Weight loss is a challenge. Many people have to make several attempts, but how nice would it be to get it on the first try? The most effective and easiest way to do this is calculating weight loss goals before setting up realistic expectations. Alot of people fail in this aspect, and tend to be unrealistic and then either make up for it be starving themselves which does more harm than good, or they get down on themselves, that also does more harm than good.When calculating weight loss, there is a bit of a process and it helps tremendously to write it down and glance at it on a regular basis.

First, you should do a self analysis, do this by calculating your BMI (Body Mass Index). The formula is (Weight in pounds/(height in inches x height in inches)) Then multiply this number by 703. So if you were a 5ft 4in female that weighed 155 you would have a BMI of 26.6.

**The BMI table goes as follows:**

18.5 or less is considered underweight

18.5-24.9 is considered a normal weight

25-29.9 is considered overweight

30 or greater is obese

This tells you a little bit about how much you will want to be losing to get to a normal BMI.

Next you should calculate your BMR (Basal Metabolic Rate) to see approximately how many calories you burn daily. For the same 155 pound female, standing at 5 ft 4 in, who is 25 she would burn 1512.55 calories daily. However, if she was a male the BMR would be 1673.45. The formula for your BMR is different for women and men. The formula goes as follows:

**Women:**

BMR=655+(4.35 x weight in pounds) + (4.7 x height in inches) – (4.7 x age in years)

**Men:**

BMR=66+(6.23 x weight in pounds) + (12.7 x height in inches) – (6.8 x age in years)

After calculating this, you should have a pretty good idea of how many calories you burn daily just by keeping yourself alive. So what can you do with this information? That brings us to the Harris Benedict formula.

The Harris Benedict formula tells you exactly how many calories you need daily based on your BMR.

**The formula goes as follows:**

-Sedentary (little to no exercise)

Calories=BMR x 1.2

-Lightly active (Light exercise/sports 1-3 days a week)

Calories=BMR x 1.375

-Moderately (moderate exercise/sports 3-5 days a week)

Calories=BMR x 1.55

-Very active (hard exercise/sports 6-7 days a week)

Calories=BMR x 1.725

-Extra active (very hard exercise/sports 7 days a week)

Calories=BMR x 1.9

Using this method to determine how many calories you need to maintain a healthy weight, will also give a good idea of how many calories you have to cut back to lose weight. The best way of calculating weight loss goals is to take your daily calorie needs and deduct 500 calories, that is a pound a week. 500 calories x 7 days = 3500 calories = 1 pound per week.

So really weight loss is most effective when tailored to the individual. Calculating weight loss goals is the most successful approach to weight loss. It is important to keep expectations realistic, and to not cut calories to the point where you are losing muscle mass. The true natural fat burner is muscle mass.