You don’t need to count calories to lose weight, some people succeed by just eating less, but sooner or later almost everyone get the same question:
Why can’t I lose weight even though I’m eating healthy?
When you’ve come so far the only solution is to find the root of your problem. In other words, you need to figure out exactly how much energy you actually consume and how many calories you actually burn each day. You can find a more detailed walkthrough of the calorie theory in my previous article.
Below is a form you can use to estimate your daily calorie requirement:
The equation in the form is the Harris-Benedict principle which has been used since 1919 to estimate daily calorie requirements.
First you begin by calculating your basal metabolic rate (BMR):
Males: 66.5 + (13.75 x kg) + (5.003 x cm) – (6.775 x age)
Females: 655.1 + (9.563 x kg) + (1.850 x cm) – (4.676 x age)
Once you have your BMR you multiply it with your activity level, the right hand number in the table below, depending on how active your everyday life is.
- I only move if I’m being hunted – 1.0
- Little to no exercise – 1.2
- Light exercise (1-3 days per week) – 1.375
- Moderate exercise (3-5 days per week) – 1.55
- Heavy exercise (6-7 days per week) – 1.725
- Very heavy exercise (twice per day) – 1.9
I can’t stress enough how important it is to be honest with yourself and even underestimate your exercise to make sure you don’t get a high number resulting in you reaching a plateau or even gaining weight.
Example on using the equation
So, how many calories does a 24 year old male need every day if he’s 180 cm tall and weighs 80 kg? We use the equation from above and add our numbers:
- Calories = 66.5 + (13.75 x kg) + (5.003 x cm) – (6.775 x age)
- Calories = 66.5 + (13.75 x 80) + (5.003 x 180) – (6.775 x 24)
- Calories = 1904 kcal
Then we need to multiply 1904 kcal with the activity level which in this case is light exercise (1-3 days per week). It gives us 1904 * 1.375 which results in a daily calorie requirement of 2619 kcal. Then it’s up to the individual to decide on how many calories he should reduce it with to lose weight.
Most people recommend a reduction of 500 kcal per day but it depends on how many calories you need each day and how quick you wan’t to lose weight.
Important to know when calculating calorie consumption
Remember that this is only a theory, even though its a really good one, to estimate your calorie requirements. The equation gives you a rough estimation on how many calories you can consume to succeed with your weight loss but when you finally begin counting calories you might need to revise it.