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#### WindowOrMirror

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Outside of diets where some clever combination of factors can potnetially result in "faster" weight loss (like Atkins), weight is lost by taking in fewer calories than you expend.

You can calculate an approximation of how many calories you burn just "living" (basal metabolic rate) by using the following two formulae:

BMR for women = 655 + (4.35 x weight in lbs) +(4.7 x height in inches) - (4.7 - age in years)

BMR for men = 66 + (6.23 x weight in lbs) + (12.7 x height in inches) - (6.8 x age in years)

(the 66 is NOT a typo in the men's calculation)

Then, take the result from above and multiply by an "activity factor" below:

1.200 - Sedentary lifestyle
1.375 - Light Exercise (light purposeful exercise 1-3 days a week)
1.550 - Moderate Exercise (moderate purposeful exercise 3-5 days a week)
1.725 - Heavy Exercise (hard purposeful exercise 6-7 days a week)
1.900 - ProAm Athlete (stupid active)

The resulting number will tell you how many calories (KCal) you must take in each day to maintain your weight. Taking in fewer than this will cause you to lose weight, taking in more causes you to gain weight. There is no escaping this number. There are people who lament that they cannot lose weight no matter how little they eat... it is not true. Over time, there is no escaping this fundamental reality.

For each 3500 calories (KCal) you are in deficit, you will lose one pound. Again, no escaping this truth over time.

For perspective: A 40-year old woman, 170 lbs at 5'5" tall with a sedentary lifestyle has a daily KCal requirement of 1814 KCal. If this woman has a target weight of 125 lbs and has a daily diet of 1000 calories, and she purposefully walks 35 min a day, it will take her 25 to 26 weeks to reach target weight. Note that if she does NOT walk for exercise each day that it will take 33 -34 weeks to reach target weight.

The math is simple, and depressing.

So, everyone with spreadsheet skillz... get to it!

R

#### Willowynd

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Actually that number is variable. I am one who has gotten down to eating only about 1000 cal a day and gained! The problem is when your metabolism drops (age, activity level, or body thinks it is starving). So not simple math. That is why I feel it is imporatant to get some sort of regular exercise into your diet plan- to rev your metabolism. I was riding my exercise bike- but then with the diet and TOM, I was getting upset tummies and did too much weeding for too long and got so sore I could barely move, so skipped for about a week. I am now just maintaining instead of losing. I need to get back on my bike to lose again.

BTW I do think the soreness I felt was not due to over exersion- weeding is something I have done regularly. I feel that being on a low carb diet (phase one of SB) that there was not enough energy for the body to use so I was burning muscle. I could feel the burn as I was weeding- which on a regular diet would have been a good thing- but then my muscles gave out and shook and I could barely stand. I decided at that point to add some more carbs back in on days I will be working in the garden or exercising.

#### Nancy in Maine

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I agree to a point with the calorie consumed/calorie expended theory. But the body does use different foods in different ways. And each person is unique in the way his/her body will react to different substances. And this is only figuring the digestionpart of the equation. As willowynd states then you have to figure in how much of your total weight is muscle mass which will burn more calories than the same weight with less muscle.

But on the whole, eat less, exercise more should be enough to eventually get the job done.

#### WindowOrMirror

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I should have stated that this "generally occurs in a high majority" of the population. Everyone is unique, and the BMR IS variable, though mostly hinging on lean body mass (the muscle that contributes to burning more naturally).

Getting exercise is absolutely critical. Not only is it just a good idea to move and strengthen your body, exercise contributes to building lean body mass, this giving you a bigger "engine" to burn calories with. It also accelerates fat loss (also weight loss if done aerobically or in moderation).

On Atkins I have to be very careful about how much energy I expend in a short period of time. I can exert myself, but not a massive amount in a few minutes... that's a recipe for falling over due to lightheadedness (prob. due to blood sugar balance change).

R

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