First of all I want to say that I’m not normally a big fan of numbers, counting calories, and obsessively keeping tracking of everything. But everything has a use and I think they can be an effective tool if used appropriately. When starting out its hard to keep track of which foods to eat, how much of each, how much to exercise and when to stop eating and all the overwhelming details. Those are some of the tools I use/have used to figure out numbers and keep track of food and calories.
Basal Metabolic Rate (BMR):
Is the amount of calories you through basic body functions such as breathing. . Calories burned through normal daily activities and exercise are not calculated in that rate. The BMR should be the minimum caloric intake per day.
In order to know the amount of calories you need to consume to maintain your weight use the Harris Benedict Equation. You essentially multiply your BMR with you activity level. To lose weight decrease your caloric intake by 500 – 1000 calories depending on how much you need to lose. Do not go below 1200 calories.
Target Heart Rate (THR):
Target heart rate zone is the ideal heart rate you should be achieving during exercise. It allows you to gain the benefits of exercise without putting unhealthy pressure on your organs. It is usually 60-80% of your maximum heart rate. Maximum heart rate is predicted through subtracting your age from 220.
Food diaries can be a great way to start a weight loss journey. They help keep you accountable and make it easier to judge portions and calories.
Exercise and Workout How-To:
Resources:Some apps make it easier to come up with exercise routines, offer a way to track calories burned, track progress, and help keep you on track. Most of the ones I listed are phone/tablet options since they offer more flexibility when exercising.