How to Figure Caloric Needs

If you have a desire to reduce weight, try changing some of your eating habits, drink more water and get your body moving. Exercise helps promote better muscle tone and flexibility, alertness, and enhances the body's immune defenses. For persons 10% or more above healthy body weight, it is best to lose weight slowly, ½ to 2 pounds per week.

A. To determine your resting metabolic rate (RMR), the number of calories your body burns at rest:

Women Men
1. Begin with a base of 655 calories. 1. Begin with a base of 66 calories.
2. Multiply your weight (in pounds) x 4.3. 2. Multiply your weight (in pounds) x 6.3.
3. Multiply your height (in inches) x 4.7. 3. Multiply your height (in inches) x 12.7.
4. Add together the totals of 1, 2, and 3. 4. Add together the totals of 1, 2, and 3.
5. Multiply your age by 4.7. 5. Multiply your age by 6.8.
6. Subtract result of 5 from total of 4. 6. Subtract result of 5 from total of 4.
= RMR = RMR

B. To determine your basal metabolic rate (BMR), the total number of calories you burn during the day:

1. RMR x 30% (less active days)
or = additional calories burned by activity
2. RMR x 40% (more active days)

Add RMR from step A with calories burned from step B. This equals your BMR.

Example: Julia, a 20 year old young woman who weighs 135 and is 65 inches

1. Base of 655
2. Weight of 135 pounds x 4.3 = 580.5
3. Height of 65 inches x 4.7 = 305.5
4. 1+2+3 = 1541
5. Age of 20 x 4.7 = 94
6. 1541-94 = RMR = 1447

RMR 1447 X 30% = 434.1 (approximate calories burned on inactive day)
BMR = 1447 + 434.1 = 1881.1 calories burned on average day

To lose 1 pound a week, subtract 500 calories a day. To gain 1 pound a week, add 750. In general, daily calorie consumption should not go below the following amounts; otherwise it is difficult to get the necessary nutrients needed each day!

1600 calories/day for men
1200 calories/day for women
1400 calories/day for teenage girls
1600 calories/day for teenage boys

Taken from: Environmental Nutrition's Ready Reference Guide to Weight Control.