Basal Metabolic Rate
Your basal metabolic rate is a tool that trainers and nutritionists use as a starting point in their weight loss program.
We all know what basal metabolism is – a dictionary describes it as “the quantity of energy used by a relaxing object simply by preserving its simple functions.” The basal metabolic rate (BMR) is a measure of the energy needed for the body to relax.
The calories you burn do nothing (other than overseeing your body’s basic functions such as digestion, blood circulation, breathing, etc., of course). It is a natural way to keep you from growing indefinitely. But how does a basal metabolic rate help us start a weight loss program?
The basal metabolic rate is an indicator factor used to determine the minimum of our daily calorie needs. We can calculate BMR using simple arithmetic according to the formula:
Male: 66 + (6.3 x weight in pounds) + (12.9 x height)
To illustrate, suppose a 40-year-old woman loses 5’6’s weight and weighs 150 pounds:
655 + (4.3 x 150) + (4.7 x 66) – (4.7 x 40) = 655 + 645 + 310 – 188 = 1,422 calories
His basal metabolic rate is 1,422. That means the woman burns 1,422 calories keeping her body active. So what does the coach (or you) do with this information? This number represents the minimum calories you need each day for sustenance. But what if you want to lose weight? You just have to lower your calories, right? That’s not right.
When you reduce calories, your body responds naturally by reducing its calorie intake to protect itself from starvation. Even if you eat less, your weight does not change. If you eat the same calories but exercise a lot, that should work, right? If your body is working hard and you are not getting enough energy, too, it will reduce your calorie burn and your results will be minimal.
So does that mean you should eat more calories? Does that not make sense? Not according to Josh Bezoni, fitness expert and founder of BioTrust Nutrition. He says, “Exercise increases the body. Eating increases the body.
The trick is to learn to balance both in order to build the wrong calorie balance.” Suppose you calculate your basal metabolic rate and allow you to burn 2000 calories a day. Knowing this, you continue to eat and start eating 1500 calories a day causing a shortage of 500. That may seem like a good idea, but eating less will slow down your metabolism.
Now let’s change a few things. Your basal metabolic rate still allows you to burn 2000 calories a day.
But, instead of reducing your calories to 1500, you start eating 300 more calories each day but also burn an extra 800 calories through exercise. The result? You get the same 500 calorie deficit (2800 calories burned – 2300 calories consumed) but you do so while growing your body with more food and exercise. This procedure is especially useful for those with a low basal metabolic rate due to calorie restriction and sedentary health. (By the way, a 500 calorie deficit a day shows a weight loss of 1 kg per week.)
The basal metabolic rate provides a good base for low calories. Obviously, proper nutrition and exercise are essential to your success. A sugary diet and/or exercise program that includes regular walking on a treadmill will make it harder to lose weight.
But if you use your BMR as a starter, you will be able to not go down that level and add diet and exercise properly to create a calorie deficit. The basal metabolic rate makes you get started. The next step is to change your lifestyle.
A diet rich in vegetables, fruits, lean protein sources, seeds and nuts (to a lesser extent) combined with strength training that includes both aerobic and anaerobic exercise is a good formula to follow to lose weight and overall health. Some sports can give you a full workout, too. An excellent start to a weight loss program is to calculate your basal metabolic rate.