This is a guest post by Kal Gunay.
Hey again, hope you’re doing great!
An issue a lot of people have when trying to lose weight is a “slow metabolism”. The thing is, these people think they’re stuck with a sluggish metabolism and that they just have to deal with it for the rest of their lives. Well, not quite…
The thing is, metabolic rates go up and down in correlation to exercise and muscle mass levels, age, sex, and hormonal levels too.
So what exactly is your metabolism and why is it so important?
Think of your metabolic rate as your body’s engine. The more powerful the engine, the more fuel (calories) it requires to keep going.
The problem with our bodies, metabolically speaking, is that if we give it too much fuel or even too little it begins to work against us.
The Magical Number
Every day, whether you go for a 20 mile run or your lay in bed all day, your body burns a set number of calories in relationship to the activities done. The most baseline level of calories your body burns in a day just to perform basic life functions is called your Basal Metabolic Rate (BMR) or resting metabolic rate (RMR).
What makes this number so important? Well, if you know your RMR you know with certainty how many calories you’re burning at minimum each day. Now add in activities like exercising, going to work, eating, etc…you can come up with pretty close certainty how many calories you burn everyday.
Let’s say you’re struggling to lose weight. You know your RMR is 1400 calories (I’ll tell you how to get that number in a minute) and with activity you’re burning about 2200 calories per day.
Well, now formulating a meal plan around your daily caloric expenditure becomes easy math!
Now let’s say you want to lose a healthy 1 lb of fat per week. Since you need to deficit about 3500 calories to lose that 1 lb, you’d need to take in 500 calories less per day, or 1 Starbucks Frappucino 🙂
The Magical Formula
Now to this day, the best formula used to figure out your RMR is one called the Harris-Benedict Equation. But before you run and grab a calculator, understand this is just a calculation and that in reality there are more variables than just height, weight, and age…
Women: BMR = 655 + ( 4.35 x weight in pounds ) + ( 4.7 x height in inches ) – ( 4.7 x age in years )
Men: BMR = 66 + ( 6.23 x weight in pounds ) + ( 12.7 x height in inches ) – ( 6.8 x age in year )
If you want to get more accurate results, call your local gyms, doctors offices, or even exercise science department of colleges, to have an actual RMR test done from $50-$100.
The point behind all these numbers isn’t to make you a calorie counting nut, but to give you the tools to lose weight smarter, quicker, and more efficiently. Hopefully this will set the table for a weight loss action plan!