Use the Mifflin Equation for Weight Control

The best, most accurate method to determine calorie needs for fitness nutrition and weight loss

Einstein in 1921; photo courtesy F_Schmutzer

Runners and the public at large needs to manage their weight and avoid obesity, right? Some are taking up workouts just to lose weight, others want to slim down a bit and lower race times. (Less load = more efficiency.)

To begin with, consume real food. It’s true that elite runners eat all kinds of nutritional supplements and proprietary concoctions. Also true, there's a big business marketing the latest and greatest fad weight loss thing.

Green tea, white tea, acai berry, the list goes on. But the person-on-the-street runner doesn’t need to shell out the big bucks for weight control.

And remember, the price of these products are almost always inflated. The secret? Eat normal foods at a slight deficit and the unneeded pounds will melt away. But, you are asking, how can I figure that out without paying a sports nutritionist?

Simple; read on!

Plug in the Numbers

Simply plug in your numbers to find your RMR (Resting Metabolic Rate). This is the number of calories needed per day simply to keep alive and kicking. Next, multiply the resulting number by the factor that best fits your personal activity level.

Anything lower than that number will result in weight loss. Higher? A chance of weight gain. How easy is that? Let’s get started.

  • For men: (10 x w) + (6.25 x h) - (5 x a) + 5
  • For women:(10 x w) + (6.25 x h) - (5 x a) - 161


  • w = weight in kg (1 pound = 0.45359237 kilograms)
  • h = height in cm (1 inch = 2.54 centimeters)
  • a = age (in years)

Activity Factor Category Definition

if sedentary, little or no exercise and desk job
if lightly Active, light exercise, or sports 1-3 days a week
if moderately active, moderate exercise, or sports 3-5 days a week
if very active, hard exercise, or sports 6-7 days a week
if extremely active, hard daily exercise or sports and physical job

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