If you can’t get your bodyfat tested to figure out your Resting Basal Metabolic Rate, that is, the minimum number of calories you need per day, you can use the free calculator on myfitnesspal.com. It’s not 100% accurate, but you should get an idea.
After getting my bodyfat tested using the most effective underwater method, I discovered that I need 1541 calories at a minimum DAILY. I should NEVER go under this number, even on my rest days.
So, once you discover your BMR, do not go under this number!
Once you know your BMR, you can calculate the number of calories you need for maintenance by multiplying your BMR by the following activity factor.
And this is all copyrighted, kids, from Tom Venuto’s book:
Find out your approximate basal metabolic rate:
Activity factor Sedentary = BMR X 1.2 (little or no exercise, desk job)
Lightly active = BMR X 1.375 (light exercise/sports 1-3 days/wk)
Moderately active= BMR X 1.55 =(moderate exercise/sports 3-5 days/wk)
Very Active BMR X 1.725= (hard exercise/sports 6-7 days/wk)
Extra Active= BMR X 1.9 (hard daily exercise/sports & physical job or 2 X day training, marathon, football camp, contest, etc.)
Your Basal Metabolic Rate x 1.725 if you’re very active like me. That puts me at 2600 calories for maintenance. So, what this means is, I could eat this to maintain my body just as it is. I would not lose body fat or gain weight, as long as I remain very active.
However, my goal is to decrease bodyfat.
So If I create a deficit of 30%, I would need to eat about 1800 to lose weight and not muscle.
So: If you want to figure out how much you should be eating to lose body fat, follow this formula.
***NOTE: On the days that you work out, you should eat MORE THAN YOUR BMR. On the days that you are resting, you can stay at your bmr.
So If I were resting, I would eat 1540 calories on that day.
If I were doing cardio and resistance, I would follow the formula above. That puts me at about 1800.