BMR and Calories

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    • BMR and Calories

      Hey I thought this would be good to share as these formulas help show you how many calories you need to eat at a minimum. This is from a conversation in a kimkins bashing thread (and rightly so!) on LCF.

      Anyway one of the members there known as controlled carb shared how she works out peoples BMR as well as some insights into how to recover from eating to little calories.

      First I'll post the formulas and then add some quotes. I thought this formula made a lot of sense as when I hit my wall I was eating just above my BMR but I didn't add extra to fuel my exercise and according to these formulas that was where I went wrong.


      Calculating BMR:

      Women: BMR = 655 + (9.6 X wt in kg) + (1.8 X ht in cm) - (4.7 X age in years)

      Note: 1 inch = 2.54 cm.
      1 kilogram = 2.2 lbs

      Example:
      You are female
      You are 30 yrs old
      You are 5' 6 " tall (167.6 cm)
      You weigh 120 lbs. (54.5 kilos)
      Your BMR = 655 + 523 + 302 - 141 = 1339 calories/day

      [Men: BMR = 66 + (13.7 X wt in kg) + (5 X ht in cm) - (6.8 X age in years)]

      Activity Multiplier
      (ROUGH Active Metabolic Rate to maintain)
      Sedentary = BMR X 1.2 (little or no exercise, desk job)
      Lightly active = BMR X 1.375 (light exercise/sports 1-3 days/wk)
      Mod. active = BMR X 1.55 (moderate exercise/sports 3-5 days/wk)
      Very active = BMR X 1.725 (hard exercise/sports 6-7 days/wk)
      Extr. active = BMR X 1.9 (hard daily exercise/sports & physical job or 2X day training, i.e marathon, contest etc.)

      Example:
      Your BMR is 1339 calories per day
      Your activity level is moderately active (work out 3-4 times per week)
      Your activity factor is 1.55
      Your TDEE = 1.55 X 1339 = 2075 calories/day[/QUOTE]

      Protein Requirements:

      Body weight in kg x 0.8g protein = minimum complete protein each day
      Low Carb in a Nutshell ~ Carb Counts ~ Research ~ Measurements/Conversions ~ Glossary


      Let me know if you think of anything else handy from the site to put here.
    • Re: BMR and Calories

      Oh and btw this is with the poster's permission!

      controlledcarb wrote:

      There really isn't a set high or low because both BMR and REE are based on height, gender and current weight (which the formulas and/or actual anthropometic measures) account for in reaching a level of calories required by the metabolism to just function before any appreciable movement is considered in the calorie requirements (active metabolic rate) to maintain weight.

      The science and data strongly support the "theory" of a famine response in humans, a graded and gradual reduction of BMR/REE when calories required to support baseline needs (BMR) are not met in an effort to preserve energy stores longer, to survive the "famine" situation. As we've evolved over millions of years, we have encountered - again and again - famine conditions, and therefore have the ability to go short and longer periods without much sustenance so the species, human, can survive.

      When one attempts to lose weight, in my own experience and that of others, I've seen the difference between consuming enough calories to meet or slightly exceed BMR requirements versus habitual calorie load in a deficiet to BMR - one, in what I've seen over the years, has an advantage to long-term potential to maintain the loss...eating enough calories to meet BMR; while maintaining the deficit against AMR (active metabolic rate).

      It's IMO easier to understand with an exampe:

      Subject A is 300-pounds, female, 30 and 5'8" tall....BMR = 2150-calories (approximately - it really also depends on how calculated)

      Anyway, she starts a diet - 1600-calories a day; loses rapidly (as expected in first few weeks no matter what diet she goes on), but after six to eight weeks finds the scale isn't moving. Often she is a bit more intolerant to cold (her body temp, unbeknownst to her is running slightly lower now to conserve energy), she's fatigued more quickly (metabolism insisting she slow down and do less to conserve energy), and she's feeling hungry more often (body saying, hello - get me more food, we're running on empty too much!).

      What's happened is her body has sounded the alarms in her "system" to lower things a bit, stop running things at full speed and is conserving energy where it can (body temp, beats per minute for heart rate, rate of blood flow, etc.) and is going to keep triggering hunger to try to bring in more energy and stop the use of its stores. [very simplistic explanation]

      So, now she eats a bit more, maybe 1800-calories. Those 200 additional calories now are going to be used at the conserved rate of energy expenditure and any "excess" to requirements shuttled away into the stores for use later....UNTIL the body/metabolism is satisfied the threat to survival has passed....1800-calories remains a deficit to BMR, the body remains in conservation mode and may even now store fat at that level.

