WARNING: The formulas mentioned on this page only apply to those who are 18 years of age or older!
The formulas on this page were designed for adult bodies. If you are younger than 18, it can be extremely dangerous to limit your intake like an adult, since you are still growing and developing. I repeat, if you are younger than 18 years old, do not use these formulas!
Although I am no longer a weight loss blog, I am keeping this page up to serve as a reminder that there are other, healthier ways to lose weight, besides starving or other forms of severe restriction.
I also want to reiterate that I am not a professional. Do not take my advice as law. I encourage you to do your own research, as well as to seek out professional help when necessary.
The Science of Calories
1 pound of fat = 3,500 calories. I’m sure this is something most of you have heard before. This is important to remember, especially if you’re relying on the scale to track your progress. So when the scale shows a gain of 1 or 2 pounds within one day, remember that it’s definitely not a gain of fat — rather, it’s water weight, which fluctuates daily.
Another thing to remember that most people don’t seem to realize is that you burn a certain amount of calories simply by being alive! In fact, 2/3 of the calories you ingest will go only to regulating your body temperature. This is why it’s important to make sure you’re eating enough food during the day — you want your body to have enough fuel to run efficiently.
So! The first thing you want to do is calculate your Basal Metabolic Rate, or BMR. This is the fancy name for how many calories you burn just by existing. For example, with my stats, my BMR is 1465, meaning that I burn that many calories without doing anything but breathing.
Now that you have your BMR, you can figure out how many calories you burn based on your activity level using something called the Harris Benedict Equation, called your Active Metabolic Rate, or AMR. [[NOTE: The equation assumes a normal body composition, with an average ratio of muscle mass to fat mass, so it may be inaccurate for individuals who are very muscular (the formula underestimates true requirements) or for individuals who are very fat (the equation overestimates true requirements)]] For someone like me who is lightly active, I’d multiply my BMR times 1.375, which gives me 2014. This means that I need to intake that many calories per day in order to match my daily activity level. TIP: if you’re not sure what your activity level is, round down. Most people are either sedentary or lightly active.
Now, if I want to lose weight, I’d subtract 500 from this value, giving me 1514, the number of calories I should end up with at the end of the day in order to lose weight in a healthy manner.
NOTE: This final number is NET calories, meaning that I should end up with around 1,514 calories per day, after exercise. It doesn’t mean that I should eat that many, and THEN increase the deficit further with exercise.
What is a healthy weight for me?
This is a question that isn’t easily answered. For most people, calculating your BMI is a good place to start, which you can do at this link.
However, even with BMI, this leaves you with a wide range of weights, and there’s a way to narrow it down even further — by calculating your frame size! Once you find out if you have a small, medium, or large frame, you can find out the range of healthy weights for your height + frame size here.
What exercises should I do?
There are two main categories of exercises: cardio and strength. A good workout routine combines both! Cardio is useful for getting your heart rate up and burning fat all over, whereas strength training is useful for, well, building muscle, which in turn helps you burn even more fat!
When it comes to how often you should be exercising, that depends on your current fitness level:
- If you’re just starting out and really have never been very active, try exercising 2-3 days a week, with rest days in between when you work out.
- If you’re moderately active, or have been more active in the past, aim for 3-5 days a week.
- If you’re very active, or are considering joining a sport or training for a specific event (like a 5K or a marathon), 6 days a week might be best for you.
No matter what your fitness level is, it’s extremely important to include rest days! Resting is just as important as the act of exercising, because those are the days that your body needs to recover and build muscle. If you don’t include rest days in your exercise schedule, you’ll just end up hurting yourself.
Now, what I think is the most important thing about finding an exercise is finding something that you love to do! For me, that was zumba, but for you, that might be something different! Don’t be afraid to try out different fitness classes or, if those aren’t readily available to you, check out different exercise videos available on Youtube and right here on tumblr.
Having trouble finding an exercise? Check out my exercises tag, which has a variety of different at-home workouts you can do. Chances are, you’re bound to like at least one of them!
What should I eat?
Now that you’ve figured out how much you should be eating, it’s time to think about what you’re eating. Weight loss is more about nutrition than it is about exercising, and in order to maximize your health, you should pay attention to what you’re eating!
General consensus is that you should try to limit these foods, or cut them out completely if you can:
- Refined carbs. This includes white bread, white rice, and others. Instead, try whole wheat or whole grain versions.
- Refined sugars. These are found in soda, candy, and most desserts. It’s important to note that refined sugar is different from the wholesome, natural sugars found in fruit (which is very good for you!)
- Processed foods. Look at the ingredient list on the food you eat. Do you not know what a majority of the ingredients are? Then you probably shouldn’t be eating it. Stick to foods that have mostly whole, natural ingredients.
Okay, now that you know what to avoid, it’s time to tell you what you should be eating!
- Protein. This is essential if you’re trying to build muscle. Hell, it’s essential even if you aren’t! Lean meats are one good source of protein, but don’t knock other sources, like: yogurt, quinoa, beans, eggs, cheese, and soy.
- Fruits and vegetables. If it grows from the ground, it’s good for you! Incorporating a good amount of fruits and veggies into your diet is essential for getting macro and micronutrients. If you don’t like one (or either), there are always sneaky ways to get them in your diet, like smoothies!
- Water. Drinking enough water is something that a lot of people overlook as part of a healthy diet. Additionally, a lot of the times that you feel hungry, you’re actually just thirsty! Invest in a water bottle to keep with you at all times to make sure you’re getting an adequate water intake (and remember to drink more if you’re exercising!)
Mental Health Along with Physical
A lot of weight loss involves keeping track of how much you eat and how often you exercise. Sometimes, though, people can become obsessed with these numbers so much that they become their whole life. If you find that this is happening to you, that the thought of how many calories you’re consuming or burning is starting to take over your life, take a step back and re-evaluate how you’re going about losing weight. Never be afraid to ask for help, whether it’s from a doctor or therapist, a teacher or counselor, a parent or friend, or even a trusted fitblr that you follow here on tumblr.
It will always be my motto that your mental health is just as important as your physical health, so always be aware of your mindset towards food so that you can prevent unhealthy eating behaviors before they begin!
More tips on how to lose weight to come! Check back soon.