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Consortium for Mathematics and its Applications

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July 14, 2023
Written on . Posted in Math Modeling.

Math Modeling Real-World Topics: Weight Loss

In this blog series, we're highlighting math modeling modules and articles that explore real-world issues that have broad implications.

Topic Summary

Health and weight are topics that are top-of-mind for many people who are trying to improve their lifestyles. You can use this module to run through a number of calculations to determine the right formula needed to achieve your weight goals.

About the Module

In this weight loss math modeling module, we investigate issues related to health and weight. Many people misunderstand weight gain and loss. In essence, if we consume more calories than we burn, we gain weight and if we burn more calories than we consume, we lose weight. Most people have fairly consistent eating habits, and their bodies adjust to an equilibrium weight, a weight at which they burn approximately the same number of calories each day that they consume.

Many factors affect the number of calories we burn each day, including our height, weight, age, and activity level. It should be fairly obvious that our weight affects the number of calories we burn since the calories burned is equivalent to energy expended and the more we weigh, the more energy we must expend just to move around. This means that as we lose weight, we will burn fewer calories at our regular activity level.

Then, how do the formulas change if you incorporate an exercise program into your life? Factors that affect the calories burned are the length of time we do the activity, our weight (moving more weight requires more energy), and the intensity with which we exercise. 

This module explores the possible formulas and variations that can help you determine the impact your body composition, lifestyle, and exercise can have in your desire to burn calories and lose weight.

How to Access the Module

This math modeling module is available with a free membership on the COMAP website. Sign up here to get access. Then, download the module here. Get the free module here.

Here are some other real-world math modeling modules we’ve featured lately:

Want even more free modules? Check out this list of 10 interesting math modules.

Want more free modules? Check out this list of 10 interesting math modules.

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The Consortium for Mathematics and Its Applications is an award-winning non-profit organization whose mission is to improve mathematics education for students of all ages. Since 1980, COMAP has worked with teachers, students, and business people to create learning environments where mathematics is used to investigate and model real issues in our world.