Losing Weight with Wolfram|Alpha

February 6, 2012
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Angela Potticary
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Remember that New Year’s resolution you made to lose weight this year? If you’re one of the many people around the world who pledged to get healthy and finally lose that weight, Wolfram|Alpha is here to help! Even with January behind us, there is still plenty of time to get back on track in 2012.

Studies throughout the decades have shown that regular diet and exercise is the number-one way to get healthy. Wolfram|Alpha can offer you a variety of different ways to start, track, and maintain your new healthy lifestyle.

Query how to lose weight, and Wolfram|Alpha will bring up a formula where you can enter all the information needed, including your intended physical activity level, to figure out how many calories you should be eating every day in order to reach your target body weight:

How to lose weight

Once you’ve filled out all your information, you’ll be able to see all sorts of different data. You’ll come across a “weight loss regimen duration pod”, which will show you how long it should take you to meet your goal if you stick to the plan. A little further down the page is information on what your caloric intake should be in order to maintain your weight once you’ve reached your goal. Wolfram|Alpha also shows you what your ideal body weight should be based on the information you entered into the formula.

Now, everyone is different, and the ideal body weight for all people of the same age, same gender, and same height is definitely not the same across the board, so don’t worry if your personal target differs from the “ideal body weight.” You know your body and goals best!

Other pods on the page will show you comparison charts; if you want to lose your weight in four months or in half a year, Wolfram|Alpha shows you the different caloric intakes necessary for each frame of time. If you aren’t able to be moderately active or if you plan on being extremely active, we’ll show you how your daily required caloric intake will change. Play around with the formula, figure out what regimen works best for you, and start your new healthy lifestyle right away!

Comparisons for regimen durations

Now that you’ve got your caloric intake numbers set, you can use Wolfram|Alpha to figure out how many calories are in the food that you’re eating! You can either query a food directly or you can use one of the many widgets that other Wolfram|Alpha users have created for a quick answer. With all the options we’ve got, you’ll be able to find accurate calorie counts for all the foods you’re eating every day—even the ones you’d pick up at some fast food restaurants:

Calories in 4 ounces of cooked chicken

The next step is to get a better idea of how many calories you’re burning when you exercise. Typically, you need to burn 500 more calories than you eat every day in order to lose one pound per week. This handy widget will help you to accurately figure out not only your caloric burn, but also what other activities are equivalent to the specific activity you’ve just queried. Awesome, right?

As we stated before, possible results will vary from person to person. Make sure to consult a medical professional before starting any new weight-loss regimen.

It can be really hard to make the necessary changes required for losing weight and getting healthy. We all know it. But we at Wolfram|Alpha also know how integral the right tools can be in securing a victory and long-term success. So get yourself a food journal (or make yourself a spreadsheet using Mathematica) and start tracking your caloric intake and caloric burn with our data and widgets. Let Wolfram|Alpha help you to reach your goal this year of becoming a healthier person!

10 Comments

“intake 1133 Cal/day for -25 days to lose -6 lb with a sedentary activity level”

Could this be adapted for compatibility with weight gain programs as well?

Posted by Kim Reece February 6, 2012 at 3:23 pm Reply

It would be handy to have this tool calculate what it would take to gain weight too. I’m sure the algorithm wouln’t need to much modification.

Posted by Peter February 7, 2012 at 11:39 am Reply

Just need to enter your target weight… it will figure for you

Posted by James February 8, 2012 at 12:50 am Reply

What about diets based not on calories but carbohydrates or fat reduction? Would it work in the same way?

Posted by Hector February 8, 2012 at 7:20 am Reply

What a fascinating utility!

I think it would be a fascinating idea if it were estimate approximate fat percentages if key areas (usually around one’s upper arm, middle torso and the fat around the femur, if I recall correctly) are also measured and inputted. Mind you, it would require a tape measurement from the user, but it would be more helpful to me personally if I knew the percentage of fat I have within a range of 3% accurate.

Also, as an aside, the image for this blog post shows what appears to be a solid red Rhombic Hexecontahedron upon a conventional scale. (With an approximate mass of 35.8 g? oz? Whatever it may be, it’s adorable and I am geeky enough that I would happily purchase one for proud display upon my desk if I knew where it were sold.

Posted by Daniel February 8, 2012 at 4:25 pm Reply

I think the biggest problem is that people are eating way to many useless calories. This is particularly the case in the US where I am seeing tremendous results by simply changing a couple of small things in the diet on some of my clients. Hint: removing calories that are useless can change your life! : – )

Great post.

Kind regards,
Alex

Posted by Alex June 21, 2012 at 4:41 am Reply

Hi Angela.

I just wanted to thank you for this post as it has brought me to this amazing calculator/widget. It is really useful and my readers love it.

Thank you once again,

Earlene

Posted by Earlene Blosser July 3, 2013 at 2:32 pm Reply

Wow Angela, this looks like an really awesome resource that will help everybody with their weight loss efforts!!!! Will definitely share this with my readers!!!

Great tool once again.

Kind Regards,
Christine

Posted by Christine Derrel August 7, 2013 at 2:13 pm Reply

This is awesome stuff, thanks for sharing these tips for lose weight. I will keep them in mind and come back and bookmark your post.

Posted by John Buze March 13, 2014 at 11:46 pm Reply

Nice tool, this application will help everybody to reach their weight loss goal. Definitely a recommended tool

Posted by Anni Hart April 21, 2014 at 2:44 am Reply
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