I’ll do my best to explain it here, but I’ll be posting something a little more detailed later today or tomorrow!
Your BMR (base metabolic rate) is what your body needs to stay at the current weight you are. Meaning, if you stayed in bed all day, you would need 1400 calories a day to neither lose or gain a pound.
Your body goes into starvation mode when it hits below 1200 calories. However, the ‘1200’ calorie rule is just a basis or an average. Everyone’s body is different (for me, 1400 calories is my lowest intake before my body starts holding on to whatever it can & my energy dips). 1200 calories is not for everyone & should not be used as a standard for weight loss that includes working out.
So, your BMR is 1400 before you do anything. Now you need to factor in the approximate amount of calories you burn just by living life as you do & then factor in the amount of calories you’re burning by working out. We burn calories doing EVERYTHING we do; walking, sitting, stretching, laughing. Your body composition & metabolism may give you a boost or a deficit here; the more muscle you have, the more you burn doing everything. The less muscle you have, the less you might burn throughout the day.
To get the right number of calories you need to be eating, use this formula…
1. Calculate your BMR (current body weight x 10) = _________
2. Calculate your daily ‘living life’ calorie burn (If you’re sedentary: BMR x 0.10. Moderately active: BMR x 0.20. Very Active: BMR x 0.30). BMR x ___ = Daily Life Burn
3. Find out how many calories you’re burning during your workouts. This can be tricky, but don’t rely on machines alone. Expenditure will vary based on height, weight, intensity, muscle mass & fitness level. Most people overestimate their burn. Use online resources, a monitor like a Body Bugg, or a professional assessment to get a good idea. If using online resources, estimate your number somewhere between the lower end and higher end of the scale at first, and adjust as you go.
Put all those numbers together.
BMR + Daily Life Burn + Workout Burn = ________
That final number is the number you need to subtract your deficit calories from… your calorie target. For 1lb a week, subract 500 calories. Never subtract more than 1000 calories from this number, or go below 1200 calories total.
My example: BMR: 1250, Daily Life Burn: 375, Workout Burn: 700-800, depending on the day.
1250 + 375 + 700 = 2325
On days when I workout, I need to eat 2325 calories to stay where I am. Lose a pound a week? I need to eat 1825. This is a HIGH number because of the amount I burn while working out. On days when I’m NOT working out at all, I’d need to eat 1625 calories a day. To lose a pound/week, not working out, I’d have to dip down to 1125, which is a little too low for me.
When we dip too low in calories, a few things happen.
1. We lack the energy to get a sufficient calorie burn during our daily life (if you’re too tired, you won’t take the stairs, move as much & move slower than normal - even if you don’t feel it.).
2. We lack the energy needed to get through the workouts, or put some bang into them.
3. The body doesn’t want to let go of the precious resources it has and will hold on to every calorie it can.
4. Your metabolism suffers, making your BMR drop (meaning those calculations become useless).
5. Your body will MAKE you feed it. Believe me, most people fall off their plans because they’re body is screaming for quick, fast energy a.k.a. sugar and simple carbs. When all you want is pizza, chips, chocolate, fast food… it’s your bodies way of saying ‘I need more & fast”. Those foods absorb into the system very quickly, boosting blood sugar fast. Meaning, it drops just as fast.
I didn’t believe it the first time I heard it, but believe me you’re gaining weight because you’re not eating enough (or enough of the clean, good stuff). Use these calculations to give yourself a better estimate & load up on good calories, frequently, throughout the day. I was stuck at a plateau for months a few years back due to restricting. I added over 700 calories a day to my diet and lost the last 5lbs I needed (which are often the hardest).
6 RULES to live by: Eat, eat clean, don’t starve, move tons, lift heavy, have fun. Imagine a life where you are never hungry, can eat what you want & attain healthy-weight goals. It is possible.
I’ll be posting a better explanation a little later today to clarify more, but message me if you have any questions!