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Calories here, calories there, calories everywhere

Today is day 8 of my new lifestyle. And I’m still alive! YEA!!!!

Weigh-in today showed that I am down 3-1/2 pounds since last Monday, which makes a grand total of 8 pounds closer to my 40 pound weight-loss goal. To me, it’s nothing short of a miracle that I’ve stuck with the 1200 calories and haven’t drowned in all the water I’ve been guzzling.

One pound of fat for your viewing pleasure.

One pound of fat for your viewing pleasure.

One of the things that I discovered this week while obsessing, quite literally, about calories is the Basal Metabolic Rate Calculator. And it totally blew my mind. I know this is probably old news to most of you, but seeing in black and white how many calories I need just to live and then calculating how many calories I should eat every week to achieve a certain weight loss was definitely a light bulb moment.

The formula from Good Housekeeping looks complicated but it’s super easy!

For women: 655 + (4.35 x weight in pounds) + (4.7 x height in inches) – (4.7 x age in years) = BMR

Now take your BMR and multiply it by the activity level you normally have below:

  • If you are sedentary (little or no exercise): BMR x 1.2
  • If you are lightly active (easy exercise/sports 1-3 days/week): BMR x 1.375
  • If you are moderately active (moderate exercise/sports 3-5 days/week): BMR x 1.55
  • If you are very active (hard exercise/sports 6-7 days a week): BMR x 1.725
  • If you are extremely active (very hard exercise/sports and physical job): BMR x 1.9
This is the number of calories you should eat to maintain your current weight. Multiply it by 7 to achieve your weekly caloric needs.
To lose weight, a person must cut calories from that number. One pound of body fat is equivalent to 3,500 calories — which means a person must cut that many calories from her diet to lose a single pound. If you are trying to lose 2 pounds a week, then your weekly caloric intake needs to be 7,000 calories less than your BMR.
Wow. So, technically, even if I do nothing but eat my 1200 calories and then lay on the floor all seven days of the next week I should lose weight.
Mind blown.

Categories: Weight loss on the farm


My name is Ginia Oehlschlager and I'm a small-town gal from Missouri. Join me as I document my crazy life on the farm with my husband and four kids. I'm always looking for frugal, simple ways to live the life God set before me. Where faith, family and fun come together on the farm.

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