Thursday, October 9, 2008

Calories & Overeating & BMR

I read an interesting article (sorry I don’t have the reference; I’ll see if I can find it) about BMR the other day. BMR is your Basal Metabolic Rate, which is the number of calories you need to consume to continue basic human function, at rest. We need to consume more than our BMR, of course, because we don’t lie around in bed all day. This article explained how to calculate your BMR and how to use a multiplier to add the number of calories you need, based on your activity level. It also discussed which types of people tend to have higher BMR’s and who has lower ones and a list of things that can and cannot change your BMR.

The article also discussed safe ways practice “calorie deficits.” Doesn’t that sound nicer than “diet”? Really, calorie deficit is what losing weight is all about. No matter how many calories you burn exercising, if you eat more than that, you will still gain, not lose, weight. Even if you eat healthy foods, even if you stay in the “fat burning” heart rate zone on your cardio machine, it still comes down to basic math: calories in < calories out.

Their suggestions for calorie deficits are: minimum 500 – 1000 maximum calorie reduction and never below 1200 calories/day. Or -15-20% of the calories you need per day.

I calculated my BMR, my TDEE (Total Daily Energy Expenditure), my “calorie deficits” needed, etc. then remembered that I don’t count calories, so all those numbers didn’t really matter.

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