from pigging out on the weekend since I know I have to weigh first thing Monday.
Most nutritionist agree a health weight loss goal is 1 pound a week. That means you need to lose calories each day or 3500 calories divided by 7 days = 500 calories. So you can subtract 500 calories from the number of calories needed to maintain your weight. In my case, I need 1578 to maintain. By subtracting 500 I can only eat 1078 calories each day in order to lose 1 pound a week. But I also know my resting metabolic weight is 1127. So if I only eat 1078, I won’t lose weight because my body will think it is in trouble and will store the calories I eat as fat. Therefore, I can only cut my food calories to 1200. By subtracting 1078 from 1200 = 122 means I have to do enough exercise to burn 122 calories. So my daily weight loss equation looks like this:
Calories Out: 1127 (resting metabolic rate) – 451 Lifestyle – 122 exercise = 1700
Calories In: 1200 (food)
Calories Out – Calories In = 1700 – 1200 = -500
So I have lost 500 calories or 1/7th of a pound. By keeping up this formula I will lose 1 pound a week, that is 7 x 500 calories = 3500 calories which = 1 pound.
How Much Exercise Do I Need to Lose Weight?
Figuring how much you have to exercise to lose weight is easy once you know how many calories you need to burn each day to lose the amount of weight you want to lose. In the example above, I need to do enough exercise to burn 122 calories every day in addition to keeping my calorie intake at 1200 calories in order to lose 1 pound a week. So I need to find an exercise that I like to do and will keep doing that will burn 122 calories.
One way to know when you have burned 122 calories is use a piece of exercise equipment that will tell you how many calories you have burned based on how long you use it and how hard you are exercising. For example, many treadmills will show you how many calories you have burned as you walk or run. It takes approximately 100 calories to move 150 pounds 1 mile. So most machines are based on a person weighing 150 pounds. To find your actual calories burned your would have to adjust the machines calorie count according to your weight. Suppose the machine shows you have burned 200 calories. That means, if you weighed 150 pounds you have burned 200 calories. But you actually weigh 175 pounds. To adjust for your actual weight you divide 200 cal/150 pounds then multiple by your weight of 175 pounds and find that you have burned 233 calories. If you weigh less than 150 it’s the same drill, you divide 200/150 x your weight to find how many calories you burned.
The next post will show you how to set a weight loss goal.