Calorie Counting and Basal Metabolic Rate (BMR)

by Anne Pyle

Losing Weight: There’s A Formula For This!

Some of us like to follow a recipe “to the T” when we cook, and some of us like a bit of leeway to do our own thing.

If you’re into structure and like to have the rules spelled out, then this weight loss plan, from the University of Alabama may be for you.

Image result for images with the help of harris benedict

Based on the Harris Benedict Formula, it is a packaged guide, designed to promote weight loss through calorie counting, eating right and specially selected exercise program options.


Here’s a brief look at how it works. You can get the full plan on the University of Alabama Alabama website.

First, Calculate Your BMR or Basal Metabolic Rate

(number of calories you’d burn by just doing nothing).

Next, Factor in Your Activity


Sedentary = BMR x 1.2 (little or no exercise, desk job)

Lightly active = BMR x 1.375 (light exercise/sports 1‐3 days/wk)

Moderately active = BMR x 1.55 (moderate exercise/sports 3‐5 days/wk)

Very active = BMR x 1.725 (hard exercise/sports 6‐7 days/wk)

Extremely active = BMR x 1.9 (hard daily exercise/sports & physical job)

This final number (BMR x Activity Level) gives you your calories needed for maintenance. If you want to lose weight, subtract 500 to 1000 calories a day. NOTE: it is important that you do not drop below 1000 calories a day or else your body will move to fat conservation and eventually start eating away at muscle to make up for the deficit. Another note to keep in mind is that you want to adjust your activity level for the exercise that you will be adding.

Then, Choose Clean Eating

Eat the right kind of foods throughout the day to keep your metabolism up and curb your hunger for those ‘big’ meals.

And, eat in moderation.

Track your intake


 The best thing for you to do is track what you eat, count calories.

Try This site will let you track what you eat, how much exercise you do, as well as set a weight goal. Seeing your progress really gives you a good boost to see those results. Sparkpeople is another option.

For your exercise

Try the  Belly Off program, developed by Craig Ballantyne of Turbulence Training, available through Men’s Health for your strength training and High Intensity Interval Training for your cardio.

In Summary

1) Find your Caloric Requirement and cut back for weight loss

2) Put together a meal plan

3) Eat the right amount – not too little, not too much

4) Eat healthy snacks throughout the day to curb hunger

5) Track your caloric intake.

6) Exercise using a balanced blend of weights and cardio.



BMR Calculator, The Calculator Site

Clean Eating and Exercise Plan, University of Alabama website

My Trainer Fitness Workout System, workout cards for gym, work and home.