HOW TO: Calorie Range Calculation

Wednesday, August 10, 2011

I apologize in advance for the length of this blog.

It has come to my attention that myself and others need more information about health matters but that many people just do not have the time to do a ton of fruitless research. I have decided to blog once a week about some of these questions. I will try to keep the topics as clear and easy to understand as possible but some topics are rather complicated.

My first endeavor at this blog will be on the topic of Calorie Range Calculation. I have found 2 ways to calculate these ranges and will explain both as simply as I possibly can without leaving important information out. I CLAIM NO RIGHT TO EITHER OF THESE METHODS OR ARTICLES.

CALORIE CALCULATION 101 by Becky Hand, Registered Dietitian

Before you begin you must first convert your height and weight to metric. Here are the formulas to follow:

Height conversion : Height in inches x 2.54 = height in centimeters. (To find your height in meters move the decimal point to the left 2 places)
Weight Conversion : Weight in pounds / 2.2 = weight in Kilograms

STEP 1: Determine your Body Mass Index (BMI)
BMI Ranges To calculate your BMI weight(kg)/height square = BMI
25 or lower - Healthy
26 – 29 - Overweight
30 or Higher - Obese

STEP 2: Choose your weight loss goal.
It is really only considered safe to lose 1 -2 pounds per week.

STEP 3: Plan for fitness.
It is important to be honest about your fitness level because a person doing more exercise will need to consume more calories. This part of the article gives an example of 670 calories to burn each week based on 180 kilos but it does not explain how the 670 was calculated.

STEP 4: Meeting Basil Metabolic Needs
Sparkpeople uses the Harris Benedict Formula to calculate BMR which is our body’s basic fuel needs. There are 2 separate formulas for men and women.
Women use this one: 655+(9.6 x weight in Kg) + (1.8 x Height in Cm) - (4.7 x Age in years)

Our example is 655+(9.6 x 82 Kg) + (1.8 x 170 cm) - (4.7 x 35)= 1583 calories for basic daily function.

Sparkpeople assumes we generally have sedentary lifestyles. Our normal daily activity falls in the range of “light housekeeping, Desk work, running errands, and light walking on the job”

Formula: BMR Calories (STEP 4) x 1.2
Ex: 1583 x 1.2 = 1900 cal.

STEP 6: Total Daily Calorie needs
If your exercising your body needs more calories (Step 3). We are told to add our calories calculated in step 5 to those of step 3.
EX: 1900 + 96 = 1996

This is how quickly you want to lose the weight. Remember only 1-2 pounds per week.
1 pound of fat = 3500 calories. To lose weight you will need to create a deficit of 3500 calories over a 7 day period.

To calculate for a goal of 1 pound per week: 3500/7 = 500 per day. 500 Calories is your weight loss rate.
Now, subtract 500 cal from your Total daily calories. 1996-500 = 1496 Calorie Target.

STEP 8: The Spark Calorie Range
To find the low and high ends of your calorie range calculate as follows:
TARGET – 250 = low end (1496 -250 = 1246)
TARGET + 100 = High end (1496 +100 =1596)
EX: A safe calorie range would be 1246 - 1596 calories per day.

STEP 9: Sparkpeople rounds up to the nearest 10 to make calculations easier.
1246 becomes 1250 and 1596 becomes 1600.

STEP 10: The Sparkpeople Program will never let a woman go under 1200 calories per day or 1500 per day for men. Below these numbers is the point that the body begins to enter “Starvation mode” and begins to slow or stop weight loss. ANYTHING below these numbers and your body will not receive the nutrition it needs for health and survival. DONE!

The second way that I have found is MUCH simpler, that is the Biggest loser Calorie Budget Method.
Found in THE BIGGEST LOSER FOOD JOURNAL - Copyright 2010.

Simply take your current weight x 7 = daily calorie need for weight loss
EX: 260 lbs x 7 = 1820 cal daily. Now biggest loser does not give a range. To range this subtract for low range and add for high range, just like with Sparkpeople. You can set your range as you prefer.

Thank you for Reading, I hope this helps you in some way!
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Member Comments About This Blog Post
    I think there must be some error in the biggest loser calculation because if I followed that then 135x7= 945 calories...which is, well, obviously way too low lol
    3338 days ago
    both ways are pretty close spark for being 290.6 is tell me between 1910 and 2260 and the biggest loser way is telling me 2034 so it seem like the biggest loser one it just in the middle of the 2 i know if you go and change your weight on your spark page it resets your calories. how often do you need to change that though is the question i have?
    3338 days ago
    Trixie, how far apart are the two methods in calculating a range? Obviously, if they're close, the second method is much easier to use. emoticon
    3364 days ago
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    Disclaimer: Weight loss results will vary from person to person. No individual result should be seen as a typical result of following the SparkPeople program.

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