      If on the other hand same woman started her weight loss diet at 2200-calories - about where her BMR is, with a nutritionally sound plan, she would again lose weight rapidly in the first few weeks and then see it slow with time; she would be much less likely to stall (and I've seen this first hand again and again) because she's meeting BMR requirements (which are loweing too as she loses, but not concurrent with a famine response to conserve, conserve, conserve to survive) but not exceeding AMR.

      I can't tell you how many times my advice to someone has been "up your calories" after looking at a menu - so often I've seen avoidance of consumption as the cause of a stall than overconsumption of calories. Our famine response is very strong IMO and persisant until the body is satisfied it is not being threatened by famine conditions.

      Does "weight loss" slow eating a higher calorie load? Absolutely! But over the long term, it isn't "losing weight slowly" that makes keeping it off easier....IMO it's that if you're eating and meeting requirements - absolute obligate requirements - you'll have an easier time transitioning to a "normal" calorie load for your new weight, be less likely to be starving your body for what it needs along the way to that new weight, and hopefully have learned that at a "normal" weight you can eat in a healthy way and not just in a battle between you and the scale, but as a learning process of what works for you and keeps you healthy along the way.

      OK -- off the soap box!

      Low Carb in a Nutshell ~ Carb Counts ~ Research ~ Measurements/Conversions ~ Glossary


      Let me know if you think of anything else handy from the site to put here.
    • Re: BMR and Calories

      controlledcarb wrote:

      I should add, what I've seen when I've suggested an increase of calories (to about 10%

      over BMR to adjust metabolism in famine response and convince the body it is not starving) --- you'll gain weight.

      No reason to panic, it's a good thing and a gain of two to five pounds in a 5-10 day period of increased (yet still deficit to AMR) is expected; once you've done that for 5-10 days (and almost always you'll gain, but not always) re-adjust calories back to BMR + about 5% as "target" intake....that way if you miss a day here and there and fall below target, you're still aiming for it most days, and are close enough to BMR habitually that you're not triggering a conservation of energy.

      REASSESS BMR with every 10-pounds lost from that point forward - it will head downward (naturally as you do not have as much mass to heat, flow blood through, etc.) and it's usually about 25-50 calories less (depending on where you started)......adjust your target intake accordingly so you're remaining at/above BMR, yet in a deficit of AMR.

      Hope that makes sense!

      Low Carb in a Nutshell ~ Carb Counts ~ Research ~ Measurements/Conversions ~ Glossary


      Let me know if you think of anything else handy from the site to put here.
    • Re: BMR and Calories

      controlledcarb wrote:

      The absolute *beauty* of the human body is, that when properly nourished and provided for, healing from all sorts of assults is possible - be it stress, malnutrition, infection, etc. - the body is a wonderous thing. Now, don't take me wrong - food alone is not always going to heal what ails you, but with adequate nutrition, you do provide your body with the building blocks necessary for repair and stabilization to "normal" (sometimes helped along the way with supplements, drugs, etc. when needed too).

      Gaining some weight - as a means to calm and heal your body's "alarm bells" that it is facing and fighting for your survival while in a famine condition - is a *good thing*.....not everyone will have a weight gain in the bump of calorie intake to meet/slightly exceed BMR.....but being prepared it may happen (likely will happen) should ease your mind in those days when you might still be tempted to battle with the bathroom scale and drop calories out of fear of gaining weight and not being able to stop that upward direction.

      But, if you *know* it's likely you will gain with the bump up in calories - you expect to....you're not increasing carbohydrate either as part of this bump up......it's your body's way of saying "thank you, I needed that, let me adjust for a week or so and calm down, we really aren't starving, I can now resume normal function again and not worry about keeping you alive so intently!"......so what, you gain a few pounds? How many have you gained and lost over the years? Unlike other times you've gained - this time you're the one setting the stage for it for a purpose - to allow your metabolism to adjust and not be in "panic mode" so it can resume allowing you to burn stored body fat preferentially and continue humming nicely as you continue along and begin again to lose weight (in very short period of time) by eating to fuel your metabolic requirements and let your body grab additional calories required for *activity* from your body fat.

      While it sounds counter-intuitive, it is accomplishing the only thing that I've come to find that foils the famine response because there is nothing to respond too - the metabolism is getting it's obligate requirements for basic survival function (BMR) and is only being tasked to tap into body fat stores for the additional calories required for activity above and beyond the BMR, so it never panics that it's basic requirements aren't being met - simply put, you're providing it what it needs to function, and are now setting your calorie deficit against the calories expended from the moment you wake up and move and need more calories for the active metabolic rate (AMR).....and the heavier you are to start, the wider the gap (for calorie deficit) between BMR and AMR, which is why I believe those who are heavier lose much faster (even at very high calorie intakes) than later, when they've lost a good chunk and have less to move around, heat and flow blood through.

