Basal metabolic rate (BMR) calculates the calories you’d burn during a day if you did nothing but lie down all day. You can use a BMR calculator or a BIA (which I highly suggest due to its accuracy) to determine your BMR.
Using the Harris Benedict Equation
Once you know your BMR then you are one step closer to knowing how many calories your body burns in one days’ time. However since most of us don’t lay around in bed all day we have to determine the calories we use at our actual activity level.
- Sedentary (Little to no exercise.) Multiply your BMR X 1.2.
- Light activity (Exercising 1-3 days a week.)Multiply your BMR X 1.375.
- Moderate activity (Moderate exercise 3-5 days a week.) Multiply your BMR X 1.55.
- Very Active (Heavy exercise 6-7 days a week.) Multiply your BMR X 1.725
- Extra active (2 heavy workouts a day 6-7 days a week.) Multiply your BMR X 1.9.
So if your BMR is 1500 calories and you are sedentary you would multiply 1500 X 1.2 for a total of 1800 calories a day. If you ate more than 1800 calories you would gain weight if you ate less you would lose weight.
If you were extra active you would multiply 1500 X 1.9 for a total of 2850 calories. You would be burning an extra 1050 calories in your daily activities. Activity can make a big difference in weight loss and how rapidly you reach your goals.
Remember as you lose weight you’ll need to readjust your BMR because it will decrease as you lose weight.