Nutritional Formulas & Calculations

Finding your Current Basal Metabolic Rate (BMR):

Basal Metabolic Rate (BMR) / Resting Metabolic Rate (RMR) / Resting Daily Energy Expenditure (RDEE) – The amount of energy per unit time that a person needs to keep the body functioning Breathing, circulating blood, controlling body temperature, growing & regenerating cells, maintaining brain and nerve function, contracting muscles, etc (which all utilize around 60% of your total caloric intake), while in a physically and psychologically undisturbed state, at complete immobile rest, in a thermally neutral environment, and in a post-absorptive/non-digestive state.

Harris-Benedict Formulas:

Original (1918-1919)

  • Male BMR = 66.5 + ( 13.75 × weight in kg ) + ( 5.003 × height in cm ) – ( 6.755 × age in years )
  • Female BMR = 655.1 + ( 9.563 × weight in kg ) + ( 1.850 × height in cm ) – ( 4.676 × age in years )

Roza & Shizgal Revision (1984)

  • Male BMR = 88.362 + (13.397 × weight in kg) + (4.799 × height in cm) – (5.677 × age in years)
  • Female BMR = 447.593 + (9.247 × weight in kg) + (3.098 × height in cm) – (4.330 × age in years)

Mifflin & St Jeor Revision (1990)

  • Male BMR = (10 × weight in kg) + (6.25 × height in cm) – (5 × age in years) + 5
  • Female BMR = (10 × weight in kg) + (6.25 × height in cm) – (5 × age in years) – 161

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Katch-McArdle / Cunningham Formula:

  • BMR = 370 + (21.6 x Lean Body Mass in kg)
  • BMR = 370 + (9.82 x Lean Body Mass in lbs)

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Calculate your Lean Body Mass (LBM):

James Formula (UK):

  • Male LBM = (1.10 x Weight in kg) – 128 x (Weight in kg2  ÷ (100 x Height in Meters)2)
  • Female LBM = (1.07 x Weight in kg) – 148 x (Weight in kg2  ÷ (100 x Height in Meters)2)

Hume Formula:

  • Male LBM = (0.32810 x (Weight in kg)) + (0.33929 x (Height in cm)) – 29.5336
  • Female LBM = (0.29569 x (Weight in kg)) + (0.41813 x (Height in cm)) – 43.2933

Boer Formula:

  • Male LBM = (0.407 × W in kg) + (0.267 × H in cm) − 19.2
  • Female LBM = (0.252 × W in kg) + (0.473 × H in cm) − 48.3

or

  • LBM in kg = Body Fat Percentage x Weight in kg
  • LMB in lbs = Body Fat Percentage x Weight in lbs

or

  • LBM = Weight in kg x (1 – Body Fat Percentage ÷ 100)

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Take Skin Fold Measurements:

  • Take measurements to the nearest 0.5mm on the right side of the body By gently squeezing and shaking loose from body for 1-2 seconds, then using a Caliper to measure squeezed amount at the following places:
    • Outer Triceps verical pinch midway between Shoulder & Elbow
    • Subscapular diagonal pinch of skin to the lower rounded 45 degree corner of the shoulder blade. Put arm behind back to see spot better
    • Suprailiac diagonal fold at waist mid way between muscle to right of belly button and side of body
    • Side of Upper Pectoral Muscle, diagonally pinch midway between nipple and shoulder tie in
    • Midaxillary vertical pinch along side of torso halfway between waist and armpit with arm back
    • Abdominal Wall vertical fold just to side of belly button
    • Thigh vertical pinch halfway between bottom and top of thigh on central quadriceps muscle
  • Mark all the sites on the body before beginning so body doesn’t tense up during delays.
  • Place caliper halfway between top and bottom of mark
  • Allow caliper to settle (1–2 seconds)
  • Take reading
  • Repeat cycle around sites 3-4 times
  • Add up total for each site and divide by number of times each site was tested to get the average for each site
  • Add up the sum of all the sites
  • Calculate Body Density:

 

Calculate Body Density (BD):

  • Male BD = 1.112 – 0.00043499 x Sum of the seven skin folds above + 0.00000055 x Sum of the seven skin folds2  – 0.00028826 x Age
  • Female BD = 1.112 – 0.00046971 x Sum of the seven skin folds above + 0.00000056 x Sum of the seven skin folds2  – 0.00012828 x Age

 

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Calculate Body Fat Percentage (BFP):

Brozek formula:

  • BFP = (4.57 ÷ BD – 4.142) × 100
  • BFP = (457 ÷ BD) – 414.2

Siri formula:

  • BFP = (4.95 ÷ BD – 4.50) × 100
  • BFP = (495 ÷ BD) – 450

From BMI: 

