MMB – What is the Harris Benedict Formula?

Good morning everyone!

I hope you all had an awesome weekend and are soaking up the good vibes and sun rays out there!  There was a point over the weekend that I walked outside of my house and I heard the beautiful sound of leaf blowers, lawn mowers, and hedgers, which are all indicators that it’s spring time and there’s lots of busy work to do in the yard!  By the way, if you have a gardner…..let them go.  I’m telling you right now, yard work is an awesome work out is totally functional fitness.  Think about it – gardening is all about squatting down, pulling weeds, tilling soil, reaching up to trim branches, reaching across your body to rake, and the list goes on!  I know some of you don’t like gardening and I get that.  But gardening will keep your body youthful because of the movement patterns that are required.  If you are living in a space right now that doesn’t have a yard, that’s o.k.  Help a friend or parent out who needs help in their yard!  I always think of Ken and Joanne Vieira and how they are always helping out their kids with their yards.  Moving like this has helped them stay more youthful and able to move better because of the sweat equity they have put into yard work.  Gardening…..just do it! LOL!  🙂 

This past Saturday was the 2nd Spring Fitness Challenge of our Partner/Pacer drills.  For those of you who made it out this past Saturday, what did you think about the work out?  Did you find that you were working harder because you had somebody waiting on you?  You betcha!  That’s what it is all about!  Let’s have fun in our fitness and make some friends too!  Here are some photos from these awesome boot campers from Saturday’s Challenge:



Announcements and Reminders:

  1.  Cardio Core is tomorrow night!  Please let me know if you’d like to sign up for 5:45pm to 6:45pm, 6:55pm to 7:25pm, or 7:35pm to 8:05pm!
  2. Spring Fitness Challenge dates remaining:  4/20, 5/4, 5/11, & 5/18  NO Challenge 4/26!
  3. Cardio Fusion is Thursday at VBC with one class from 5:45pm to 6:45pm.  You are welcome to come for either 30 or 60 minutes!


Thought for the week:  What is the Harris Benedict Formula?

For those of you who are trying to lose weight, it’s helpful to know how many calories you are burning at a resting state (calories required for your organs to function) and how many calories you should be eating to either maintain the same weight or how many you should reduce so that you can lose weight.  The Harris Benedict Formula will help give you a guideline as to what those caloric numbers should look like.  Remember, this tool is a guideline and is not totally perfect. 

Here is the definition and a bit of history about this formula:

Definition:  The Harris Benedict Equation is a formula that uses your BMR and then applies an activity factor to determine your total daily energy expenditure (calories). The only factor omitted by the Harris Benedict Equation is lean body mass. Remember, leaner bodies need more calories than less leaner ones. Therefore, this equation will be very accurate in all but the very muscular (will under-estimate calorie needs) and the very fat (will over-estimate calorie needs).


The Harris–Benedict equation sprang from a study by James Arthur Harris and Francis Gano Benedict, which was published in 1919 by the Carnegie Institution of Washington in the monograph A Biometric Study Of Basal Metabolism In Man. A 1984 revision improved its accuracy. Mifflin et al. published an equation more predictive for modern lifestyles in 1990.[4] Later work produced BMR estimators that accounted for lean body mass.

Issues in dietary use

As the BMR equations do not attempt to take into account body composition, identical results can be calculated for a very muscular person, and a very fat person, who are both the same height, weight, age and gender. As muscle and fat require differing amounts of calories to maintain, the TEE estimates will not be accurate for such cases.

The paper behind the latest update (Mifflin et al) to the BMR formula states all participants in their study fall within the ‘normal’ and ‘overweight’ body mass index (BMI) categories, and so the results also do not necessarily apply to those in the ‘underweight’ or ‘obese’ BMI categories.

Here are two links for you to review.  The first link is the calculator to figure out your BMR and how many calories you need to maintain your weight.  Remember, be realistic and truthful about your activity level.  If you are working out 2-3 days, don’t put 5-6 because the numbers won’t reflect accurately.

When I did mine, this is what it came up with :

Jen Allan’s BMR

BMR – 1240
Daily Calorie Needs: 2108 calories.

So, did you figure out that you need to shed off a few hundred calories every day in order to lose weight?  Here are some helpful tips to help you reduce extra calories that might be sabotaging your weight loss:

  1.  Don’t eat after 6pm at night.  Remember, your metabolism reflects your activity level.  What are you getting ready to do at night?  Sleep.  So, if you have a heavy meal at 8pm and go to sleep at 10pm, this is a recipe for weight gain, sleep apnea, poor metabolism, and a host of other problems.  Try to turn off the lights in the kitchen later at night as a visual indicator that the kitchen is off duty.
  2. Do you enjoy those sugared up coffee drinks from Starbucks?  If you need your java, go for a drip coffee and add some almond milk and 1 packet of sugar.  You can sprinkle a little cocoa powder on top if you’d like, but stay away from those blended coffee drinks.
  3. Limit alcohol to 2 drinks per week is possible.  Alcohol keeps your liver busy breaking down alcohol instead of breaking down the fats you eat.  This creates a problem in digestion and breaking down fats, so they are stored longer and you can end up with a fatty liver and a sluggish metabolism.  Calories from alcohol are empty calories with zero nutrient value.
  4. Try intermittent fasting.  It can be as simple as not eating anything after 6pm and waiting 14-16 hours until breakfast.  You can try doing this 2-3 days a week and see how you do.  It’s good for making your insulin receptors more sensitive, which is a good thing. 
  5. Drink more water.  How often do you pee throughout the day?  What color is your pee?  It should be a pale, light yellow with little odor. 
  6. Eat complex carbohydrates before work outs and simple carbs after work out, especially if you’d done HIIT drills.  Add a little protein with your simple carb after a work out. 
  7. Avoid sugar treats when you hit that afternoon wall.  Go far a big glass of water and a small handful of nuts with a piece of fruit.  You’ll feel much better and so will your metabolism!