Healthy Aging For Dummies
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Carrying around extra pounds not only feels uncomfortable and contributes to illness, it can actually take years off your life. The good news is that shedding the extra weight and maintaining a healthy lifestyle can add years to your life. Keep these formulas handy to figure out the amount of fat in your food, how to determine a healthy weight, and the amount of calories you need to lose the pounds and keep them off:

To calculate the fat percentage of food

You want 30 percent or less of your total daily calorie intake to come from fat (less than 10 percent from saturated fats). To calculate the percentage of fat, you need to know the calories per serving and total grams of fat per serving. One gram of fat has 9 calories, and the total fat grams will be on the food label.

  1. 1. Multiply the number of fat grams by 9.

  2. 2. Divide this number by the total calories per serving.

  3. 3. Multiply by 100.

The result is the percentage of fat calories in the food. Note: A food has to have less than 30 percent of its calories from fat to be considered “low fat.”

To calculate your body mass index

Your body mass index (BMI) is an approximate measure of body fat based on your height and weight. The BMI is an approximation and is used as a tool to assess body weight and identify overweight and obese individuals.

  1. 1. Calculate your weight in kilograms: # of lbs × 0.454 (kg/lb) = # of kg

  2. 2. Calculate your height in meters: # of inches ×× 0.0254 (meters/inch) = # of meters

  3. Divide your weight (in kilograms) by your height (in meters) squared.

To determine your basal metabolic rate

Your basal metabolic rate (BMR) is the amount of calories you’d burn if you stayed in bed all day. Calculations are different for men and women:

  • Adult male: 66 + (6.3 × body weight in lbs.) + (12.9 × height in inches) – (6.8 × age in years)

  • Adult female: 65 + (4.3 × weight in lbs.) + (4.7 × height in inches) – (4.7 × age in years)

About This Article

This article is from the book:

About the book authors:

Brent Agin, MD, is a family physician in private practice and is also the medical director of a successful weight-loss clinic and laser medical spa. Sharon Perkins, RN, has coauthored five For Dummies books on women's health issues.

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