basal metabolic rate, or BMR, is the minimum calorific requirement needed to sustain life in
a resting individual – basically, the number of calories per day that your body burns. By
calculating your BMR, the number of calories your burn during exercise and the number of
calories you consume through food, you can work out if you are risk of gaining
is the rate at which the body burns up calories. A body that consumes 200 calories a day, and
burns 2000 calories a day will stay at the same weight. A body consuming 2500 calories daily
but burning only 2000 will gain weight at the rate of about 1lb a week.
Once you have your BMR you will need to work out how many calories you burn during
physical activity. The best way to do this is to keep a diary throughout the week recording the amount of physical activity you undertake. This
could include walking from your car to your place of work, going for a walk at lunchtime etc.
Use the calorie calculator below to record the number of calories your burn. After a week,
add your totals for each day and average them out to get a general idea of how many calories
you eat each day
The second thing you then need to think about is the number of calories you eat.
This is no easy task, but try and be as accurate as possible, measuring when you need to or
looking up nutritional information for restaurants, if you eat out. After a week, add your
totals for each day and average them out to get a general idea of how many calories you eat
Take your BMR number and add your activity calories. Then subtract your food
calories from that total. If you're eating more than your BMR + your activity calories,
you're at risk for gaining weight.
Susan's BMR is
1500 calories and she burns 800 calories with regular exercise, walking around and doing
household chores. To maintain her weight, she should be eating 2300 calories (1500 + 800=
2300). However, after keeping a food journal, Susan finds that she's eating 2600 calories
every day. By eating 300 more calories than her body needs, Susan will gain approximately a
pound every 2-3 weeks