Maintaining a healthy weight is simple when you balance your energy levels effectively to meet your lifestyle. I am skeptical when people ask my opinion on certain diets, purely because I believe in the basics of energy balance using calorie counting when it comes to managing or achieving a desired weight.
If you are regularly active whether it be taking part in sports or regularly exercising, you will be using energy through the food you have consumed. If you wish to lose weight or body fat, you may not necessarily need to replace all the energy you have used during activity. However if you want to gain weight or maintain the weight you are, it is important to replace the energy.
Here is a formula I give to my clients to help them reach their desired weight goals:
Firstly, you need to work out your Basal Metabolic Rate (BMR). This is the amount of calories your body needs based on height, weight and age to provide energy to your body so your organs can function, allow tissues to repair, eat and sleep.
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)
To work out how many calories you need on top of your BMR, you need to work out your Total Daily Energy Expenditure (TDEE). This is how many calories your body needs on top of BMR to allow you to partake in your activity.
Sedentary = BMR X 1.2 (little or no exercise, sedentary job)
Lightly active = BMR X 1.375 (light exercise/sports 1-3 days per week)
Moderately active = BMR X 1.55 (moderate exercise/sports 3-5 days per week)
Very active = BMR X 1.725 (hard exercise/sports 6-7 days per week)
Extremely active= BMR X 1.9 (hard daily exercise/sports, physical job or 2x day training)
A 28 year old female who is 63kg and 170cm would have a BMR of 1434 calories per day to allow normal everyday functioning. She visits the gym twice a week, therefore is ‘lightly active’. Her TDEE is 1972. Therefore to maintain her weight, she needs to try to eat approximately 1972 calories a day. If she wants to lose some weight, she will need to reduce her daily calorie intake, if she wants to put some weight on she will need to eat more than 1972 calories. Simple hey?!
Why not work out your Basal Metabolic Rate and your Total Daily Energy Expenditure and give basic calorie counting a go?
Remember to make sure you are eating a healthy balanced diet – you will not see the benefits if you use your calorie allowance on your favorite unhealthy foods. By all means, allow yourself for treats once or twice a week, or reward yourself with a treat if you workout as many times as you said you would this week?
- Never skip breakfast – this is the most important meal of the day and gets your metabolism boosted for the day
- Try to eat 3 meals a day with light healthy snacks in between. This will keep your hunger cravings down, blood sugar levels up and your metabolism working
- Control your portion sizes – only eat as much as you need!
- Try swapping some foods for wholemeal foods such as bread, pasta and rice
- Drink plenty of water every day – this will keep you hydrated and feeling alert throughout the day as well as helping to maintain and protect joints and muscles.
Watch this space for more information on eating healthily and maintaining a healthy weight…