Basal Metabolic Rate (BMR)
BMR is the amount of energy you expend while at rest. This is the minimum energy you need just to be alive. We burn calories sitting, sleeping, walking, and doing daily tasks. So there are a certain amount of calories you require on a daily basis.
If you exercise, you will require extra calories on top of these calories. So now you are at a maintenance calorie count for an active individual.
If weight loss/ weight gain are your goals, you will need to remove a certain amount from this calorie count. That way you are now in a caloric deficit. (This is a HUGELY simplified version of what actually happens).
How do I calculate my BMR or Calories?
This again is a very simplified version and there are equations to calculate it but this can be fairly accurate.
Weight (Kg) x 24.2 = BMR
BMR x Activity Level = Maintenance Calories
Lightly Active (Walking most days) – 1.2
Moderately Active (Exercise 3- 5 times per week) – 1.5
Very Active (Exercise 5 – 7 times per week) – 1.7
Athlete (Exercise 7-10 times per week) – 1.9
Goal specific – so if weight loss is a goal we are looking at it as an overall percentage of body weight. If someone needs to lose 10% of their body weight we reduce calories by 10% etc.
Maintenance Calories- 10% = Weight loss Calories
Example: 65kg Female, very active looking to lose 5% of body weight
65 x 24.2 = 1573KCal
1573 x 1.7 = 2674KCal
2674 - 5% = 2540 KCal
This should give you a gauge but it still works on the principle of calories in are less than calories out.
Social Media Poison
Social media is a huge culprit for overcomplicating weight loss. Between photoshop, sponsored products and influencers ‘diets’, we buy into all this crap. And that’s what it is. These people you are trying to look like, don’t even look like that!!!!! The products they are promoting, they are getting a substantial amount of money to take those. YOU WILL NOT LOOK LIKE THAT!!!!!! You don’t need to drink their detox teas. You don’t nee that over priced waist trainer. No, that workout video will NOT give you abs. You need to stop comparing yourself to others. Everyone is on a different chapter of their journey. Remember that and invest in a trainer that can actually help you achieve realistic goals.
Paleo, Atkins, IIFYM, No Carb are just a few that spring to mind. They all work on the same principle, calories in are lower than calories out. Whether all you eat is cabbage soup or high protein foods, if you are in a calorie deficit you will lose weight.
What about Macros though? Don’t they count?
It depends on goals. I usually recommend go high protein and after that the breakdown of carbohydrates and fats don’t really matter unless you are at a very low body fat percentage. Why high protein? I did a blogpost on it before, go read it 😊
What about removing whole food groups/food types?
I seen a post recently about someone who was not allowed: Gluten, Dairy, Alcohol, Refined sugars and the list went on. If you want to find something that is sustainable and long term, eliminating large parts of your life is probably going to be a recipe for disaster. You can probably do it for 4 or 8 weeks but after that you’re back to square one. Going from zero to hero is hard and sometimes not achievable. So what about that person who removed bread from their diet and lost loads of weight? That person probably had too much bread in their diet. By eliminating the bread, they reduced their calories. Simple as.
So let’s just make it easy
It goes back to the main principle of calories in versus calories out. Although you WILL need to make some sacrifices. If you don’t make a change you won’t see a change. But we don’t need to over complicate it. You can lose weight slowly and still have a life. Or you can lose weight fast by a complete lifestyle overhaul. There is no right or wrong way. Both work on the same principle. The one you chose is the one that works best for you and your lifestyle. Stop over complicating it. Eat less crap, move more and sleep well. It really is that simple