Calculating Calories to Burn Fat
Now that you know your LBM and BMR, you need to determine your
activity level in order to determine how many calories you use in a given day.
You can approximate the number of calories you need just knowing your LBM. Rate your activity level based on the
definitions below, and note the score to the right of the level, which accounts for your BMR and your activity
I don’t exercise, I work at a desk job, my hobbies are quiet, I don’t move around a lot
I have a sedentary job but I do some exercise, about 1-2 hours every week, or I may have some light
activity because of my work
Moderately Active 15
I get a moderate amount of
exercise through my job or outside activities, about 3-5 hours a week
I am very active through my job or by exercising, 6+ hours a week
Multiple the score by your LBM and that will give you approximately how many calories you burn every day. For
example, you have a LBM of 150lbs and are moderately active than the formula indicates you should consume 2225
calories to maintain your current weight.
150 x 15=2,225.
Of course, the exact number will vary depending on just how active you are and by your total weight. Two guys
each have an LBM of 150lbs: one weighs in at 200lbs and has 20% body fat, the other weighs 400lbs and has 62% body
fat. Simply because he is carrying more weight around, the second guy is going to burn more calories if he does the
same amount of work.
Adding the calories your body needs at rest (BMR) and the calories you burn based on your activities gives you a
more precise number of calories you need to break even at the end of the day.
You can more look up various activities and how many calories they burn per hour on the internet or in various
books...this is still an estimate, and to the most accurate information you will need to input your weight, height
This can be a lot of math if you want to really add in all your activities, which is why the simple average formula
However, there are various devices that you can use that will monitor how many calories you are burning
throughout the day that will give you a much more objective, and accurate, measurement—as long as you put in the
data correctly and really wear the device.
Either way, in order to lose weight you have to burn more calories than you take in. This is referred to as a
Each pound of body fat is equal to about 3,500 calories. That’s how many more calories you must burn than you
eat in order to drop a pound of body fat. You can do this by reducing the calories you take in (eat less) or by
burning more calories (exercising more)
It is generally accepted that a healthy speed to drop fat—and a rate that is attainable and maintainable—is 1 -2
pounds a week. Using the 3,500 calories = 1 pound of fat, if you want to drop 1 pound of fat each week you must
have a calorie deficit that week of 3,500 calories...or 500 calories average deficit daily (3,500 / 7 days.)