  • Male BFP = 1.39 x BMI + 0.16 x Age – 10.34 x 1 – 9
  • Female BFP = 1.39 x BMI + 0.16 x Age – 10.34 x 0 – 9

US Navy Method (Rope & Choke):

  • Male BFP = 86.010 x log10(abdomen in inches – neck in inches) – 70.041 x log10(height in inches) + 36.76
    • Entered as 86.010 x (measurement result), Log – 70.041 x (height in inches), Log + 36.76
  • Female BFP = 163.205 x log10(waist + hip – neck) – 97.684 x log10(height) – 78.387
    • Entered as 86.010 x (measurement result), Log, – 97.684 x (height in inches), Log, – 78.387

Others:

  • BFP = 100 x (Total Weight ÷ Total Fat Weight)
  • Fat Portion = 495 ÷ Body Density – 450

 

BFP Categories:

Males:

  • 4-6% = The Male Physiological Minimum
  • 6-14% = The Leanest Male Athletes
  • 14-18% = Males with a Good Fitness Level
  • 18-25% = Average Males
  • 25+% = Obese Males

Females:

  • 11-14% = The Female Physiological Minimum
  • 14-21% = The Leanest Female Athletes
  • 21-25% = Females with a Good Fitness Level
  • 25-32% = Average Females
  • 32+% = Obese Females

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Finding your Current Body Mass Index (BMI):

  • BMI = ((Weight in lbs x 703) ÷ Height in inches) ÷ Height in inches; or:
  • BMI = ((Weight in lbs ÷ Height in inches )÷ Height in inches) x 703; or:
  • BMI = Weight in lbs ÷ Height in inches2 x 703; or: 
  • BMI = Weight in kg ÷ Height in meters2

 

BMI Categories:

  • < 15 = Very Severely Underweight
  • 15.1 – 16 = Severely Underweight
  • 16 – 18.5 = Underweight:
  • 18.5 – 25 = Normal Weight
  • 25 – 30 = Overweight
  • 30 – 35 = Moderately Obese
  • 35 – 40 = Severely Obese
  • 40 – 45 = Very Severely Obese
  • 45 – 50 = Morbidly Obese
  • 50 – 60 = Super Obese
  • 60+ = Hyper Obese

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Finding your Target Weight:

  • Target Weight in lbs = (Target BMI ÷ 703) x Height in inches2
  • Target weight in kg = Target BMI x Height in meters2

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Finding your Target BMR using Harris-Benedict Formulas:

Original (1918-1919)

  • Male Target BMR = 66.5 + ( 13.75 × Target weight in kg ) + ( 5.003 × height in cm ) – ( 6.755 × age in years )
  • Female Target BMR = 655.1 + ( 9.563 × Target weight in kg ) + ( 1.850 × height in cm ) – ( 4.676 × age in years )

Roza & Shizgal Revision (1984)

  • Male Target BMR = 88.362 + (13.397 × Target weight in kg) + (4.799 × height in cm) – (5.677 × age in years)
  • Female Target BMR = 447.593 + (9.247 × Target weight in kg) + (3.098 × height in cm) – (4.330 × age in years)

Mifflin & St Jeor Revision (1990)

  • Male Target BMR = (10 × Target weight in kg) + (6.25 × height in cm) – (5 × age in years) + 5
  • Female Target BMR = (10 × Target weight in kg) + (6.25 × height in cm) – (5 × age in years) – 161

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Energy Cost/ Physical Activity Ratio (PAR) Examples (from the WHO):

