Phase One

Determine Your Daily Calories

FIRST, Calculate your BMR (Basal Metabolic Rate)  (using Harris-Benedict Equation)

For Women:  655 + (4.35 x weight in pounds) + (4.7 x height in inches) – (4.7 x age in years)

655 + (4.35 x 160) + (4.7 x 66) – (4.7 x 32)
655 + (696) + (310.2) – (150.4) = 1,510.8 calories per day  ← this is your BMR

What does your BMR mean?

The person used in this example is a 32 year old female who is 5’6” and 160 pounds. For her, this means that even if she doesn’t exercise and just sat in a chair all day, her body would burn around 1,511 calories by simply breathing, digesting food, and carrying out normal body functions all day. Eating less than her BMR would eventually cause her body to send signals communicating with the rest of the body that it is starving and needs to start storing fat in case it is not given necessary fuel for energy in the days moving forward. She would not want to eat any less than her 1,511 calories per day, it is her minimum.  

NEXT, multiply your BMR by an activity factor.

Little to no exercise 1.25
Light exercise 1.35
Moderate exercise 1.55
Heavy exercise 1.75

1,510.8 calories x 1.55 = 2,342 calories per day needed to maintain weight

If the example wants to maintain her weight, we are assuming she is moderately active 3-4 days per week, she will need to eat slightly over 2,300 calories per day. If she wants to lose weight then she would just need to eat less than that.

After getting a good grasp on calories, we will look at the macronutrients Protein, Carbohydrates, and Fat – and how they add up in your daily calories in Phase 2.

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