Body Mass Requirement (BMR)

To lose a pound a week you need to burn 3,500 more calories than you consume. Below is a formula you can use to quickly calculate your approximate caloric needs:     – Step 1:Calculate your body mass requirement (BMR). This is your caloric expenditure before exercise (calories you need to simply function):

Formula for women:

BMR = 655 + (4.35 x your weight in lbs.) + (4.7 x your height in inches) – (4.7 x your age in years)

For example, a woman who is five feet, five inches tall, weighs 130 lbs and is 30 years old would calculate as follows:

BMR = 655 + (4.35 x 130) + (4.7 x 65) – (4.7 x 30) = 1,384 calories

Formula for men:

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

     – Step 2: Once you have your BMR, you need to then multiply this by an activity factor to determine total daily calories required.


Sedentary (no or very little exercise): 1.2

Light activity level (exercising two days per week): 1.375

Moderate activity level (exercising four days per week): 1.5

High activity level (exercising four days per week): 1.7

Higher activity level (exercising five or more days per week): 2


To lose weight at a rate of one pound per week you need to expend 3,500 more calories than you consume per week. Using the example of the woman above, she would decrease daily calorie intake to 1,603 per day (note that this is above her BMR of 1,384) for a reduction of 2,100 calories per week and increase her activity to burn an extra 1,400 calories per week for a total weekly deficit of 3,500 calories.


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