Monday, August 9, 2010

Overeating is the #1 cause of obesity!

Not really a shocker, but with doctors and experts trying to find a fix for the next great epidemic the simple truth gets lost in all of the excuses.  The fact is if you consistently overeat you will gain weight.

It all comes down to energy and energy balance. Our bodies are machines, and calories are the energy our machines run on. We both output calories and input calories and when we have excess calories our body has a very nifty long term storage system called body-fat.  Body-fat has a purpose other than making our lives miserable, when we have times when calories are scarce like a famine, we have back-up energy to prolong our survival.

The only way to lose weight the right way is create a calorie deficit, and the only way to effectively do this is to know how many calories you need daily and as tedious as it may be, keep track of your daily calories. You can have the best intentions and be very motivated but we are prone to overeat when we do not know how much we can have.

How many calories do you need?

Harris and Benedict Formula for Basal Metabolic Rate

Women: BMR = 655 + ( 4.35 x weight in pounds ) + ( 4.7 x height in inches ) - ( 4.7 x age in years )
Men: BMR = 66 + ( 6.23 x weight in pounds ) + ( 12.7 x height in inches ) - ( 6.8 x age in year )

  • Find your BMR, this is very important. Your BMR is how many calories you need daily to maintain normal functions, this does not include exercise or activities.  BMR is your true metabolism, and it's key because when we have a deficit of calories your BMR will burn body-fat to make up the difference.

Harris Benedict Formula for daily calories needs:

(Note the formula below is daily needs, it will not create a deficit and therefor is not a formula for losing weight but a formula for maintenance.)

To determine your total daily calorie needs, multiply your BMR by the activity multiplier:
  • If you are sedentary (little or no exercise) : Calorie-Calculation = BMR x 1.2
  • If you are lightly active (light exercise/sports 1-3 days/week) : Calorie-Calculation = BMR x 1.375
  • If you are moderatetely active (moderate exercise/sports 3-5 days/week) : Calorie-Calculation = BMR x 1.55
  • If you are very active (hard exercise/sports 6-7 days a week) : Calorie-Calculation = BMR x 1.725
  • If you are extra active (very hard exercise/sports & physical job or 2x training) : Calorie-Calculation = BMR x 1.9
Now you know how to determine your calorie needs, and knowing is half the battle. 
Check back tomorrow for my post on effectively creating a calorie deficit. 


  1. Great blog entry, Got your link from your fatsecret post. I have been using this formula since I started the Insanity workouts. Seems to be very accurate and extremely helpful!

  2. When someone is emotionally depressed its tendency is to overeat which then results to becoming overweight. In order to overcome such dilemma and lose weight, it's best to do simple relaxing activities to de-stress like having a warm bath, body massage or listening to good music.