Do you want to lose weight? Learn your numbers.

by Chuck

Recently, I received a few questions about the basal metabolic rate, what it is, why anyone should care about it, that kind of thing.
—(Warning! Science and numbers ahead! I’ll make it as easy to read as I can.)—
What is Basal Metabolic Rate (BMR)
From “Basal metabolic rate (BMR) is the total number of calories that your body needs to perform basic, life-sustaining functions. These basal functions include circulation, breathing, cell production, nutrient processing, protein synthesis, and ion transport. May 26, 2018”
BMR is the basis for all metabolic functions that support life. For the non-doctor or metabolic expert, it is useful to know so that if you want to manipulate your diet/nutrition to either gain or lose weight, it is the base number you need to know so you know how much or little, you need to eat to accomplish either of those objectives.
(You can find your BMR here).
The other thing that’s useful to know is the Harris Benedict Equation, which estimates how many calories a person burns during various activities. Depending on how strenuous a day a person has – movement-wise – you would take your BMR and multiply it by a certain number:
“Harris Benedict Formula
To determine your total daily calorie needs, multiply your BMR by the appropriate activity factor, as follows:
• If you are sedentary (little or no exercise): Calorie-Calculation = BMR x 1.2
• If you are lightly active (light exercise/sports 1-3 days/week): Calorie-Calculation = BMR x 1.375
• If you are moderately active (moderate exercise/sports 3-5 days/week): Calorie-Calculation = BMR x 1.55
• If you are very active (hard exercise/sports 6-7 days a week): Calorie-Calculation = BMR x 1.725
• If you are extra active (very hard exercise/sports & physical job or 2x training): Calorie-Calculation = BMR x 1.9”

Most crafters I’ve worked with – heck, most people who sit for the majority of their day – like office workers – only need to look at the first equation: BMRx1.2 – which will give you the approximate calories you need to live, and do your normal daily life stuff (work, home life, shopping, crafting, etc.). This number will keep you at the same relative weight day-to-day. If you want to lose weight you would chose a number 300-500kcal below this number. If you want to gain weight you chose a number over it.
At 500kcal per day, a person should lose approximately 1lb. of weight per week (1 to 2lbs. per week is a healthy number – much more than that over time and you can cause metabolic, or organ issues).
Why should you care about this stuff? If you’ve paid any attention to the news in the world, we are in the middle of an obesity epidemic that affects everyone – health-wise, via insurance, economically, medically, etc. It affects our quality of movement, quality of life, and our overall enjoyment of the things we love to do.
Hopefully, this makes sense. Please let us know if you have any questions!

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