Do you ever wonder how many calories you really need to eat? I'm sure you have at least contemplated the thought once or twice, possibly while devouring a double cheeseburger, but hey, a thoughts a thought! Today there is so much confusion and although there are average recommendations based on your age and height, they can be rather off. The most scientifically approved way of determining this (equationally) is by the Mifflin St. Jeor Equation. Although it sounds like a King in a far away land, it's just a simple equation that determines the amount of calories you need to eat a day based specifically on your body. Now this is a BMR calculator and if you haven't heard that term before, it stands for BASAL METABOLIC RATE. Now I'm sure you could decipher what that means just by breaking down the words, but I'll save your precious brains from rigor and explain. Your BMR is the amount of calories that your body needs just to maintain itself, just to blink, make new cells, hair growth, support brain activity, etc. (Isn't it awesome that all that burns calories?!) Actually 60% of the calories you use each day are just from your vital functions!
pretty cool huh?
Now if you were to go in for a BMR screening, things might be a little different. More information would be taken such as carbon dioxide and oxygen analysis, but this is the closest you can get for an at home self-counseling session. So put on your white coats and get out your calculators!
Mifflin St. Jeor Equation
For men: BMR = 10 x weight (kg) + 6.25 x height (cm) – 5 x age (years) + 5
For women: BMR = 10 x weight (kg) + 6.25 x height (cm) – 5 x age (years) – 161
Now don't try to be a hero here, you WILL need a calculator, it gets kind of sticky (I am just math-ly challenged)
1. Convert your weight to kilogroms which is just weight divided by 2.2
2. Convert your height to cm. Most people usually know how many inches they are. For example, 5ft is 60 inches. 12 inches in a foot. I shouldn't have to say much more...
3. I would suggest doing each part of multiplication separately and then adding or subtracting, it helps keep things from being multiplied wrong. (once again, just a way I deal with my math-challenged life)
Here is mine to give you an example:
Women's equation with my numbers plugged in:
10 x (63.63) + 6.25 x (67) - 5 x (22) - 161
So next, I get:
636.3 + 418.75 - 110 - 161
Final Answer is.... 784.05 calories per day (for me)
Now I know that seems really low and is rather depressing, but you have to remember that this is just your basal rate. If you were to lay in bed all day and move only to readjust your pillow (maybe not even that) that is how many calories you need. So walking, moving, exercising, is not taken into consideration here. It's just a fun thing to know.
Over Achiever Alert!!
If you want to go further and calculate how much you burn with activity thrown in to the mix to really give you better overall calculations: Multiply the last number you got (BMR) by which category you fall under. Now be honest here, you're sedentary secrets are safe with Old St. Miff.
1. Sedentary: Multiply by 1.2
2. Mild activity: Multiply by 1.3
3. Moderate activity: Multiply by 1.5
4. Heavy or labor intensive activity: Multiply by 1.7
5. Extreme activity: Multiply by 1.9
Congratulations, you just passed a college level BMR calculation course! Jk, but really this is the part everyone stresses over in upper level nutrition classes. The number you got is most likely lower than what you have recently been told or heard, but it is scientifically the most accurate equation used by professionals. I hope you can take something away from this (other than depression), it never hurts to have a little knowledge about what your body requires!