The BMI Calculator
This calculator will help determine whether you are underweight, healthy weight or overweight. Once you know this then you can decide how much weight you really need to lose or if you need to lose weight at all. You’ll need to play around with the numbers a bit, so that you can find out how much you need to weigh to be at a healthy BMI. I would recommend the BMI calculator on calorie count: http://caloriecount.about.com/tools/bmi-calculator. It is easy to use; you just type in the relevant information and it gives you an answer. It is also FREE!
The Calorie Burned Calculator
This calculates the number of calories you burn on a typical day. If you want to maintain your weight, you stick to this caloric intake but if you want to lose weight, you have to take in fewer calories. For example, on a typical day, I burn 1800 calories, if I want to lose weight; I need to take in fewer calories than 1800 calories.
Experts recommend that you lose about 1 kilogram a week. To lose a kilo a week you need to consume 500 less calories from your normal daily calorie intake. For my case, that would mean, 1800- 500 = 1300 calories daily, seven days a week. I can get to 1300 calories either by cutting down on food or by exercising or by both. I would recommend the calorie burned calculator on calorie count: http://caloriecount.about.com/tools/calorie-burned-calculator.
PS: The more weight you lose, the fewer calories you’ll burn in a day. Additionally, it is recommended that women’s daily calorie intake should not be less than 1300 calories and more than 2000 calories.
For new/breastfeeding moms, your calorie intake should not go below 2000 calories until your baby is 3 months or older especially if your breastfeeding exclusively. For breastfeeding moms, the best online tools for you are at Super Tracker: https://www.supertracker.usda.gov.
The Calorie Counter
This tool helps you count your daily calorie intake from the food you consume. My biggest issue with this online tool is that it does not have African foods on it like egusi soup, mtori, pilau e.t.c. and it is tiresome to calculate the ingredients of a meal separately. Just imagine trying to calculate how many calories matoke (green bananas) cooked in coconut sauce; you’d have to calculate the oil you use, the onions, the green bananas and the coconut sauce separately then add them up. And how do you calculate foods like ugali? (For mamapreneurs with an IT background, this can be a business venture. Make a calorie counter app for African foods).
However, you can use it for the basic foods like fruits, veggies, rice and bread. I would recommend the calorie counter on My Fitness Pal or on Super Tracker.
Calories Burned from Exercise Calculator
This tool helps you calculate how many calories you burned from that aerobic dvd exercise or the spin class or jog. The best one is at My Fitness Pal.