Thursday, February 1, 2007

Calorie Confusion

Today is a rest day for me. I don't know why but sometimes I feel guilty for taking rest days. I feel like If I'm not training I'm losing out. However, I do know how important these rest days are to staying injury free. I am really excited to move full steam ahead with my training and diet plans on Monday. With all the physical activity I will be doing my daily calorie intake will need to be higher. How much higher? Keep reading...

Right now my goals are to still drop weight or "cut" as we say. The art of losing weight is about burning more calories then I consume.

There is a very careful balance between losing fat and burning muscle. With all the physical activity I will be doing in my training it's important for me to make sure to consume enough calories to sustain the level of energy my body needs but not too many that I halt my weight loss progress. So how do I figure it out? Well, there are several methods used today to figure out what we call your BMR (Basal Metabolic Rate) which is the number of calories you would burn if you did nothing but sleep all day. The more common method used to calculate your BMR is called the Harris Benedict Formula...

BMR = 66 + (13.7 X weight in kgs) + (5 X height in cms) – (6.8 X age in yrs).

Right now my weight in Kgs is 102.5 and my height in cms is 177.8 and my age is 33. The formula to calculate my BMR would be...

=66 + (13.7*102.5) + (5*177.8) - (6.8*33)
=66 + (1404.4) + (889) - (224.4)
=66 + 2069
BMR = 2135

Good conversion site... Online Conversion

Not done yet. Now I need to figure out the amount of energy I burn through activity and this chart helps me to do that.

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

Because my training plan is extra active I'm going to follow number five which tells me to take my BMR (2135) and multiply that times 1.9.

2135*1.9 = 4056.5 Calories

So, 4057 is the number of calories I need per day to maintain my current weight. Well, I don't want to maintain my current weight as I mentioned above I want to continue to lose weight. So, the question now is how many calories do I take off in order to burn fat and not muscle? The recommended amount of weight loss per week is 1 to 2lbs max. I would actually like to lose 2 pounds a week and to do that I need to understand that 1 pound of fat is equal to 3500 calories. So, for me to lose 2 pounds a week I need to take 3500*2 divided by 7 days.

3500*2 = 7000
7000/7 = 1000

To lose 2 pounds a week I need to subtract 1000 from my maintenance level (4057).

4057-1000 = 3057 calories

So whats all this junk mean? I just figured out that in order for me to continue to lose 2 pounds a week at the level of activity in my training plan I need to consume 3057 calories a day. That's my magic number!! If I consume below that number I risk the chance of burning muscle instead of fat. There is no "magic pill" or "potion" to lose weight it's all about calories in and calories out. If you consume to many calories your weight will go up, it's that simple.

If you've been on a diet for a while and your frustrated that you're not seeing results I challenge you to record your daily calories. You may be consuming more then you think. Use the formula above to figure out what your intake level needs to be and follow that number. Speaking of numbers here are mine from today.

Calories: 2007
Carbs: 266g (53.01%)
Fat: 62g (27.80%)
Protein: 104g (20.73%)
Saturated Fat: 14g
Sugar: 66g
Fiber: 32g
Water: 128 ounces

Now that you have a good idea how many calories you need to consume the next thing we have to figure out is where do we get those calories from? What are Macronutrients? Stay Tuned....

Jason the Running Man - OUT


Laurel said...

Haha, thanks for stopping by! It sounds like you are doing great so far. You've lost sooo much weight, what an accomplishment!
And your daughter is beautiful!!

Faithful Soles said...

Jason, thanks for the compliments, and your blog is also amazing and inspirational. When you go to my home page, go to the "Runner of the Week" and scroll down to access "Previous Runners of the Week". When you get to that page, go all the way to the bottom and read about my first official Runner of the Week, Randy Smith. What the article about him does not tell you is that he is a little over 6' tall and weighs 325 lbs. (when you read about him, knowing these numbers will blow you away with what he has accomplished).

I would appreciate it if you would take a moment to put a link to your blog in our Running Blog Database. Just click on "Link your running blog" under "Free Features" from the home page.

By the way, I see you are from SC. My Dad was born in Leesville and graduated from USC in 1957.

Thanks and continued good luck in your training.

willgotthardt said...


Congrats on the lifestyle change...awesome! I bet that beautiful little face & mind of your daughter makes it all worthwhile, she's very fortunate to have a healthy dad for years to come!

Cheers, Will G.

Scott Dunlap said...

Jason -

Congrats on entering the blogosphere, and thanks for stopping by. I applaud you ability to stick to plan - rest days drive me crazy too.

If you're super-nerdy about the data, you may want to look into have a VO2 max and resting metabolism test done. It's only $100 or so, and it will tell you exactly how many calorites you need on a rest day, and how much you burn per minute at various levels of exercise. I recently had one done, and my assumed 2000 calorie baseline (rest day burn) was actually 720 calories! That's like, two donuts or something. But on the flip side, I've found I can burn 13 cals/minute at low aerobic exercise which was twice what I thought it would be. So everyone is different.

As long as you keep it up, and keep chasing your girls, you will continue to do well.

Cheers, SD

J~Mom said...

Holy Cow that was way too much math for me! Can I just tell you my height and weight and you tell me how many calories I need? LOL

Thanks for stopping by my blog! I look forward to hearing about your training and running!