BMR stands for Basal Metabolic Rate. Your basal metabolic rate is basically how many calories your body needs to exist. This rate does not factor in any activity. Not even walking across the room (which some people think is exercise.) It is the number that when you wake up in the morning and are laying in bed, how many calories you need to exist. This factor can be changed. This factor depends on how much muscle tissue you have on your body. When I have spoken of bigger muscles burning more calories in the past, this is why. This is also why bodybuilders need to consume so many calories. Sometimes up to 7,000 calories daily. The reason they can consume so many calories would not be any different than if you had that much muscle on your frame. Muscle is metabolically active tissue. That means it needs to be fed to stay alive. If you have very little body fat, and a lot of muscle, you have a very active metabolism. That is why you can control your own metabolism. Simply put on muscle. I know, it doesn’t seem that simple, however, it is. Even the slightest bit of additional muscle will raise your metabolism.
Going back to the resting metabolism, the idea is to raise that number. For instance, my current approximate BMR is 1300. I know that 1300 calories is way to low for me to even maintain my weight. I have 2 active jobs, and I work out with weights. The way you should determine how many calories you eat, should be directly related to how active you are. It should also be determined by how much fat you have on your frame, and if you are trying to lose fat, or gain muscle, or stay the same.
Most people want to lose fat, and gain muscle. At least I hope that is what their goals are. As you build your muscles by strength training and eating a diet that has enough lean protein to support your new muscles, you will have to actually eat more calories. Yes, more. What happens when people diet and don’t strength train? They slow down their BMR. They lose muscle from dieting and cutting calories, thus slowing down how many calories they need to exist. Unfortunately what most people do, is cut calories, lose muscle (they call it lose weight) and then cut some more calories……now, they are “fatter”, weaker, smaller, and have a slower metabolism. That is exactly the problem with yo yo dieting. That is exactly why people gain back the weight they lost, AND more. So, enough about cutting calories. Stop it. The only way you should cut calories is if you are cutting out fats, and bad or simple carbs. The only time to do this is on your days that you are NOT lifting weights. That should only be about 2-3 days per week. The idea is to build your muscles, and raise your metabolic rate.
So let’s go over this once again. I will give you the most important key points that you need to know. Read this, and remember this. It is a fact. This is how the body works.
1. Build muscle by strength training.
2. Eat enough protein for your lean body weight. Approximately 1 1 1/2 grams per lb. in lean body weight.
3. Eat more calories on the days that you work out, to feed your muscles.
4. Eat less calories on rest, or non active days. Subtract calories from fat first, then simple carbs.
5. Stop cutting calories, trying fad diets, diet pills and using cardio only to lose weight. ALL THIS DOES IS SLOW DOWN YOUR BMR. YOUR GOAL IS TO RAISE THIS NUMBER.
Build muscle. Raise your resting metabolism. Bigger muscles burn more calories. THAT, is your goal.