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Sarah's Weight Loss Journal

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Calorie Needs Calculations

Figure your calorie needs.  There are two different ways to calculate below.

This formula comes from the Aerobics and Fitness Association of America (AFAA).

First you find your Basal Metabolic Rate (BMR):
Multiply your weight by .45 to get your weight in kg. Then multiply by 24 kcal/day.

Then multiply your BMR by:

  • 50% for Heavy Activity
  • 40% for Moderate Activity
  • 30% for Light Activity

to get your additional calorie requirements for the day.

Then add your BMR to the number for the appropriate activity level.

Here's my example:
127 lbs x .45 = 57kg
57kg x 24 kcal/day = 1368 calories (this is what I need just to live)
1368 x 50% = 684 (additional calories for heavy activity)
1368 x 40% = 547 (addtl cal. for moderate activity)
1368 x 30% = 410 (addt. cal. for light activity)

1368 + 684 = 2052 cal. for heavy activity days.

Of course, if you want to lose weight, you have to lower your numbers!!   To lose 2 lbs. per week (max. amount to lose safely), subtract 500 calories per day.

Another calculation from the National Academy of Science:
1.  Multiply your age by 7.31 (answer=A)
2.  Subtract A from 387 (answer=B)
3.  Multiply your weight in pounds by 4.95 (answer=C)
4.  Multiply your height in inches by 16.78 (answer=D)
5.  Add C+D (answer=E)
6.  Multiply E by your activity level (answer=F)
Activity Levels:
  • Sedentary: 40 min. FIRM tape 1-2 days/wk. = 1.0
  • Low Active: 40 min. FIRM tape 3-4 days/wk. = 1.14
  • Active: 40 min. FIRM tape 5-6 days/wk. = 1.27

7.  Add B+F to get your Calorie Target.  This is your calorie target to maintain your weight.  If you want to lose weight, you'll need to eat less.  Calculate a new calorie target using the weight you want to be at in step 3.  Then, subtract the new target from your current target and you'll see roughly how many calories you need to cut every day to reach your goal weight.  The more weight you lose, the fewer calories you need.

  • Maximize your protein (110-125 grams) on Sculpt days to fuel and repair your muscles.
  • Eat more carbs such as veggies, fruit, & whole wheats (at least 25g of fiber/day) on Cardio days.  If you need to cheat, do it on these days but keep it to a minimum.
  • Make sure to get both of the above on Cardio+Sculpt days.
  • Drink plenty of water!


Fitness is a JOURNEY,
not a destination!
So take a new grip with your tired hands
& stand firm on your shaky legs.
--Hebrews 12:12