      Low Carb in a Nutshell ~ Carb Counts ~ Research ~ Measurements/Conversions ~ Glossary


      Let me know if you think of anything else handy from the site to put here.
    • Re: BMR and Calories

      If I can go slightly off-topic I was pondering why the pro-calorie counting faction is so vehement in their arguements. They are very passionate, some are abusive.

      I got to thinking about when I accepted that calorie idea when I joined Weight Watchers so many years ago.

      You see....something always bothered me about the idea that I became fat through gluttony. Gluttony being a purely choice based thing, and did not take into account medical or hormonal causes.

      I had to kinda 'accept the idea of the caorlie theory' mentally and emotionally to start that plan. I know regret doing it.

      Ahhh but now to what I realised.

      The Calorie Counting Kings and Queens are blaring on about Calories count so much to help you and educate you....they have to repeat it over an over as a mantra.... TO CONVINCE THEMSELVES.

      You see deep down they don't really 'buy it' on an emotional level. But up top on a cold rational level they 'buy' what the 'theory' is 'selling'.

      Some even use the theory to prop up feeling of ego and hatred towards fat people. Some use it simply as they guide through their diet.

      The very act of counting and weighing everything for years and years gives it's own 'obsessiveness' to it.

      It is itself like a cult.

      Whereas with low carb, we concentrate on our hormones.. getting our hormones under control and being able to eat 'adequate' portions that promote stabilitity and health.
    • Re: BMR and Calories

      Hey Dave :)

      Just keep in mind that sometimes counting calories isn't about eating little but rather about making sure you eat enough. The one thing about low carb is that appetite isn't always a good marker on whether you're eating enough, just look at kimkins and people not feeling hungry on bugger all.

      There are plenty of fat people that don't eat like gluttons and in fact should be eating more.

      When I was counting my calories on LC it seemed like I was eating more then I was before I started counting but it still wasn't enough and I still messed up my hormones.
      Low Carb in a Nutshell ~ Carb Counts ~ Research ~ Measurements/Conversions ~ Glossary


      Let me know if you think of anything else handy from the site to put here.
    • Re: BMR and Calories

      I never intentionally ate low calorie. Ketosis worked really well for me appetite wise and I usually never felt snacky all the time which was good but I could easily not eat enough although nothing like kimkins levels I would starve on them!

      Before LC I skipped meals (breakfast and often lunch).
      Low Carb in a Nutshell ~ Carb Counts ~ Research ~ Measurements/Conversions ~ Glossary


      Let me know if you think of anything else handy from the site to put here.
    • Re: BMR and Calories

      Well I just realised I got it wrong, I was thinking that activity multiplier was to take exercise into account but it only does for maintenance. So according to that you eat just above your BMR. 1700 would be good for you as it gives you a 500 calorie deficit and still leaves a nice cushion above your BMR.

      I ate just above my BMR last time and that still was too little for me.
      Low Carb in a Nutshell ~ Carb Counts ~ Research ~ Measurements/Conversions ~ Glossary


      Let me know if you think of anything else handy from the site to put here.
    • Re: BMR and Calories

      I made a page on this using a few different calculations including a better one for athletic people, check it out:

      BMR and Calories
      Low Carb in a Nutshell ~ Carb Counts ~ Research ~ Measurements/Conversions ~ Glossary


      Let me know if you think of anything else handy from the site to put here.
    • Re: BMR and Calories

      At the moment the truth is 'don't know'. I was around 1200 -1500, then had a momentary lapse of reason and went to about 1000. Now trying to work out what's right with the amount of exercise I'm doing. Because my metabolism has been stuffed up over the years by low fat low cal diets, anything higher than 1500 seems to do nothing for me. But I've been reading about the anabolic/metabolic diet which is low carb but cycling on the weekend. I don't want to go stupid on high carb foods, but it might be something to try. I seem to have hit a plateau and need something to shcok me into losing again. But I am doing weights, so I have to be careful about taking notice of my actual weight. That's the long answer, the short answer is I'm going to try about 1700 and try carbs at 20 - 30gms. I like to have a little less fat than usual Atkins, but by no means low fat. Eg I don't eat bacon, but I eat eggs, normal lean meat, use olive oil etc. These last 10kgs are a killer, I just need to stick to something for a while.