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Weight loss calculators can give you useful, albeit not always totally accurate, information regarding your overall health. Losing weight can be viewed as a simple numbers game -- consume fewer calories than you burn each day. The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention states that in order to burn one pound of body weight, you must reduce your calorie intake or burn 3,500 calories 1. It’s important to approach your weight loss goal the healthy way by not setting unrealistic goals that promote an unhealthy rate of weight loss.
Losing weight too fast can be unhealthy, according to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention 1. The CDC recommends losing weight at a maximum rate of one to two pounds per week. You can accomplish this goal by eating healthy and exercising regularly. The CDC also recommends limiting sugar intake because those are just empty calories, or calories that provide little or no nutritional value, which can lead to weight gain.
Online weight loss calculators are designed to provide you with several tidbits of information. While they are not 100 percent accurate, they can give you a broad look at where you stand in comparison to other people in terms of body weight, body mass and daily calorie needs. Most online health calculators work by taking into consideration your age, gender, body weight, height and daily physical activity levels in order to determine your weight loss needs 4.
There are several types of online weight loss calculators. A comprehensive choice is the SuperTracker, formerly known as MyPyramid, which offers food and diet plans and calculators, which estimate your daily caloric needs and shows you which foods to eat in order to meet these needs 4. Another effective weight loss calculator can be found at CaloriesCount.com, and this choice is a diet assessment calculator that tells you how many calories to eat in order to lose weight or maintain your current weight 2. It also gives you BMI information as well as your ideal healthy weight range. Check out the American Council on Exercise's calculators as well. ACE carries an array of calculators that includes the "Daily Caloric Needs Estimate Calculator" among others 24.
BMI vs. BMR
Body mass index, or BMI, calculators are different than basal metabolic rate, or BMR, calculators. BMI calculators are used by health professionals to get a relatively accurate estimate of your body fat levels with a score of 20 to 25 being considered within the normal range. BMR calculators are used to calculate your body’s energy use, or the number of calories your body burns if you were to lay in bed all day, according to BMI-Calculator.net 2. Using the Harris Benedict Equation, you can take your BMR score and determine your daily caloric needs based on your daily physical activity levels.
Online weight loss calculators are not the most accurate means of determining your overall health, although they can give you a rough picture of where you stand. In order to get a more accurate result, your doctor can recommend a body-fat measurement procedure using more accurate instruments or the body-fat water test in order to get much more accurate results. Do not base a diet program or weight loss regimen on a weight loss calculator alone; consult your doctor to make sure that it’s a healthy choice for you 2.
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