Much has changed since, especially what the average might be. The average height for women is 5' 4". The average weight for a woman with a medium frame in the 5' 4" range is 125 lbs. Now, this not so mysterious number depends on age as well. As we age, our metabolic processes slow down. That is the demand or need for energy is not so great, unless we decide to be active. For example, a 25 year old woman, meeting the averages listed above, has a BMR of 1382 Calories. Whereas, a 50 year old woman, meeting the same averages listed above, has a BMR of 1265 Calories.
So, if you are a sedentary individual (little to no activity) and you consume more than your BMR, you will gain weight. If you consume exactly your BMR, then you will maintain your weight. AND if you consume less than your BMR, you will lose weight.
Now for another twist. Depending on your activity level your caloric intake will vary. For example, let's use the 25 year old woman's BMR, which is 1382. Using the multipliers, we can figure out what her caloric intake needs to be for different activity levels: sedentary (1.2), lightly active (1.375), moderately active (1.55), very active (1.725), extra active (1.9).
- Sedentary (little to no physical activity) ... 1382 x 1.2 = 1658
- Lightly Active (physically active 2 to 3 times a week) ... 1382 x 1.375 = 1925
- Moderately Active (physically active 4 to 5 times a week) ... 1382 x 1.55 = 2142
- Very Active (physically active everyday of the week) ... 1382 x 1.725 = 2383
- Extra Active (hard labor work, athlete working out twice a day) 1382 x 1.9 = 2625
Remember, the bold, underlined number is the energy in calories necessary to maintain the corresponding activity level. If you want to lose weight, you have to take in less energy. Energy comes from food.
If you would like to find your BMR, click on the link below.