What is BMR??
What is BMR?
You may have seen the acronym BMR around if you’ve ever done any digging around in the world of nutrition.
BMR stands for basal metabolic rate, and it represents the number of calories needed to fuel your body to breathe, circulate blood, and control body temperature. It does not include the calories needed for exercise, other movement, or digesting food. In other words, it is an estimate of how many calories you would burn in a day if you did nothing but lay still all day.
If you’ve done an InBody scan with us at LifestyleNutrition, the machine outputs an estimation of your BMR based on the readings it does. You can find that number in the right hand column.
What does this mean to me?
Combining your estimated BMR with an estimation of the calories your burn each day through physical activity, digestion, and exercise gets us your Total Daily Energy Expenditure (TDEE).
That would give you your maintenance calories, or the amount of calories which would cause you to maintain your current weight.
Surprisingly, BMR makes up the bulk of your calorie needs — about 60 percent of your total energy expenditure. Your muscles are one of your body’s biggest BMR calorie burners. That’s why men, who typically have more muscle on their frames, often have higher BMRs than men with a higher body-fat percentage.
What should I do with my BMR if I want to lose weight?
You lose weight by having a caloric deficit. A calorie deficit is eating less than your body needs to maintain itself, thus creating a deficit. So to gain weight, you eat more than your TDEE and to lose weight you eat less.
Of course, you can also achieve a deficit through burning more calories through exercise and other movement. Every effective diet, whether it’s high fat, low fat, high carb, low carb, keto, intermittent fasting, etc. uses a calorie deficit to achieve weight loss.
So, if you want to lose weight, you’d want to eat below your TDEE, but not too far below it. Eating too far below your TDEE can cause of a host of other problems, and actually can hinder your weight loss. When we eat too little, we can cause disturbances in our hormones and metabolisms that will cause our bodies to go into survival mode and hang on to fat, particularly in our midsection, which is why we as coaches do not recommend you eat a crazy low amount of calories each day.
In fact, circling back to BMR, for most people, us coaches would not recommend you eat below your BMR, especially if you exercise or get a lot of physical activity in your day, because that’s often when hormonal and other health problems can occur.
It’s also important to note that your BMR decreases as you lose weight, and especially if the weight lost comes from muscle loss as opposed to fat loss.