Weight Loss Tracker

Wednesday, September 30, 2009

More on the BEE

I was discussing BEE (basal energy expenditure) with my friend Lauren, and felt like we were running in circles about what it means. The site I gave to help y'all to calculate your BEE is a wee-bit confusing. After reading more internet resources, I would like to share with you what The Free Dictionary has to say:

BEE is, "the amount of oxygen consumed while resting and fasting, extrapolated to 24 hrs, roughly equivalent to 25 kcal/kg. BEE is used to determine an individual's caloric needs. BEE is multiplied by level of activity–eg, 1.2 for bed rest; 1.4 for moderate activity and by an injury factor–1.2 for pneumonia, surgery, 1.3 for major injury, 1.5–1.6 for severe sepsis. "

Now, go to this website and figure out your base BEE: BEE Calculator

The next step is to multiply that number by 1.2 for bed rest, 1.4 for moderate activity, or by injury level. (go for 1.3 if you are just living your daily life). The number you now have is how many calories you can consume a day, at your usual activity level, and maintain your weight.

So my body BEE is 1863. That is how many calories a day I need in order to break even...if I am only breathing and doing nothing else. Yeah, right:) My activity level is about moderate, so I multiply 1863 by 1.4, and come up with 2608. That number seems shockingly high, but if I am active and overweight, I will need more calories to maintain.

If I weighed 170lbs, and none of my other factors changed, my BEE would be 1608, and I would need to consume 2251 calories a day to maintain that, at a moderate activity level. Is this making more sense? I hope so. Stick with me, now we are getting to the good stuff!

Now. I am not trying to maintain, I am trying to lose. One pound a week, to be exact. And one pound of fat=3500 calories. So in order to lose one pound a week, I need to cut an average of 500 calories a day out of my diet...or exercise to burn 500 extra calories...or split it down the middle, eating 250 calories less than usual and exercising to burn 250 more.

I have been shooting for about 2000 calories a day, and that is a good choice for me. Each person needs a different combination of exercise and healthy eating to lose 1-2lbs a week, so figure out where your 3500 calories are coming from, and take it one day at a time!


  1. Wooo hooo! clarity.

  2. Now the next question is... how much do you have to workout to work off 250-500 cals. ??