Interesting Calorie Facts

So here is the low down on calories. There is this thing called the law of Thermo Dynamics. Basically it states that the only way to lose weight is to expend more calories than what you take in. That’s it. The secret to weight loss. It plays out like this:

Hypothetically, if a person who was maintaining their weight, was to cut 500 calories a day from their diet and not change their activity level, they would lose about 1 pound a week. Without exercise. Now with exercise, they could burn more calories and thus have better results. Counting calories isn’t fun for anyone, unless you’re weird. It is however good to have an idea of where you should be at. Here is a little formula:

To find you baseline metabolic rate, or your BMR, think back to High School Algebra and try this:
Male 66 + (6.3 (lbs.)) + (12.9)(Height in) – (6.8 (Age yrs)) = BMR

Female 655 + (4.3 (lbs.)) + (4.7 (Height in)) – (4.7 (Age yrs)) = BMR

Your BMR is approx how many calories you will burn if you stay on the couch and watch TV all day. Your BMR is how much fuel you need to survive. Your next step is to figure your Active Metabolic Rate. You AMR is how many calories you should aim for to maintain your current composition. For whatever activity level you are in, just plug in your BMR.
i.e. AMR = (BMR)(1.55)

Sedentary; BMR (1.2)
Lightly Active; BMR (1.375)
Moderately Active; BMR (1.55)
Very Active; BMR (1.725)
Extra Active; BMR (1.9)


  1. Jonathan Bachison

    How do you know what level of activity you are at? For example, what is the difference between lightly active and moderately active? Can you give a little example of what kind of behavior or lifestyle defines an activity level. It would help to know what one should be doing to fit into a category.

    • Sure Jonathan! I’m guessing you’re figuring you active metabolic rate. Light end would be walking at a moderate pace a few times a week. Middle range would be doing a total body workout, not super intense, 3-5 times a week. Next level up would be doing higher intensity, or a fast past lifting program that includes lower body and cardio 4-6 times a week. Reserve the highly active level for things like triathlon and marathon training. Once you find out where you “think” you are, you can adjust your diet slightly to be 500 less calories than what it suggests. If it’s correct, you should lose about one pound per week without any additional exercise. From there you can adjust as needed. This is the framework for how I set weight goals with clients.

      If I missed your question, try me again with a few more details. Happy to help.

      Hope you’re well,

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