How the Calorie Budget is Calculated

This article explains the formulas ProTracker Plus uses to determine your calorie budget.

The Basics

Losing 1 pound requires that your body burns 3,500 more calories than it consumes.

Your daily calorie budget is the number of calories you should consume in order to create the deficit required to achieve your goal. We've already configured it to account for the calorie reduction.Your daily calorie budget is computed using two factors:

  1. An estimate of the number of calories you burn each day.
  2. The number of pounds you are attempting to lose per week.

Example: If you’re attempting to lose 1 pound per week and you normally burn 2,500 calories per day your daily calorie budget would be 2,000. This number is calculated as follows:

Weekly calorie deficit required to lose 1 pound = 3,500 calories

Daily calorie deficit = 500 calories (3,500 calories divided by 7 days)

Daily calorie budget = 2,000 calories (2,500 calories minus daily deficit of 500 calories)

The reliability of this method is dependent on an accurate estimate of your daily calories burned. The estimate may, therefore, be inaccurate for a variety of reasons (e.g. more or less active metabolism than normal, more or less daily occupational activity than normal).  As a result, you may make any adjustments you feel are required using the Weekly Goal field of the Goals screen (directions here). You can also change your activity level if your occupational activity is higher/lower than normal (directions here).

For most people, the calorie budget calculation method (based on The Mifflin equation and a Physical Activity estimation) works just fine.

How Many Calories does ProTracker Estimate I Burn?

There are a few important concepts here.

BMR (Basal Metabolic Rate): Your BMR represents the number of calories you burn just by being alive—if you laid in bed all day, you would burn your BMR. We calculate this for you based on your weight, height, age, and gender.

PAL (Physical Activity Level): ProTracker Plus provides five activity levels that members can choose: Sedentary, Lightly Active, Moderately Active, Very Active, Extremely Active. Your activity level is used to calculate both your calorie budget as well as the number of calories ProTracker Plus estimates you burn in a day.

Sedentary or Lightly Active options are recommended if your occupation is in an office setting. Moderately Active to Extremely Active options are recommended if your occupation is physically demanding such as a professional athlete or construction worker.

We recommend choosing the activity level that best coincides with your daily work/life routine, excluding optional exercise. Exercises outside of your daily work/life routine should be logged as exercise. If you’re using a fitness tracker, there’s no need to log exercise as your total calorie burn will be used to track your activity.

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