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Recommended Daily Allowance is why you are overweight

Updated on July 29, 2010

2000 calories a day!!!!!!!

Recommended Daily Allowance seems to be a mantra for weight loss, healthy life style, and the real reason most of us in the United States are overweight. You don't have to take my word for it just look at any food product with a nutrition label and it will give you the facts based upon the RDA recommendation of an average diet of 2000 calories a day. If you are consuming 2000 calories a day and not working out at least half an hour a day you will gain 30 pounds in about a year, that's right, about two and a half pounds a month.

I started looking into this when my doctor told me I was obese. When I look in the mirror, even when I am naked, I don't look obese, maybe not really very attractive, maybe a little funny, but obese? Surly not. I have love handles, and bit of a gut but rolls of fat do not seem to be present, so why am I obese?

Well to begin with I am 5 feet 10 inches tall and I weigh a little less than 220 lbs. According to a lot of different charts I should be 170 lbs. I was up to 250 lbs, but I have been working on getting my weight down. Not too diligently, not a lot of exercise (some), but trying to use portion control and watch my calorie intake. That is where the 2000 calories a day comes into play. Just how many calories should I be eating? I started doing some research and, and there is a lot of misinformation out there. This is what I have found, and I am passing it on to you free of charge, no monthly fees, and no special foods, just what I believe is good common sense.

Please take what I have to say with a grain of salt, though not literally. If you do decide to start a weight loss program, talk to a doctor, and if you have special considerations, disease, emotional, or anything else, you may need to get a lot of additional advice. This is what is working for me, and I am on a long slow road, I hope to a healthier lifestyle, though only time will tell.

I found a couple of formulas, which are on line and their free and easy to use, if formulas and numbers do not scare you. The one thing I discovered was that if I want to weigh 170 to 180 lbs I have to keep my caloric intake to about 1700 to 1800 calories a day. Well there goes the RDA of 2000 calories. If I do that, I'll never lose weight unless I take up an active sport or exercise vigorously every day for at least half an hour. I know that would be good for me, though I discovered if I walk daily for about half an hour, not exercise, not power walk, just walk, that it is good for my health and I can manage it most days. I am not sure my wife would agree with me on that, but it is my goal.

So where did the numbers come from for me? I used three formulas. You only have to do this once, so once it is done you have the information you need.

I used Body Mass Index to determine how much I should weigh. It took a little trial and error, but I got there. I may never achieve that goal weight, but I figure if I make the journey as pleasant as possible, I should be close enough to be fairly healthy, and maybe just overweight as opposed to obese.

The second formula I used was the Basal Metabolic Rate. That gave me the daily calorie needs to maintain the weight I want to be. Here is the formula, but go to the site to get the one for women and to better understand what you are looking at:

Men:
BMR = 66 + ( 6.23 x weight in pounds ) + ( 12.7 x height in inches ) - ( 6.8 x age in year )

For weight in pounds I used my goal weight, 170 lbs. The rest is fairly explanatory. I saved that number off and went to the next formula.

The Harris Benedict Formula I used to apply to the number I got from the BMR.

To determine total daily calorie needs, multiply the results from the BMR by the appropriate activity factor, as follows:
1. If you are a couch potato (little or no exercise) : Calorie-Calculation = BMR x 1.2
2. If you are lightly active (light exercise/sports 1-3 days/week) : Calorie-Calculation = BMR x 1.375
3. If you are moderately active (moderate exercise/sports 3-5 days/week) : Calorie-Calculation = BMR x 1.55
4. If you are very active (hard exercise/sports 6-7 days a week) : Calorie-Calculation = BMR x 1.725

5. If you are extra active (very hard exercise/sports & physical job or 2x training) : Calorie-Calculation = BMR x 1.9

I used number one, because I am a bit of a couch potato. If I ever get my walking up to speed, a may qualify for number two, or even three. It's a goal that means more food, but for now I am going with number one.

I will keep you informed if it continues to work. I have slid many times, and the one key tool that has kept me on track, is my scale. Don't have one; get one. Pick a time of day and weigh yourself, I do it naked, and in the morning. Initially it will reveal little, but over time, you will lose weight, and if you slide, do not panic, just do better the next day.

Good Luck.

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