Yesterday you figured out your Body Mass Index. Congratulations, we now have a starting point for you. The next thing we need to determine is your Basal Metabolic Rate (BMR). In a nutshell, this rate will tell you how many calories your body uses to stay alive…or in other words, how many calories you’ll burn when you spend the entire day on the couch playing Halo (not that any of us have ever done that before, ever). Sure, it’s not exactly real-world applicable because you get up and move all day, but for those of you who work desk jobs and don’t get any exercise, it’s a pretty good estimation. To answer your next question, no…playing minesweeper on your laptop doesn’t really count towards burning calories.
Unfortunately I couldn’t find an embeddable BMR calculator (and I looked for a solid 5 minutes), so you’ll have to go to Discovery.com’s BMR page and input your data in here.
Once you find out what your BMR is (mine is 1923.3), go ahead and mess around with the different numbers. Increase your weight, and your BMR goes up. Makes sense, there’s more of you to go around, so your body has to work harder to keep it maintained. As you get older, your BMR decreases; the older you get the slower things happen. When it comes to gender, girls use up less calories per day than guys. That’s just how it is.
You might ask how your Basal Metabolic Rate is determined. Honestly, I’d explain the whole formula and equation but it’s boring as hell and a waste of time to type it out when this site explains it better. Just know that it works, and it’s accurate.
Now that we have your BMR, make sure you write it down and remember it. We’ll use this number when determining how many calories you’re burning on a daily basis after factoring physical activity. Soon, we can look into how many calories you eat and what activities you do; every one of these things will determine your mass. When you break it down, calories consumed vs. calories used will determine if you gain weight, lose weight, or maintain.
Check back tomorrow to learn how to take your BMR, your level of activity per week, and calculate how many calories you need every day.