  • 1 = Sleeping
  • 1.2 = Lying down, Sitting Quietly, Commuting on Bus or Train, Reading
  • 1.25 = Painting
  • 1.3 = Sitting at desk, Reading at a Table, Filing Papers
  • 1.4 = Eating & Drinking, Writing, Doing Homework, , Standing, Chatting
  • 1.42 = Sailing
  • 1.5 = Playing Cards & Board Games
  • 1.57 = Listening to Radio or Music
  • 1.6 = Sewing, Crochet, Standing + Moving Around
  • 1.64 = Watching TV, Using Computer, Playing Video Games
  • 1.77 = Playing the Trumpet, Washing Dishes
  • 1.8 = Typing, Braiding Hair
  • 1.9 = Peeling Vegetables, Sorting Items, Fishing, Carrying a Child in body wrap
  • 2 = Driving to/from Work, Cruising, Splitting Cocoa
  • 2.1 = Walking or Strolling around casually, light Leisure activities, Driving a Tractor
  • 2.2 =Carrying Light loads, Sorting Items on your knees,
  • 2.25 = Playing the Piano
  • 2.3 = Personal Care, Washing, Showering, Grooming, Doing Hair, Shaving, Light Sweeping, Washing Clothes
  • 2.4 = Getting Dressed, light Pruning, Making Tortillas, Squeezing Coconut
  • 2.5 = Tailoring clothing, Child Care, Baking
  • 2.6 = Repairing/Making Shoes
  • 2.7 = Driving a Motorcycle
  • 2.8 = Walking normally to and from places, General Light Manual Household Work
  • 2.9 = Working in a Brewery, Collecting Cocoa
  • 3.0 = Leisurely Paddling a Canoe, Cleaning Windows, Tying things, Making Mud & Clay items, Nailing things together, Serving Food & Beverages, Washing clothes while squatting
  • 3.1 = Planting a garden, Fertilizing a lawn, Carrying Straw Bundles, Textile Factory Work
  • 3.18 = Slowly Marching
  • 3.2 = Light Weeding, Walking at brisk paces without a load, Hunting & Foraging
  • 3.3 = Collecting Wood, Average Weeding, Transplanting Maize Seedlings, Chipping Cement Walls
  • 3.4 = Ploughing with a Tractor, Picking from a vine or bush by hand while standing, Kneading Dough, Making Hotel Beds in Tropical regions
  • 3.5 = Walking downhill, Carrying 20-30kg load on head, Ironing Clothes, Light Harvesting, Bathing your child while you’re standing
  • 3.51 = Low Intensity Aerobic Dancing, Low Intensity Aerobic Activity,
  • 3.6 = Casual Horseback Riding, Medium Pruning, Feeding Farm Animals, Milking cows by hand, Painting walls, Nursery Work, Ploughing with Water Buffalo
  • 3.7 = Cleaning & Raking your yard, Bundling Wheat or Rice, Average Planting
  • 3.71 = Playing the Drums
  • 3.8 = Speed Walking, Picking High foods with a Pole
  • 3.9 Bagging & Splitting Cocoa, Operating a Jackhammer
  • 3.94 = Fishing with Hands
  • 4 = Heavy Weeding, Cleaning Industrial Equipment
  • 4.1 = Heavy Garden work, Heavy Planting, Manually Harvesting Rice
  • 4.2 = Chopping Firewood, Hoeing up a Garden, Climbing Trees to Harvest
  • 4.21 = Bowling
  • 4.3 = Spraying Crops
  • 4.38 = Golfing without a Golf Cart
  • 4.4 = Manually Harvesting Tuber Crops, Mopping & Polishing Floors, Hanging wet clothes
  • 4.5 = Military Drills, Collecting Water from a Well, Gleaning
  • 4.51 = Crabbing
  • 4.6 = Cleaning Stables & Animals, Shoveling, Pitching Hay, Daily Shopping, Grinding Grain with Millstone
  • 4.7 = Manually Harvesting Ground Nuts
  • 4.8 = Ploughing with a Horse
  • 4.82 = Pulling an unloaded Hand Cart,
  • 4.85 = Batting
  • 4.9 = Military marching with Loaded Pack (27kg)
  • 5 = Walking up Stairs, Carrying a Loaded Backpack (27kg) over various terrain, Planting Tuber Crops, Dancing
  • 5.1 = Manually Harvesting Maize Crops
  • 5.2 = Horseback Trotting, Spreading Manure,
  • 5.3 = Pulling a Rickshaw with 1 person, Mixing Cement with Shovel, Hand Sawing Soft Wood
  • 5.4 = Threshing Maize, Sorting Various Size parcels,
  • 5.44 = Calisthenics
  •  5.5 = Grooming Horses
  • 5.6 = Cycling, Digging Holes, Husking Cocoa, Loading Sugar Cane onto Wagon, Cutting Clay from Ground, Pounding Grain
  • 5.7 = Manually Planing Softwood, Manually Sawing logs, Running an Obstacle Course
  • 5.78 = Loading 9kg Sacks onto Truck
  • 5.8 = Carrying 50-60kg Load on Head, Playing Tennis
  • 6.06 = Playing Volleyball
  • 6.2 = Beating Mats
  • 6.34 = Running Long Distance
  • 6.4 = Digging Military Trenches
  • 6.6 = Loading Sacks from harvest onto Truck, Carrying Wood, Manually Sawing Hardwood
  • 6.7 = Rowing for Sport
  • 6.9 = Cutting Trees
  • 6.95 = Basketball
  • 6.96 = Circuit Training
  • 7 = Cycling on Dirt Trails, Cutting Sugar Cane
  • 7.1 = Walking uphill
  • 7.2 = Pulling a Rickshaw with 2 people
  • 7.9 = Shoveling Snow from Driveway
  • 7.93 = High Intensity Aerobic Dancing
  • 8 = Manually Planing Hardwood, Soccer
  • 8.21 = Sprinting
  • 8.3 = Pulling a Handcart with a 185-370kg Load
  • 8.9 = Stair Climbing with Resistance, Postal Worker Climbing Stairs
  • 9 = Lap Swimming
  • 9.65 = Loading 16kg Bags onto a Truck
  • 9.8 = Dragging Firehose
  • 12.2 = Climbing Steps with Full Firefighting Gear

