Bio Electrical Impedance

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Getting "zapped" requires you to lie on your back with one electrode attached to your hand and another to your foot. A signal is then sent from one electrode to the other. The faster the signal travels, the more muscle you have. On the other hand, the slower the signal moves, the more fat you have because fat impedes or blocks the signal.

How Many Calories Should You Eat for Weight Loss and Weight Maintenance?

Counting the calories in each morsel of food that you eat is not the way to go. But you can get a general idea of how many total calories you should eat each day, to either maintain or lose weight, with the following formula:

1. First find your BMR (basal metabolic rate: the amount of calories needed to perform your normal bodily functions at rest).

BMR = your current weight x 10

Food for Thought

2. Next, multiply your BMR x an activity factor.

BMR x 0.30 (for average daily activities)

3. Last, add your BMR to your activity factor.

Here's an example of a 130-pound woman:

130 pounds x 10 = BMR of 1,300 calories 1,300 calories x .30 = 390 activity factor 1,300 + 390 = 1,690 calories per day

People who participate in regular physical activity more than three times a week will need to raise the activity factor to .40-.60.

If you decide to work with a nutritionist, remember: You want a food partner, not a food dictator! Find a qualified registered dietitian (R.D.) who will move at your pace and make you feel completely comfortable. For a registered dietitian in your area, call the American Dietetic Association at 1-800-366-1655, or visit their website at

The example shows that an average 130-pound woman can maintain her weight on 1,690 calories per day. Now, let's say she wants to lose a few pounds. To lose weight, she needs to create a negative balance by reducing the amount of daily calories and increasing her exercise to burn even more calories. For instance, she needs to get on a 1,400 calorie food plan, plus work out aerobically 4-5 days per week. She'd have no problem shedding some weight safely and efficiently.

Plug your own stats into the formula, and figure out what it will take calorically to melt away those unwanted pounds. Understand that no one should ever eat less than 1,200 calories per day; you will slow down your metabolism and set yourself up to gain all the weight back. Even if you are very petite, and the math works out to be less than 1,200—stick with 1,200 calories and jack up your exercise.

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