Tuesday, February 7, 2012

Basal Metabolic Rate

If my extra pounds were this cute, I wouldn't mind them.
In trying to figure out the sweet spot with weight loss, I've been restricting my calorie intake along with getting in a good amount of exercise (both aerobic AND anaerobic); consuming less refined carbohydrates and more lean protein.  I usually eat between 1100 and 1400 calories per day, a little more when I'm hitting the gym, but occasionally I'll have an off day (i.e. a Friday or Saturday) and eat upwards of 2200-3000 calories.  My weight loss has not really been at the levels I wanted, although I am aware I'm not super far from my goal, and weight loss slows down the closer you get to your goal weight.  I have been a little worried lately that I might not be eating enough calories to be feeding my body the proper nutrients.  I did a little research and started reading about Basal Metabolic Rate, or the daily amount of energy my body spends just to keep up basic bodily functions.  In other words, the amount of calories I need just to keep my body happy and healthy in a resting state.  By deduction, to lose weight I should be eating at LEAST this amount of calories a day, but less than the amount of calories my body needs to maintain it's current weight.  There are many calculators out there, but they should all be within 100 calories of each other.  This is the one linked and recommended by a moderator on LoseIt forums.

It's also good to remind yourself that while tools like LoseIt can tell you how many calories to eat to lose "2 lbs per week", that number may be below your BMR- which ultimately will not be healthy.  Remember that these tools are just that- TOOLS, and YOU need to do the research to make sure you are being healthy about your weight loss.

My BMR= 1491 cal/day.

I need to average approx. 2050 cal/day to maintain my current weight.

I'm going to try to up my daily average closer to 1500-1600 cal/day, and lower any outlier days like Fridays and Saturdays. (weekends! curses!)

Now that I've cut the majority of refined carbohydrates out of my diet, I actually find it's harder to reach my caloric intake goal without ingesting too much fat or carbohydrates.  Let's be honest, the things that make up the bulk of my daily intake volume wise (veggies, fruit, lean proteins) don't take up the bulk of my daily calories.  When 2 cups of spinach is only 14 calories and 1 Tbsp of Olive Oil is closer to 200, it's harder to eat the amount of spinach to make up for that 1 Tbsp.  Getting more calories in isn't something that's a problem for most Americans, but getting calories that contain the right nutrients to keep your body happy and healthy is a completely different battle.

At this point, it's much more about losing weight the correct and healthy way, and not the fast way.  Not that it's really been fast anywhere along the way, but that's okay.

Anyways, I'm going to go eat some cottage cheese and go to Group Groove! 

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