Wednesday, September 7, 2011

Wellness Wednesday

Weight Scale
Well, I've been enjoying the summer and am not looking forward to the winter chill which seems to me to be just around the corner.  Unfortunately, I've been enjoying this summer so much that I haven't been paying attention to what I've been eating and have put on a few unwanted pounds.  Although I'm jumping the gun a bit, my fall challenge is to get back on a more healthful diet and fitness program to get rid of these extra pounds.

One question that came to mind today was how many calories does a person need to consume? I found a handy formula for sedentary people (which most of us are) to calculate one's basal metabolic rate (BMR):

Calculate your BMR with the following formula for men:  66 + (6.23 x weight in pounds) + (12.7 x height in inches) - (6.8 x age in years).  Women should use this formula:  655 + (4.35 x weight in pounds) = (4.7 x height in inches) - (4.7 x age in years).  Multiply your BMR by 1.2 to determine your daily caloric needs in a sedentary lifestyle.

Keep in mind that this formula tells us how many calories we need to maintain our current weight.  To lose one pound, a person has to decrease calorie consumption or increase activity by 3,500 calories.  Medical professionals recommend no more than a two pound weight loss per week.  So, in order to lose those one or two pounds, I need to decrease my intake or increase my physical activity (or a combination of the two) to consume the appropriate number of calories.  Anyone attempting to cut calories must be careful, however, to not over do it as women should never let calorie consumption drop below 1,200 calories per day and men shouldn't go below 1,800.*  

Now I have my work cut out for me - math and otherwise - but I think this is a very worthwhile fall challenge.

*I have no medical training or qualifications and am not offering medical opinions or advice on this blog.  I'm just passing along information I have found to be useful.
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