A Health and Fitness Article of Transformation

Step by Step Guide to Healthy Lifestyle Series


This article is written from the author’s lifestyle change that resulted in a transformation of his health from being a ‘Tablet Taker’ to  a ‘Wardrobe Changer’. 

Taken in                           






This Article has 5 Episodes

Tracking Calories

There are plenty of approaches to losing weight, including countless diets, exercise programs, and meal plans. An approach that works for many people, is calorie tracking. Today a fitness tracker is a very effective tool to monitor the number of calories you consume and burn. It helps ensure you maintain a “deficit.”

Losing weight is a simple equation

If you want to lose weight, all you need to do (theoretically)  is calculate the number of calories you burn on a typical day and make sure to eat less than that number. If you eat more calories than you burn, you will have a “surplus.” Those calories will then be stored as fat. If you burn more calories than you consume, your body will need to look for extra energy. That search leads to fat stores, which your body converts into energy causing a loss in weight.

How many Calories do I burn in a day? 

There is no way to know with absolute certainty how many calories you burn on any given day. Instead, you will need to make do with a rough estimate. One way to calculate a reasonable number is by working out your Active Metabolic Rate (AMR). This is your Basal Metabolic Rate (BMR), or the calories you burn when at rest, multiplied by a value representing your current activity level. In general,  even if you don’t move, you still burn calories staying alive: breathing, maintaining tension in your muscles, digesting food, healing wounds, etc. This is your BMR. An individual’s BMR is calculated based on weight, height, age and gender.


The Math of Calorie Calculation:

Your Activity can be classified as:

More Vigorous: Brisk walking, Swimming, Running

Moderate to vigorous: Workout, Treadmill, Interval Workout 

Light: Casual Walk, Hiking, Spinning 

Lifestyle Values:

Once you know your BMR, you can then use your current activity level to calculate your AMR.


Multiply your BMR by the value of your current activity level to calculate your AMR. This is a rough estimate of how many calories you burn in a day.

In my case:

  • Weight = 70 kgs
  • Height = 166
  • Age = 53

Applying the formula on a hectic day with intense activity 

BMR (using the formula) = 1556.23  

Hence my Max AMR would be 1556.23 x 1.9 = 2956.84

This is the maximum number of calories I would burn in a day. Generally, for women, the range is 1600 – 2400 while for men it is 2000 – 3000. In other words, the difference between calories input versus output must leave a deficit that’s the goal. 

If my AMR is 2956, then I should be consuming at least 500 calories less than that leaving a deficit, which is a good burn rate. Knowing this answer at a glance by reading off a fitness tracker on your wrist is such a boon. 

Please note that BMR is not conclusive. Your resting metabolic rate is dependent on countless factors that aren’t accounted for in this calculation, and not even a fitness tracker can take them all into account. One of the most significant factors is hormone balance. You won’t burn as many calories as other people if you have a slow metabolism due to hypothyroidism, low testosterone, or anything else. This won’t be reflected in your BMR or AMR.

A final caution is not to consider calorie tracking as the be-all and end-all of health. That would mean that theoretically, you can lose weight by eating only doughnuts and never exercising if you can keep your deficit at a certain number. That is not true. Diet is a key component in calorie control: You must balance your input of calories in proportion to the level of activity you plan for the day. In the reversal change article that I wrote in The Missing Link last year I explained how I control my diet, it’s worth a read to help you kick-start a balanced diet. 

So a good combination of an appropriate diet and a good exercise regime will go a long way to give you a steady metabolism and even calorie control. 


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