As you may have guessed, I am not going to give you an A+B=C solution.  I believe we are all complex, unique, beautiful little snowflakes. 😉  That being said, we all need to eat.  I would like to introduce you to some tools that have aided me in my pursuit of a healthy body and positively transformed the way I approach eating.

BMI Formula

This is your Body Mass Index.   This can be a helpful tool in approximating a healthy weight for your height.  An important thing to remember here is that this is not a tool that has the capacity on its own to assess what portion of your weight is composed of muscle, and what portion is composed of fat.  I  am 5′ 11″ and currently around 170 lbs.  My BMI using this equation is 23.7.  Normal BMI is considered to be between 18.5 and 24.9.  Knowing that I have still a bit of extra body fat, I have some extra skin from weight loss, and that I am fairly muscular, I would say this is a fairly close assessment where I should expect to fall within that range.

English BMI Formula
BMI = ( Weight in Pounds / ( Height in inches x Height in inches ) ) x 703
Metric BMI Formula
BMI = ( Weight in Kilograms / ( Height in Meters x Height in Meters ) )
English BMI Formula

What does your BMI mean?


BMR Formula

This is your Basal Metabolic Rate.  In layman’s terms, this is estimated number of calories you need to intake each day for basic bodily function at rest.  Using a weight of 170lbs, and a height of 5’11” (71 inches), and an age of 32 years, my BMR comes out to be 1577.8.

English BMR Formula
Women: BMR = 655 + ( 4.35 x weight in pounds ) + ( 4.7 x height in inches ) – ( 4.7 x age in years )
Men: BMR = 66 + ( 6.23 x weight in pounds ) + ( 12.7 x height in inches ) – ( 6.8 x age in year )
Metric BMR Formula
Women: BMR = 655 + ( 9.6 x weight in kilos ) + ( 1.8 x height in cm ) – ( 4.7 x age in years )
Men: BMR = 66 + ( 13.7 x weight in kilos ) + ( 5 x height in cm ) – ( 6.8 x age in years )


Harris Benedict Formula

This tool uses your basal Metabolic Rate and activity level to estimate the number of calories it takes to maintain a particular body weight.

Multiplying my BMR of 1577.8 and a moderately active activity factor of 1.55, I come out with 2445.59 calories.  This is the amount of calories, according to the Harris Benedict Formula, that it takes to maintain my current body weight.  On a day to day basis I generally eat between 1900 and 2200 calories.  I have read many views on how many calories to ‘cut’ from this number in order to lose weight.  I highly recommend consulting your doctor and a nutritionist and coming up with a plan for your caloric and nutritional intake customized to your body’s needs in order to accomplish your goals.

To determine your total daily calorie needs, multiply your BMR by the appropriate activity factor, as follows:

  1. If you are sedentary (little or no exercise) : Calorie-Calculation = BMR x 1.2
  2. If you are lightly active (light exercise/sports 1-3 days/week) : Calorie-Calculation = BMR x 1.375
  3. If you are moderately active (moderate exercise/sports 3-5 days/week) : Calorie-Calculation = BMR x 1.55
  4. If you are very active (hard exercise/sports 6-7 days a week) : Calorie-Calculation = BMR x 1.725
  5. If you are extra active (very hard exercise/sports & physical job or 2x training) : Calorie-Calculation = BMR x 1.9

My opinion is that caloric intake is merely one of many ways that should be used to assess one’s diet, and as always your physician should be consulted in any dietary changes you are thinking of making.  This is really the ‘tip’ of the nutritional iceberg, but I hope that these tools help you to have a better understanding of where you are currently, and aid you in creating and accomplishing goals in your pursuit of a healthy lifestyle.