# How To Count Calories

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## How To Count Calories

Counting calories is the first step to any weight loss. A body's fuel is its caloric intake. Learn how to calculate how many calories you need and know what it will take to lose weightâ€¦the answer may surprise you.

### Step 1: Determine Your Intake

Determine your body's BMR (Basal Metabolic Rate). This is the number of calories your body would need, while at rest, to keep functioning. There are two calculations; one for men and women. Calculate your BMR using the following equations:

MEN:
(6.23 x weight in pounds) + (12.7 x height in inches) - (6.8 x age in years) + 66 = BMR

WOMEN:
(4.35 x weight in pounds) + (4.7 x height in inches) - (4.7 x age in years) + 655 = BMR

Once you have your BMR number, multiply it by one of these figures depending on how active you are. The result is your total caloric intake. This is the amount your body needs to maintain your current weight.

Sedentary = BMR x 1.2
Light Active = BMR x 1.375
Moderate Active = BMR x 1.55
Very Active = BMR x 1.725
Extra Active = BMR x 1.9

### Step 2: Reduce Your Intake

3,500 calories equals one pound. That's how many calories you need to give up to lose one pound. If you want to lose a pound a week, give up 500 calories a day (3500/7=500). Exercise changes the equation. The more you work out the more calories you'll burn. Take into account low impact and high impact exercises when calculating how many calories you're burning.

### Step 3: Take Your Time

Don't cut more than 1,000 calories a day and don't try to lose more than two pounds a week. Doing so may cause your body to enter "starvation mode", where your body conserves its energy and prevents weight loss. This can lead to larger health problems. Remember to pace yourself, the changes will not come overnight.