Saturday, July 28, 2012

Calorie Calculator, Determining Your Calorie Needs

It can be a confusing subject.  How many calories exactly should I be consuming? You don't want to eat too little and risk slowing your metabolism and you certainly don't want to eat too much and gain weight.

I was playing around with the formula that they provided with the Insanity program for calorie needs and I found it to very helpful, so I thought I would share with you.

This is the Harris Benedict Equation, which is what is employed by the Insanity Nutrition Guide.

For women, this equation is: 655 + (4.35 x weight) + (4.7 x height) - (4.7 x age)
For men, this equation is:  66 + (6.23 x weight) + (12.7 x height) - (6.8 x age)

This equation calculates out what you need just to function, then you have to use an additional factor in order to determine how many calories you have to eat based on your lifestyle.

1.2 Sedentary Little to no exercise
1.375 Lightly Active Light exercise (1 to 3 days/week)
1.55 Moderately Active Moderate exercise (3 to 5 days/week)
1.7 Very Active Hard Exercise (6 to 7 days/week)
1.9 Extremely Active Hard daily exercise and/or physical job

You take your number form the Harris Benedict Equation, and then multiply it by your factor for lifestyle to get your total calorie needs. Then, if you want to lose weight, you can subtract your 500 calories a day to lose 1-2 pounds a week.

If all the math is making your head spin, I think I can help.

Because I love this stuff and I am an Excel nerd, I put the formulas in an easy spreadsheet.  All you have to do is enter your weight, height, age & activity level and the spreadsheet will tell you, based on the formula, the approximate # of calories you should be consuming to either maintain your weight or lose weight.  Please note that there are two tabs, one for women and one for men. Try it out below and let me know if you find it helpful! You can scroll up and down in the below ExcelWebApp or click on the Excel icon on the bottom right to download the spreadsheet to your computer.

Disclaimer: I am not a Doctor, I am a Blogger (big difference).  These are just the calorie guidelines that came with my Insanity Program that I am sharing with you.  Please consult a professional before making any major lifestyle or nutritional changes.

Keep Running,


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  1. Hi fellow Sweat Pink sister!! Thanks for posting this and great thinking inserting the excel worksheet. I have a problem with my caloric intake (I tend to not eat enough) so it was fun playing around your spreadsheet to see how far I've been missing my intake by.


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