10 Steps to Losing Weight and Keeping it Off! Step 4

Updated: Oct 25

Time to Make a Plan!



Step 4: Figure out how many calories you need to burn per day / how many calories you need to eat. Now that you have figured out how much weight you want to lose, you need to figure out how many calories you need to burn and consume per day to achieve your weight loss goal. This part can be a little tricky but stick with me here. Follow these steps to determine your calorie goal:


1. What is your BMR (Basal Metabolic Rate)? This number represents how many calories your body burns in a 24 hour period with no activity whatsoever. Basically this is your cells maintaining your health as well as any other daily process. This is the largest part of your metabolism and is very important to know. So how do you determine your BMR? The best and most accurate measurement is done by machine. There are different machines to help with this and I have access to one in my office called the InBody 570. This machine calculates your BMR based on your Lean Body Weight (LBW). Your LBW is how much your organs, bones, blood and muscles weigh. Total Body Weight is TBW and includes fat mass. Obviously you want to keep LBW and get rid of fat. You can schedule and appointment to have your BMR Calculated at Max Muscle Layton. Email me at jamespgustason@gmail.com


If you don’t have access to this machine or any other, don’t worry there are several websites which will help you calculate yours. It uses TBM so it can be off but generally it is still close enough to get you results. Simply Google BMR calculator to find a website offering to calculate yours.


2. Activity Index. The activity index takes into account how physically active you are. For example if you sit in an office everyday you will have a lower Activity Index than if you worked in a warehouse throwing boxes around all day. Activity index on most websites also include working out. In my office I use a different approach and separate the two. Should you choose to schedule an appointment for your BMR scan at Max Muscle Layton, I can help you determine the Activity index and Workout Calories as well. If you are simply going to use a generalized Activity Calculator, it will do a great job of helping you know how many calories you are burning.


3. Now that you know both your BMR and your Activity Index, you can figure out how many Total Calories Burned (TCB) for the day. Add your BMR and your Activity Index together. The sum of the two numbers is what you can estimate accurately you burn per day.


4. Now that you know how many calories you are burning; you will calculate how any calories you need to eat. It’s all coming together. 1 LB of fat is 3500 stored calories. In order to burn 2 LBS of fat in a week, you need to consume 7000 calories less in 1 week than you burn. Break it down even more to eating 1000 calories less than you burn in 1 day. Now we have a plan! Here is an example!


  • Mary is 32 and is 5’6”. Mary weighs 200 LBS and would like to lose 20 LBS over 10 weeks. Based on what you now know about fat loss, we can calculate that Mary Needs to burn 1000 calories more per day than she eats to lose 2 LBS per week or 20 LBS over 10 weeks.

  • Using a BMR calculator off the internet we know Mary burns 1684 per day as her BMR. Now anyone can argue here that they have a slow metabolism or anything else, but starting with this number still is very important.

  • Mary works as an accountant. She sits in her office most of the day but does get up and moves around. She does walk for 20 min every day on her lunch break and goes to the gym 3 times per week for 1 hour per session. On the weekend, Mary does enjoy cycling and will ride for 2 hours every Saturday morning. Knowing this and using a reputable website, we can estimate that Mary’s Activity index is approximately 926 per day. There are a few other factors which contribute to her total calories burned in a day but in total we can estimate that she burns 2610 per day on average.

  • Subtracting 1000 from 2610 gives Mary a goal of 1610 calories per day as her intake goal.

  • e. There are several websites that can do all of this by simply putting Mary’s age, gender, weight, height and activity using their system to come up with a pretty good idea but I wanted you to see how to calculate it. Going through the process strengthens your understanding and helps you see that the how is just as important as the why.




Action Plan: Go to https://www.calculators.org/health/weight-loss.php to enter your information and calculate your approximate TCB. This website does allow you to put in how much you want to lose and in how much time as well. It will calculate how many calories you need to consume based on how much exercise you do and how active your job might be. My Fitness Pal and Lose it are also great APPs available on both Iphones and Android devices.

Should you want to have your numbers be a little more precise schedule your appointment to meet with me personally and we will calculate your numbers in my office.

Once you have taken this step, you are well on your way to achieving your goals.



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