I have read a few blogs about exactly how to find out the number of calories I should be eating in a day. There are just so many factors that go into a definitive number, so I will never really know by these calculators what will be the right number for me. The best way is to start with these numbers and see if you are losing or gaining and then tweak it according to your body.
The first guide calculator I found was on another weight loss blog. She is a fan of the Biggest Loser and this is the calculator/formula they go by. Then, they kick it up a notch by working out 5-6 hours a day! Yikes! My additions are in pink.
According to Kristi at Adios, Fatty (private blog):1. Find your BMR (google BMR Calculator) ...I used this one. My BMR is 1,715.
2. Take your weight x 7, and subtract that from your BMR. My weight is 205 pounds. So, 205 x 7 = 1435. BMR of 1715 - 1435 = 280. This is the caloric daily deficit you should aim for. So with my BMR as 1715, I should eat 280 fewer calories a day than my BMR, so I should be eating 1435. That sounded way too low...so I did a little more checking and it turns out, I think you have to use this equation first, factoring in what exercise you do in a day and subtract your deficit from this number. I think. Here's the equation:
I used the Harris Benedict Formula to determine the number of calories I should eat in a day to maintain my weight. This equation varies according to how much exercise you are getting. For me, since I want to incorporate my exercise in separately, I chose to use the "sedentary" formula. This formula is your BMRx1.2. My weight-maintaining caloric intake is 2,058.
Sooooo.... that means I should take 2,058 - 280 = 1778. That sounds a little more doable, since I normally eat like a horse.
I still have to check with her to find out if my math is wrong...
The research that I have done suggests to vary your calorie intake a little bit every day to keep your metabolism moving! Also, vary your exercises too, since the same exercise every day can cause a plateau in your metabolism. Even a constant speed/incline in the same workout will not do much to kick start your metabolism either and will do more to hurt you in the weight loss department!
Use the number of calories you would eat to maintain your weight (mine was 2,058) and multiply by 7. This is the weekly amount of calories to maintain your weight.
Then, do the same for your actual weekly calories and subtract this from your maintenance calorie number. This is how many calories you saved this week! Since you won't lose day-to-day, a weekly total will let you have a little bit more one day and a little less the next. It's much less restricting and really how your body will calculate it anyway! Take your total calories and subtract that from your weekly calorie goal. That is your weekly defecit. And 3500 calories is 1 pound of fat, so if you've shaved off 3500, you should lose 1 pound a week! Exercise calories burned is combined with calorie defecits to see even bigger gains. So, add up your weekly totals there too and see what number you come up with!
My weekly goal totals are:
14,406/week if I want to maintain my weight
12,446/week (with my 280 cals a day defecit) to lose weight
1970 calories saved per week
3500 cals/week (burned and saved) = 1 pound
7000 cals/week (burned and saved) = 2 pounds
I would have to save 219 more calories each day if I wanted to boost the calories saved to 3500/week.
Or, burn 219 calories a day exercising for the whole week.
This is all to lose 1 pound each week!
Experts say it is wise to not lose more than 2 pounds per week - and that is a tough goal to meet anyway! Also, be wary that you not go under 1200 calories a day, since that will work against you. Your metabolism will virtually shut down and store all the fat as the body goes into "emergency mode". Like I said, keep your calorie level around the same, with a few variations to make your metabolism work in top shape for weight loss.
The second calculator I found here is actually closer to the number I got after all that above, so it's making me think I might have done the numbers right...but who knows??!
Ok, enough with the math lesson!