Can you get to your weight loss goal in one year? In two years? What is reasonable, and what is just too much to even consider. We first need to start with determining how many calories you use a day, and we will build the math from there.


Basal Metabolic Rate (BMR):

The basic BMR is where we calculate how many calories you use if you do nothing but change the channel with a remote control. Every day your body uses calories, and depending on how many calories you use.

Then you have to determine what your activity level is. The more active you are, the higher your energy requirements.

To figure out how much you are using every day you need to multiply your BMR by your activity level (activity multiplier – see below). That will give you the total calories you use.

  • If you have a sedentary life (desk job with little or no exercise), then multiply by 1.2
  •  If you do some light sports 1-3 days a week, or simple walking then multiply it by 1.3.
  • If you walk two to three miles a day, at least three days a week, and walk it in a 17 minute mile then multiply it by 1.55.

Post op—the first few weeks after open surgery your BMR will be multiplied by two. After laparoscopic surgery—for the first few weeks, your BMR will be multiplied by 1.4.

For six to seven days of intense sports, multiply your BMR by 1.725.

The basic BMR calculation:

Lean body mass __________ lbs. (this would be your weight at a BMI of 20).

Multiply your lean body mass in pounds by 9.8 then add 370.

Lean body mass _______ x 9.8 =________ +370 =______ which is your BMR

Active Metabolic Rate – BMR considering your activity level:

___________ BMR x __________ activity multiplier = _____________

= total calories you use per day, or your energy expenditure.

BMR Calculator

Now, we have some numbers we can work with.

  • If you want to remain at your current weight, you need to continue to eat the same amount of calories that your body uses per day.
  • If you want to lose one pound per week, then you need to use an extra 500 calories a day (500 calories x 7 days is 3500 calories or the amount in one pound).
  • If you lose one pound per week, in a year you will have lost 52 pounds! Not a bad goal to have.

Want to lose more? Let’s do the math. If you want to lose over 100 pounds in a year then you need to use 1000 calories a day more than you consume.

  • If you want to lose ten pounds in a year you need to cut out 95 calories a day.

So, how do you want to do that? Do you want to eat less or move more? Chances are you will need to do a combination of both. We will leave it to the exercise section to show you how to lose weight and keep it off by raising your basal metabolic rate.

In the food section we will show you the choices to make that keep you full (satiated and satisfied).

Now that you know your numbers, we can apply those numbers to your life.

As you know our motto is “You can’t manage what you don’t measure.” We did a bit of measuring of your BMR and calorie requirements. Knowing those numbers will allow to you make choices that will help you lose weight. Tracking your weight loss is important so that you know what is and is not working for you.


But weight loss is not always the only indicator of your progress. You also need to measure the inches you lose from your body. Even though the weight loss can be dramatic people are often amazed to find out the incredible amount of inches they lose as their body get smaller. It is another form of positive feedback to keep you motivated to reach you goal.

Each month measure everything—your weight, BMI, neck, chest, arm, waist, hips, thigh, calf and ankle and record those numbers in the chart below.

Body Measurement Chart

Take this chart with you to support group meetings and share it with new people who may be uncertain about the success surgery can offer, share it with friends who may be stuck on a plateau and looking to get back on track and share it with your surgeon who will happy to see your progress.

If you are a fresh post-operative patient, then your surgeon will help you set a realistic goal for weight loss in the first 18 months. If you had weight loss surgery more than 18 months ago, your maximum weight loss per week should not exceed two pounds.