Posted by: Dr. Tyrone A. Holmes | February 10, 2011

Losing Weight with Basal Metabolic Rate: The Katch-McArdle Equation

During the past few of weeks, I have discussed using Basal Metabolic Rate (BMR) formulas as a means to lose weight.  I previously introduced the Mifflin-St Jeor method and the Harris-Benedict equation.  These formulas determine the calories you burn at rest and then apply an activity factor to account for your daily physical activity (e.g., exercise, work at a strenuous job).  This provides you with a relatively accurate estimate of your daily caloric needs.  The third and final equation I will discuss is Katch-McArdle, which differs from the first two in that it takes your lean body mass into account (i.e., in order to perform this calculation, you must know your body fat percentage).  The Katch-McArdle equation uses the following formulas to calculate BMR for both men and women:

BMR = 370 + (9.79759519 x Lean Mass in pounds)

BMR = 370 + (21.6 x Lean Mass in kilograms)

For example, if you weigh 200 lbs. with 15% body fat, that means you have 170 lbs. of lean mass (77.27 kilograms).  Your BMR would equal 370 + (9.79759519 x 170) = 2,035.59 calories/day.  Once you have determined your BMR, you must multiply it by the appropriate activity factor to determine your daily caloric needs:

  • 1.200 = sedentary (little or no exercise)
  • 1.375 = light activity (light exercise/sports 1-3 days/week)
  • 1.550 = moderate activity (moderate exercise/sports 3-5 days/week)
  • 1.725 = very active (hard exercise/sports 6-7 days a week)
  • 1.900 = extra active (very hard exercise/sports and physical job)

That’s all there is to it.  Of course, if you want to avoid all of this arithmetic, simply type ‘Daily Calorie Needs’ in any search engine and you will get numerous sites that allow you to calculate your caloric needs based on your age, gender, height, weight and daily level of physical activity.

NEXT POST – February 13, 2011

Cycle Log: Intensity Phase Week 4

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