The Mathematics of Weight Loss

January 2024 is here and so are resolutions to lose weight. But, what is actually happening when we restrict calories? One thinks that the less they eat the more weight they will lose, right? Wrong. Your body has a Basal Metabolic Rate (BMR) based on your muscle mass and if you do not eat enough calories (energy), your body will hold onto the weight and/or it will lose some weight, but where that weight loss comes from is your muscle mass! Less is not always more.

Why do you need to be concerned about loss of muscle mass? Because your muscle mass drives your BMR and if you lose it, your Basal Metabolic Rate decreases (i.e. you cannot eat as much). Your muscle uses energy, or calories to keep your organs functioning. Your muscle mass cranks out energy, so you can be strong!

How do we determine your BMR? We use a tested and confirmed formula called the Harris-Benedict Formula. You can also determine your exact BMR, by having body composition analysis. There are many “smart scales” that measure your BMR based on your lean muscle weight.

Fat tissue or adipose tissue is stored energy, it is not used until the Basal Metabolic (BMR) needs are met. What happens if you eat under your BMR? Well, your body will hold onto fat tissue, because the body thinks it is starving! Why do so many people stop losing weight on weight loss medications? Because our bodies are smarter than we are and always work to preserve themselves. It will not tap into the stored energy until the Basal Metabolic needs are met.

Chalkboard of math equations. Chrisanna Harrington offers Behavior Nutrition Therapy.

So let’s do a math problem. Jackie is 5 foot 4 inches and she weighs 185 pounds. She would like to lose weight to a goal weight of 150 pounds. Her age is 58 years old. Her Basal Energy Expenditure is approximately: 1500 Calories per day. Her current intake to maintain her current weight of 185# is 2600 Calories per day. With a meal plan of 1500 Calories per day or 1100 Calories less than what she is currently eating, or a 7,700 Calorie deficit per week, she will realize a weight loss of approximately, 2.2 pounds per week.

You see one pound (1#) of energy is equal to 3,500 Calories. So, to lose one pound of fat, we need to have a reduction of 3,500 Calories in our intake. But the catch is we do not want our body to think that it is in starvation mode and that is why we meet the Basal Metabolic Rate. If the BMR is met, then additional Calories our body uses through everyday activity, exercise, and working, will come from fat stores.

In Jackie’s case, she has a 1,100 Calorie deficit per day x 7 days in a week = 7,700 Calorie reduction in one week. Divide 7,700 Calories by 3,500 Calories in one pound and we have weight loss of about 2.2pounds per week! Jackie is on target to lose, 9.5pounds in one month or almost 30 pounds in 3 months. Jackie will be at her goal weight in 3.5 months! Better, yet, she will know how to eat, so she never gains the weight back again.

Nutegra clients maintain their muscle mass and lose fat tissue! They reshape their bodies into what they were created to be! They reverse DM Type 2 and improve their lipid profiles!

Do you want to know how your body works? Do you want to never diet again? Call 941-787-3525 or go to and complete the registration form!
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