Tuesday, October 2, 2012

Do BMI Calculators Work



by:  Tara Fuller

Your metabolism is as unique as you are. The only accurate means of determining individual caloric need is by undergoing physiological testing, which can be expensive. However, the use of BMI calculators are industry standard for providing reasonably accurate caloric estimation for individual daily energy needs. 

Most science supports that 3500 calories equal 1 pound of fat: A gram of protein equals 4 calories as does a gram of carbohydrates, 9 calories for a gram of fat and 7 for alcohol. Regardless where calories come from, the body requires energy converted from calories to preform bodily function; any excess will be stored in the body as fat. 

If using one of the many BMI formulation tools which are easily found for free online, it is important to keep check on how you are feeling since such tools do not take body composition in to consideration. Therefore, if you are feeling sluggish it is likely due to insufficient calories necessary to keep the body functioning properly. The tasty solution to this problem is to increase your daily calories slowly until no more than 2 pounds are lost per week. Most research supports a healthy weight reduction not exceed 2 pounds per week, this is to insure adequate nutrients for well-being and energy to support body function.   

Whether sleeping or running, the body is in constant need of energy and uses calories to fuel that demand. The body can only release so much fat during a given period of time, so anything beyond 2 pounds a week is typically achieved with the additional loss of vital tissue, water and muscle. A loss in muscle will lower the body’s metabolic rate which translates to fewer calories burned at rest. Muscle retention is one of the most crucial components for fat loss because studies show a pound of muscle burns an upward of 5 times more calories than fat does at rest. Losing weight safely doesn’t have to be difficult if you’re willing to put the same amount of time it took to gain the weight as you are into losing it.

Start by using a nifty online BMI calculator as pictured or by simply multiplying your weight by 13 for a rough estimation on how many calories your body needs to maintain its current weight. Since you must create a caloric deficit to lose weight you have three options: Reduce daily food intake, burn more calories in exercise or combine the two to equal at least 500 calories a day. This works because we know 3500 calories equals about a pound of body fat, so by reducing roughly 500 calories a day through diet and/or exercise 7 days a week, it should earn you about a one pound weight loss per week. In a nutshell, you must take in fewer calories than your body burns in order to loss weight. 

Resources: 
WebMD

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