Your Basal Metabolic Rate or BMR is one of the more often talked about principles of weight loss. It’s the number of calories that you body burns and it does not include the calories you burn from exercise. Those are bonus calories. Unfortunately for us, there’s a plethora of misinformation out there about your BMR and it can can or can’t do.
Most people just straight up overestimate the actual number of calories that they burn in a day. You take someone that has normally been under-eating for the last few months and that individual will expect to lose weight within a few weeks of dieting. It just can’t happen.
Metabolisms do vary, sure, but not to the great extent that you can get away with eating your daily allowance before lunch!
I remember when I thought it was necessary to consume the same amount of food each day in order to build muscle. I did build muscle but I got fat in the process. I overestimated my daily caloric allowance for a given day.
Does muscle help or hurt your BMR?
In all cases, it surely helps but how much it helps is up in the air. Magazines like to tell you that you’ll burn 50 extra calories for every pound of muscle mass that you carry. I don’t believe that as much, research shows it’s more like 50-100 calories total over the course of the day.
Not bad but you shouldn’t be stuffing your face. That being said, you do need to consume a higher amount of calories on your training days to replenish and recover.
In all honesty, people eat too few calories to lose a ton of weight in a short period of time.
You don’t need to subtract XYZ calories to lose weight, you need to eat a certain amount of calories UNDER your BMR. So if you want to lose two pounds per week you need to eat around 1000 calories under your normal intake. That’s a lot.
So here’s the real world applications of everything we just said.
- To start losing weight, eat 500-600 calories under your BMR (just google BMR calculator).
- Your BMR accounts for 80% of your calories burned.
- Don’t include calories burned from activity. That’s just extra. You want to lose weight without ever working out.
- Your BMR adjusts with every pound you lose so you must continually evolve your diet with it.
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