Do you know how many calories you should be eating per day? Have you ever heard people talk about their Basal Metabolic Rate (BMR)? This is the foundation to your body and you NEED to know what this is. Your BMR is important to YOUR goals. Without knowing this, what you put into your body is complete guess work and this isn't ideal. It doesn't matter what type of goal you have, if its weight loss, weight gain or just living a healthy lifestyle, it's important to know this.
So what does this mean. Well, your basal metabolic rate simply means the amount of calories your body will burn if you were to lay in bed all day. Your BMR doesn't include how many calories you burn from physical activity. This whole process affects the way your body burns calories and ultimately whether you gain, lose or maintain your weight.
Different people will have different Basal Metabolic Rates due to different factors. First of all, if you have more muscle mass on your body you are going to have a faster resting metabolic rate. Muscle burns 3-5 more calories than stored fat.
Your age is a strong indicator in knowing what your BMR will be. The metabolic rate is at its highest when your body is growing. As you get older the amount of muscle mass decreases which in turn means your metabolism will slow. Once you reach 40 years old, it can really start to slow down.
The more weight you are carrying around the more calories you are going to need to maintain functionality throughout the day. This is why when you first start a 'diet' of some sort, you will lose weight quickly and then it becomes harder.
Females unfortunately, your metabolic rate will be slightly lower than men. This is due to muscle mass and men have around 5-10% more than females. Ladies, you know what to do to increase your metabolic rate, start lifting them weights!!
So there are a few factors that are going to distinguish yourself from another person's BMR. Key indicators are, How much muscle mass you have, your age, how much you weigh and what gender you are. Now you understand these different points it's time to work out your BMR using this basic formula. The most common formula is using the Harris Benedict equation which is the most popular to date.
For men: (6.23 X weight in pounds (or x 13.7 in kg)) + (12.7 X height in inches (or x 5 in cm)) + (6.8 X age in years) + 66 = BMR
For women : (4.35 X weight in pounds(or x 9.6 in kg)) + (4.7 X height in inches(or x 1.8 in cm)) + (4.7 X age in years) + 655 = BMR
Remember, your BMR doesn't take into consideration the physical activity you perform on a daily basis. Do you have a physical job and workout before and after work? If the answer is yes you will need to add more calories than someone who exercises for one hour a day and sits behind a desk. I personally think it is a great foundation to know how many calories your body can burn in the day. From knowing this number you now know exactly how many calories you need in order to lose weight, bulk up or maintain weight. You might be shocked to find out you weren't eating enough or you were eating too much.
In summary. Work out your BMR today. Find out your baseline so you know how many calories you can consume on a daily basis. From here find out how many calories you burn through physical activity. Once you know these figures you can then begin to build your calorie intake for the rest of the day depending on your goal.