With all the weight loss products and medical advances of our time it seems that losing weight is still as difficult as it was decades ago. In fact if we turn to recent statistics from the Center for Disease Control one-third of adults in the U.S. are considered obese. This means that the war on weight loss has in fact become more challenging as in the last two decades studies have shown that cases of obesity has steadily risen during this time.
Beginning a weight loss journey is usually the most confusing step as one does not know what to do first. Experts advise that a trip to the doctor is always the best first step. After talking with a doctor and figuring out how much weight you need to lose the next question we usually ask is how much food can I eat in order to lose weight.
For that you first need to find out how much calories you use up in a day, for women use this equation to start:
- BMR = 655 + (4.35 x weight in pounds) + (4.7 x height in inches) – (4.7 x age in years)
The total number is the amount of calories your body requires in order to survive or your BMR basal metabolic rate. Since one moves around you burn even more calories than just your BMR. To find out how much calories you do burn multiply your BMR with your activity factor. Your activity factor depends on your lifestyle, sedentary people have a 1.4 activity factor. Those who engage in light activity like office work rates 1.5 and moderate activity a 1.6 if you are into light physical or manual labor. Full time athletes get an activity factor of 1.9. For a middle aged women who works in an office:
- BMR = 655 + (4.35 x 150) + (4.7 x 65) – (4.7 x 35)
- Energy burned in a day = BMR x 1.5
- Energy burned in a day = 1448.5 x 1.5 = 2172.75
The result is the number of calories you need to take in daily to maintain your weight. Since our goal is to reduce weight then you can either eat less calories or burn off more calories. Now the next step you need to take is to determine how you want to lose your weight. You can lessen your food intake, exercise more or combine these two methods for faster weight loss. It is important to note that one pound of weight is equivalent to 3500 calories so if you can reduce your calorie intake by 350 a day then you may lose 1 pound every ten days. If you want to lose weight faster you can start an exercise program exercise and burn off more calories daily hence faster weight loss.