Diet calories calculators are powerful tools that help you to effectively plan your diet and work outs. It does this by allowing you to calculate data on yourself using various formulas of your choice. This information has many benefits and can be used as a framing tool for your fitness goals and ambitions. It is always more effective to have specific goals with results that you can track, and this calculator is a great tool to implement into your diet and fitness regimen.
The more information you have, the better decisions you are able to make, and Little-by-Little is here to help you on that journey. For that reason, we have created our very own diet calories counter for you to use and hope that you are able to get good use out of it. This article will explain how to use our calories counter, what exactly it is you are calculating, and will explain the various formulas used in the calculator.
How does LBL’s Diet Calories Calculator work
LBL’s Diet Calories Calculator is simple and easy to use. It requires you to input some simple and basic information about your self that is easy to acquire such as your height, age, weight, activity level, gender, and waist size. The next step is to choose which formula you would like to use to calculate your basal metabolic rate. This part can be a little tricky if you don’t know what each formula does or represents. Each formula uses the same basic personal data but there are differences between each of them. If you do not have access to a specific piece of personal information, such as your body fat percentage for example, then you may not be able to use all of these formulas. If you don’t have a certain piece of information, then do some research and you should be able to work it out. In terms of understanding the formulas themselves, don’t worry we’ve got you covered!
What is Basal metabolic rate?
It is important to understand what exactly it is you are going to be calculating. Your basal metabolic rate represents the amount of energy you expend per day at rest, usually while your digestive system is inactive. This energy is mainly used to maintain vital organs, such as the lungs and heart, and basal metabolism is usually the biggest element of a person’s total daily caloric needs. Some factors impacting the basal metabolic rate of individuals include age, genetics, weather, diet, and muscle mass.
As people age, the minimum number of calories they need to consume in order to sustain the proper functioning of their organs to a certain level decrease. This results in a lower overall basal metabolic rate.
The surrounding weather of the location you live in has an effect on your basal metabolic rate. Colder environments result in your body expending more energy to keep a suitable body temperature, raising the basal metabolic rate. Similarly, in warmer environments, the basal metabolic rate can be increased due to the body expending energy in order to keep the body cool.
Diet also plays a big role in your basal metabolic rate. Eating small, consistent meals throughout the day increases your BMR, while not eating at all can reduce you BMR by as much as 30%.
Aerobic exercise and activity, such as running and cycling, has little to no effect on your basal metabolic rate. Anaerobic exercise, however, such as lifting weights can indirectly lead to a higher basal metabolic rate. This is because lifting weights results in a higher muscle mass, which leads to a higher BMR.
Basal metabolic rate formulas
Knowing which formula you should choose when working out your basal metabolic rate can be frustrating. That’s why, in this section, we are going to break down all of the formulas for you.
MIFFLIN-ST JEOR FORMULA
The Mifflin-St Jeor formula was created in the 1990s and is based on an estimated average. It is calculated by using your age, height, and weight.
The Harris-Benedict formula calculates your basal metabolic rate by using your height, weight, age, and gender to determine your estimated basal metabolic rate. It then takes this estimate and multiplies it by your specific activity factor (how active you are). The equation differs based on your particular activity level, such as sedentary (little or no exercise) or very active.
This basal metabolic rate formula utilises the same information as the previous formulae. It differs in that it also takes into consideration your lean body mass. If you do not know your lean body mass, then you can also use your body fat percentage as your lean body mass can be calculated from this value.
This is one of the most accurate basal metabolic rate calculators and it is the recommend calculator for athletes, in addition to the Harris-Benedict formula. This formula does require you to know your body fat percentage, however, so unless you have this information you will not be able to use it.
What do the results mean?
When you input your data into the calculator and choose your desired formula, some results are generated that can be very beneficial to you. It is, therefore, necessary to understand what each of the results refers to and what they mean.
Body mass index (BMI)
Your body mass index is a measure that utilises your height and your weight to work out whether your weight is healthy. For most adults, a healthy body mass index range is between 18.5-24.9. For children and younger people, the BMI calculation considers age and gender in addition to height and weight.
If you are below 18.5 BMI, then you are considered underweight. If you are within a range of 18.5-24.9 then you are in a healthy weight range. Between 25 and 29.9 you are part of the overweight range and, if you fall between 30 and 39.9, then you are considered obese.
Total daily energy expenditure (TDEE)
Total daily energy expenditure represents the energy used (calories burned) by the human body within a day and is composed of the energy consumed during digestion and the energy expended during physical activity.
Lean body mass (LBM)
Lean body mass is the mass of your body minus the mass of the fat on your body. Lean body mass usually occurs in a range of 60 to 90 percent of a person’s body weight. For women, having a lean body mass of less than 68 percent is considered unhealthy, while having a lean body mass of less than 75 percent is considered unhealthy for men.
Fat body mass (FBM)
Fat body mass represents the actual weight of fat in your body and is a measure of how much fat you have. For regular women having 25-31 percent of body fat is considered acceptable, while this number is 18-25 percent for men. In order to be considered fit, women should aim to have between 21-24 percent fat body mass, and men should aim for 14-17 percent. Everyone’s body is different, however. These numbers are just broad guides. Do what feels right for you and aim for goals that you think are achievable while still pushing yourself.
Maximum fat metabolism (MFM)
Maximum fat metabolism represents the maximum amount of fat that your body is able to breakdown. When fat is metabolised, it is either turned into energy or is broken down into smaller particles. You can increase your fat metabolism by working out regularly, eat a lot of protein and drinking a lot of water.
Minimum recommended daily calories (MRDC)
Like the name suggests, this is the minimum number of daily calories you should consume based on the information you provided. Depending on your current weight and your fitness goals, this number can vary but it is important to achieve this number on a daily basis.