Calculate your Activity Factor (AF) or Physical Activity Level (PAL):

  • Be sure to account for a full sum total of 24 hours per day.
  • Keep a record for 3 days including 1 weekend day, or 5 days including 2 weekend days.
  • Multiply the Energy Cost Number above for each activity by the Time Allocation or number of hours you did each activity in order to get your Total Time Allocation and Total Energy Cost Number for the day
    • Do that for each day
    • Add up the totals for each day & Divide by the number of Days
  • PAL or AF = 24 ÷ (Total Daily Time Allocation in hours x Total Daily Energy Cost Number or PAR)

AF/PAL Levels:

  • 1.53 – 1.75 = Sedentary Lifestyle
  • 1.76 1.9 = Moderately Active to Active Lifestyle
  • 2.0-2.39+ = Vigorously Active Lifestyle

AF/PAL Categories:

  • 1.21-1.27 = Mean Baseline for short-term survival totally inactive, bed-ridden patients with certain extreme medical conditions only – Too low for Emergency survival Programs.
  • 1.4 = Lowest Mean Baseline limit for extremely Sedentary lifestyles, used only for Short-term & emergency relief.
  • 1.45 = Lots of time Watching TV or playing video games, Office Workers etc
  • 1.53 = Sedentary People who occasionally engage in physical activity outside the office.
  • 1.58 = Basic activities in the home
  • 1.65 = Light household chores
  • 1.7 = Jobs working on feet or office workers who workout 30 minutes 3 times per week.
  • 1.75 = Office workers who workout regularly outside of work hours.
  • 1.8 = one hour of moderate exercise per day, remainder of day sedentary at work & home.
  • 1.9 = Exercising 1 hour per day, and the rest of the day spent standing & walking and engaged in other mobile activities.
  • 2.1 = Two hours of strenuous exercise per day. Difficult to maintain.
  • 2.4 = Not considered maintainable in the long term due to the extreme amount of exercise involved daily. Used during shorter periods of very heavy training only.
  • 4.5-4.7 = Short term extreme conditions & extreme competitions for elite athletes during such activities such as arctic climbing etc, lasting only a few days to a few weeks at most.

BMR x PAL = TEE

**For Example, if your day was spent Sitting at your Office Desk for 8 hours, Driving 1 hour each way, with 30 minutes for lunch and 30 minutes eating dinner, then you watched tv for 5 hours before falling asleep, the chart would look like this:

  • Sitting at Desk: 8.00h x 1.30af = 10.40tc
  • Sleeping: 8.00 x 1.00af = 8.00tc
  • Eating: 1.00 x 1.40af = 1.40tc
  • Watching tv: 5.00 x 1.64af = 8.20tc
  • Commuting: 2.00 x 2.00af = 4.00tc

Giving you a grand total of 24hours ÷ 32total cost = 1.33 Mean PAL, which is almost dead, and you’re probably on your way there.

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Calculate your Current Daily Total Energy Expenditure (TEE):

  • BMR x AF

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Calculate your Target TEE:

  • Target BMR x Target AF

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Calculate your Caloric Needs for different days of the week using your TEE for various days to Reach your Target Body Weight:

  • Target BMR x Daily AF based on how active you are on various days.
  • Adjust your caloric intake for each day based on the TEE for the day.

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**In practice you’ll want to gradually make the change from your current TEE to your target TEE, producing gradual weight loss, and letting your body adjust to the changes more slowly.

** BMI is not always accurate & skews against taller & shorter people, and people with larger Hips/Shoulders/Rib Cages etc. It also doesn’t take into account Muscle Mass. If your goal is Body-building, you’ll want to use a different method, usually requiring a trip to a registered Dietitian.

**Though BMI is not always accurate, you can use BMI as a guideline, then decide based on your own experience and body style what your ideal healthy body weight should be, and use that as the guide. Then use the Target BMR calculation formula with your ideal BMI plugged in, to get an idea of where you should be eating.

**BMR reflects only around 55-65% of the calories you actually need, and the BMR number should not be used on it’s own, and must be used in conjunction with the appropriate AF.

**Your Target TEE with a minimum AF of 1.53 should be the minimum number of calories you consume in a day, and no less, and only after reaching it gradually through slight modifications to your diet, resulting in gradual reductions to your current TEE.

**An AF of 1.45 is the minimum you can use, but such a lifestyle is dangerous and will not lead to healthy changes in your life. Use 1.53 and attempt to do physical activity several times per week

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