1. KNOW YOUR BMR
Knowing what your basal metabolic rate is crucial to maintaining and/or losing weight. Your BMR is basically the rate at which the body uses energy while at rest to keep vital functions going, such as breathing and keeping warm. This i a key component to formatting a meal plan or calorie goal that is SPECIFIC TO YOUR BODY. DON’T FOLLOW FAD DIETS! Every body is different and that should be respected. In a nutshell, BMR is just the number of calories your body burns at rest and does not account for the calories you need to walk, talk, exercise, etc.
When thinking about your caloric needs for a meal plan, you’ll need to convert your BMR to your Total Daily Energy Expenditure (TDEE). You can do this by multiplying your BMR by a factor that represents your estimated energy level. Those conversions are:
So, let’s take the example of a 171.1-pound male with 133.6 pounds of lean body mass and assume he is moderately active. Using the Cunningham equation, this person would have a BMR of around 1,679 Cal/day. Multiply that by the appropriate conversion, and you get 2,602.45. This is how many calories this person needs to maintain his weight.
There is a lot that goes into any meal plan, and it can get complicated quickly. From a dietary standpoint, you can count on one thing: if you want to lose fat, you need to be eating at a caloric deficit. That means you need to take in fewer calories. If you’ve found your BMR and converted it to TDEE, you know what your body requires in a day to stay the same. That’s your starting point. You need to consistently consume less than your TDEE if you want to lose weight.
This leads to my next topic:
If you’re like me it might be a bit taxing focusing so much on cutting calories throughout the day. I have a thorough appreciation for food and admittedly can take things too far some days. If this sounds like you I would suggest intermittent fasting or the OMAD way. Now I’m not going to dig too deep into these two, but I’ll provide you with the basic things you need to know and why this works for me and may work for you.
To maintain weight we covered understanding your BMR and eating that number of calories to MAINTAIN weight, if you want to lose weight you should be eating at a caloric deficit meaning less than the amount you eat daily to maintain your current weight. Now if cutting those extra 200, 300, or 500 calories SUCK for you intermittent fasting might just be the key to success for you. Basically you choose a window of fasting time (including sleep if you want) and a window of eating time. The easiest form of intermittent fasting is the 16/8 fast. Where you fast for 16 hours and give yourself an 8 hour eating window. For example: When I first began I would eat from 3pm to 11pm and fast for the remainder of the night and morning. And yes SLEEPING STILL COUNTS AS FASTING. When you take this approach it kind of forces you to eat less calories than usual because for me I’m less hungry throughout the day after my first meal. Once I picked up this habit I noticed a dramatic increase in fat loss for me. It was like I found some secret that no one knew about. Once you get the hang of the 16/8 method you can slowly increase the time you choose to fast from 16/8 to 18/6 then 20/4 then maybe you’ll graduate to OMAD meaning one meal a day or 23/1 method. I know sounds Ludacris but it’s not! The power of fasting lies not in the mere reduction of calories, but the beneficial hormonal changes. One of the main benefits comes from reducing insulin, but there are also increases in nor-adrenalin, cortisol, and growth hormone. It’s also been known to have somewhat of an anti-aging affect. Personally, I noticed a spike in nail growth, hair growth, and I needed less sleep. Sounds like complete unicorn bull right? IT’S NOT!
Anyway, I’m not going to go too deep into this topic because I’m covering a lot of things already and I don’t want this post to be too long but I will put links below that will include tons of information on all of these topics. Or, you can drop a comment if you’d like a more in-depth post!
- Knowing your BMR to calculate how much you should be eating to MAINTAIN weight. Then deducting calories from that to be in a CALORIC DEFICIT.
- How fasting can make that SOOOO much easier. Where counting calories isn’t really a necessity.
NEXT we’ll cover
Now theoretically speaking if you follow the above information you should be able to drop weight steadily. If you are at a caloric deficit and aim for a deduction of at least 3,500 cals a week you’ll be losing a pound a week!
But if you’re like me and you’re an exercise junkie you will speed that up by a longshot!
I add resistance training into my program at least 4-5 days a week. That means weight training or bodyweight exercises.
However even on my bad weeks I still walk for at least 45 minutes every day at a brisk pace.
So not only will you be eating at a caloric deficit, but you’ll also be burning extra calories from exercise!
Just make sure you’re safely incorporating exercise in your life while fasting or eating less, I usually place my heavy training workouts before immediately before I break fast so I can refuel after my workouts.
And I also make it a point to get my gallon of water down EVERY DAY!
FINALLY I’ll go over
You MUST be doing this for YOURSELF! Not your mom, husband, girlfriend, whoever! This is YOUR journey. I had a pretty unhealthy relationship with fitness for a long time before I finally accepted me for me. I love myself, when I gain weight I still love myself and when I lose weight I still love myself. I do this for MYSELF and that’s why I can stick with it. CONSISTENCY IS KEY!
Brownstein, Joe. “Weight Gain: How Food Actually Puts on Pounds.” LiveScience, Purch, 2 Feb. 2011, http://www.livescience.com/35440-weight-gain-how-food-adds-pounds-110202.html.
“Fasting and Growth Hormone.” Diet Doctor, Diet Doctor, 14 Sept. 2018, http://www.dietdoctor.com/fasting-and-growth-hormone.
“How to Use BMR To Hack Your Diet .” InBody USA, 2 Nov. 2018, inbodyusa.com/blogs/inbodyblog/49311425-how-to-use-bmr-to-hack-your-diet/.