Maureen Fraîche

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Archive for the tag “Mifflin-St. Jeor equation”

The Calorie Budget

Your weight is a balance between the calories you eat and the calories you burn, yes?  (Here’s a previous post on the topic, if you’re interested.)  So let’s talk a bit more about how to put a calorie plan into action.

First, you must figure out just how many calories you need.  The easiest way to do this (outside of indirect calorimetry), is to use a research-validated equation, such as the Mifflin-St. Jeor equation which accurately predicts resting energy expenditure within 10%.  Here is a handy link that allows you to enter your personal information; the site then inputs that info into the Mifflin-St. Jeor equation and does all the number crunching for you.  A more labor intensive approach would be to carefully measure and record your food intake for a couple weeks, using an online food journal like SparkPeople.  Assuming your weight has been stable, you can use the calorie information from this food journaling to determine your average intake and–voila!–discover how many calories you need on a daily basis for weight maintenance.

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Figuring out weight loss… …minus the gimmicks.

Thanks to the booming diet industry, supplement-funded magazines, and tabloid-circulated celebrity eating plans, there is a ton of confusion out there regarding the ‘right way’ to lose weight.

Despite what you’ve been sold, there is no silver bullet when it comes to weight loss.  Your weight is simply a balance between the calories (or energy) you eat and the calories you burn.  Call it the Dieter’s Law of Thermodynamics.  If you consume more calories than your body needs, your body is frugal and will squirrel away the extra energy as fat for later use.  On the other hand, if you consume fewer calories than you burn, your body will have to tap into these fat stores and other tissues to make up the difference, which will ultimately result in weight loss.  Therefore, the trick to weight loss is to create a calorie deficit.

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