Adjusting Your Calorie Needs Post-Amputation – What to Know

Getting an amputation is a life experience that brings with it a whole series of changes and adjustments to accommodate the lack of a limb. It’s no surprise that adjusting to it can prove to be difficult for anyone who prefers living an active lifestyle. However, it’s important to know that your regular daily routine shouldn’t stop after amputation, even if a huge part of it consists of counting your calories.


Whether you’re a bodybuilder, someone who likes to examine what they eat, or you’re simply under strict dietary restrictions and standards, you may find it difficult to count your calories after an amputation. They can be affected heavily by the loss of a limb, especially if that limb had a lot of muscle. 


You should know that having a certain amount of muscle will cause you to burn more calories. So if a certain limb with muscle is amputated, chances are your total daily energy expenditure (TDEE) will decrease after amputation. In order to manually calculate the amount of calories that you’ll have to consume to reach your fitness goals, you’ll have to decide what your ideal body weight and total TDEE after amputation will be.


Steps to follow

Although it might seem a bit too complicated, you can actually adjust your caloric needs after amputation in a few simple steps:


STEP 1: Calculate your target body weight before the amputation

For men: The standard equation for calculating your ideal body weight is 106 pounds (for the first five feet of your height) plus 6 pounds for every inch above 5 feet (or minus 6 for every inch below). To illustrate, the ideal weight of a man who is 5 feet and 8 inches tall is 146 pounds.

For women: On the other hand, women should use 100 pounds for the first 5 feet, and then add 5 pounds for every inch above five feet (or deduct 5 pounds for every inch below 5 feet, inversely).

STEP 2: Determine the total amount of weight you lost after the amputation

You’ll have to refer to any medical records you had pre-amputation for your starting weight and weigh yourself after amputation. Subtract the former from the latter to get the total amount of weight that you lost. After getting the total amount of weight lost, divide your lost weight by your pre-amputation weight to get the total percentage.


STEP 3: Calculate your remaining body weight

With the amount of weight lost in percentage, subtract your post-amputation weight loss from 100 to get the total amount of weight that you have left.


STEP 4: Calculate your ideal body weight post-amputation

Once you’ve got the remaining percentage of body weight, convert that into decimal form and multiply it by your ideal body weight pre-amputation in order to get your ideal post-amputation weight.


STEP 5: Determine your Physical Activity coefficient based on your activity level

For men aged 19 and older: Your PA values are 1.0 if you have a sedentary lifestyle, 1.11 if you are slightly or lowly-active, 1.25 if you’re active, and 1.48 if you’re very active

For women aged 19 and older: The PA values you’ll have to follow are 1.0 if you’re sedentary, 1.12 if you’re low active, 1.27 if you have an active lifestyle, and 1.45 if you’re very active.


STEP 6: Calculate how many calories you’ll need to consumer to reach your goal

For men: The equation is as follows: 662 – (9.53 x age in years) + PA x [(15.91 x weight in kilograms) + (539.6 x height in meters)]

For women: The equation is as follows: 354 – (6.91 x age in years) + PA x [(9.36 x weight in kilograms) + (726 x height in meters)]

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