The most common method of calculating caloric needs is using a simple formula called Harris-Benedict principle. This formula allows you to get your BMR or what we commonly call the Basal Metabolic Rate. The formula uses your basal metabolic rate and compares it with your daily activity level in order to estimate the required caloric need of each individual.
Definition: Basal Metabolic Rate
Basal Metabolic rate is the amount of energy your body needs in order to function well. There are many factors that can influence your basal metabolic rate and these include height, weight, age and sex and the level of activity.
Our body continuously burn calories. From the pumping of the heart, digestion blood circulation and even sleeping, your body needs energy to accomplish all these basic functions. Moreover, the demand for energy increase when you are performing active and strenuous activities.
To prevent weight gain, one should avoid consuming more than what the body needs. When it comes to weight loss, you can reduce your daily caloric intake in order to shed off your current weight. Normally, the recommended weight to lose per week is 1 to 2 pounds. This is equivalent to a deficit of 500 calories per day. Cutting 500 to 1000 calories a day in your diet is recommended and is safe for your health.
Learning to calculate your calorie intake is important in order to stay on track with your weight loss program. Harris-Benedict principle will help you compute your daily caloric needs. Below is a list of standard values of basal metabolic rate and activity levels in order to compute and get the right amount of calories per day.
How To Compute
The following are used as a standard value for BMR:
655 + (4.35 x weight in pounds) + (4.7 x height in inches) – (4.7 x age) = BMR
66 + (6.23 x weight in pounds) + (12.7 x height in inches) – (6.8 x age) = BMR
Next, use the Harris-Benedict equation to determine your daily activity level. Make sure to multiply your basal metabolic rate with the following numbers:
- For sedentary lifestyle (little or no exercise) – BMR x 1.2
- Lightly active (light exercise) – BMR x 1.375
- Moderately active (moderate exercise) – BMR x 1.725
- Extra active (very hard exercise) – BMR x 1.9
You will find out your daily caloric intake by using this formula. Remember, in order to lose weight, you’ll need to cut down around 500 – 1000 calories from your daily energy consumption.