Total Caloric Expenditure: Part 1-Know your Number

Mark Dziuban - Calories 1

January 1st has come and gone and once again your New Year’s resolution is not off to a great start.  In fact, you have not seen any weight loss results and the hope of becoming a slimmer, healthier you might have to wait once again until next year.

This is a story to which we can all relate.  While our desire to exercise, and lose weight are born of good intent, our knowledge of how to do so may be somewhat lacking.  To succeed, you are going not have to arm yourself with general knowledge and facts so you can become the healthier, leaner you that you have always dreamt of becoming.

To sustain itself, our bodies are constantly working.  Even while we are doing nothing our bodies are busy repairing and rebuilding.  Our hearts are pumping blood, blood is flowing.  We are breathing, twitching, digesting and thinking.  In other words, if you were to lie around all day and do nothing physical, your resting metabolic rate, or RMR, in calories, would provide for all of your necessary body functions.

If you were going to cut calories from your diet, we first need to determine how many calories your body requires to sustain itself.  Once you have solved your RMR value, you can plug that number into the equation for Total Caloric Expenditure.  But before we can determine that value, we need to determine your RMR.  

So, let’s do a little work.  The most common method for calculating your RMR is by using the “Mifflin Formula”.  There are many online websites available to calculate this for you but let’s run through the formula manually to provide a thorough knowledge of how to determine your RMR.

For Men:  RMR = (10 X weight in kilograms) + (6.25 x height in centimeters) – (5 X age) + 5

For Women:  RMR = (10 X weight in kilograms) + (6.25 x height in centimeters) – (5 X age) – 161

For our example let’s use a 34-year-old female, 5’7” tall and weighs 155 pounds.  Now before we begin you can see we will need to convert pounds into kilograms and inches into centimeters.

To convert pounds into kilograms, simply divide your weight by 2.2. Using our example: 155/2.2=70.45.

To convert height into centimeters, we know a person 5’7” tall in 67 inches.  Take 67 divided by 0.3937.  67/.3937 = 170.18.

Ok now we have values for height and weight which we can easily work with in the following formula for women:  (10 x 70.45) + (6.25 X 170.18) – (5 x 34) -161 or 704.5+ 1063.63 = 1768.13 – 170 = 1598.13 – 161 = 1437.13

So for our example, our 34-year old female requires 1,437 calories before she does a single thing other than lie in one place all day.

Now we are beginning to arm ourselves with information, which when used alongside calculating our total calorie expenditure, will provide us with the necessary information to make an educated decision regarding our weight loss plan.

Watch for my next blog when I discuss how to calculate your total caloric expenditure and always remember, “If you want it, you’ve got to go get it.”