Calorie calculator, how to count calories – what could be more fun than that? Okay, maybe drinking “thermogenic” beer is a little more exciting, but many people still want to know what all of this calorie counting is all about.
The amount of calories you “burn” to maintain your current weight is known as Resting Metabolic Rate (RMR). Whether your goal is to lose weight, or add some muscle, you need to know your daily RMR.
You can calculate this number by multiplying your current body weight by 10, 11, or 12. If your metabolism is slow, use number 10. Number 11 represent a medium metabolism. Those gifted with a fast metabolism should use number 12.
According to this formula, if you think you have a medium metabolism, and your current body weight is 180 pounds, your daily RMR is 1,980 calories.
In other words, you need to consume 1,980 calories a day just to preserve your current body composition. If you need to lose weight, deduct 500 calories from your RMR (1,980 in this example), and you end up with 1,480 calories.
Therefore, if your RMR is 1,980 calories a day, you could start losing weight if you consume 1,480 calories a day. If you are working on gaining weight, add 500 calories to your RMR. In this example, you would need to eat 2,480 calories a day to gain weight.
However, I prefer a little less aggressive approach. Instead of adding or subtracting 500 calories from the start, I recommend that you start with 150 calories. This way, your body has enough time to adjust to either more, or fewer calories.
This adjustment process is important, because your body tries to maintain a balance. In my experience, sudden shifts in calorie intake often lead to undesirable effects, which could compromise your efforts.
So, in the beginning vary your RMR by 150 calories, check your progress every 9 days, and depending on your goals, adjust your RMR up, or down.
All of this may sound pretty good, but there is a “dark” side to this formula. It is a good tool to give you some idea of what your RMR might be, but similar to BMI, it has some build in limitations.
For example, your metabolic rate (10, 11 or 12) is a variable that you have to guess. In addition, this formula does not work very well if you only need to lose, or gain, a few pounds.
The obvious question is…What other tools are available to calculate my Resting Metabolic Rate? The good news is that other tools to calculate your RMR are indeed available, and, they are very precise.
So what is the bad news? Well, you may need a sturdy computer mouse to keep checking the home page frequently, because I plan on posting about these tools in a near future.