WELL WOMEN OF COLOR | Rosalind Brooks
The Role of Calories in the Body
What’s your ideal caloric intake? It’s your preferred body weight x 10 plus 30% if you exercise daily. For women, it’s between 1,000-1,600.
To shed weight, you must reduce your calories or exercise more. A negative balance forces your body to burn its reserve fuel, which is fat. Muscles are the body’s furnace, where fat is burned. That’s why men can eat more yet lose weight faster. They have more muscle mass than women.
What’s basal metabolic rate (BMR)? This is the rate at which your body would burn calories used for vital body functions if you decided to stay in bed all day. It’s a set amount of minimum calories needed. If you eat more than this amount your body will deposit the excess calories as fat. If you eat less, your body uses fat for energy and you lose weight.
To calculate the BMR for a woman: 655 + (4.35 x pounds) + (4.7 x height in inches) – (4.7 x age) Calculate inside parenthesis separately. Then take 655 plus the first number plus the second number minus the last number. This gives you the calories your body uses just to stay alive.
Calories consumed above that get stored as fat unless you exercise which burns excess calories above your BMR. Example: Your BMR is 1,400. You eat a fast food meal of burger,fries and drink at 830 calories, a latte at 500, can of soda at 139, and a candy bar at 237. You are at 1,700 calories and we haven’t added in breakfast, dinner, snacks and drinks. This would easily add an additional 1,000+ calories — making your intake 2700. The body will only burn 1,400 calories for what it needs, leaving 1300 excess calories that will be stored as fat. Over time this surplus becomes unwanted pounds.
Over the next few months we will discuss strategies, tips, and recipes to help you achieve your health or weight loss goals.
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