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The Never Ending Burn- Basal Metabolic Rate (BMR)

Steve February 8, 2014

Push Pic1We breathe every second of every day.  Our hearts perpetually pump blood, out bodies maintain constant body temperature, and many other involuntary functions are performed 24 hours a day.  These functions require calories to be expended, producing the energy our bodies need to survive.  The basal metabolic rate (BMR) is the minimum amount of calories necessary to survive in our most restful state.  Put another way, the BMR is the minimum amount of calories needed for a person to remain asleep all day.  It accounts for 60-75% of total calories on a daily basis.  Every individual’s BMR is different because no two people have exactly the same genetic blueprint, are the same age, height or weight, have the same daily activity level, have the same body composition, or are the same gender.  These personal factors assist in determining your individual BMR, and therefore help determine the amount of calories required to lose, maintain, or even gain weight.

Couple BMRSome determinants lower your basal metabolic rate while others raise it.  Unfortunately we lose muscle mass as we age, which lowers our BMR because muscle demands more calories than fat to maintain itself.  This is why resistance training is important to maintaining a healthy weight as we age.  Also, fasting and crazy diets that require drastic calorie reductions lower your BMR because your body is likely to go into a state of starvation and cannibalize itself when it doesn’t receive the necessary calories from the food you consume.  That’s right, your body will eat its own muscle tissue to get to the calories it needs to perform its required functions.  A gradual reduction of calories (or better yet, greater quality) and an increase in exercise is the most effective and proven method to properly lose weight and keep it off.

Start by knowing your current BMR to understand how many calories your body requires  just to maintain your current weight at complete rest, without any movement.  Go directly to the link: BMR CALCULATION to find yours.  From there you can make the necessary calorie adjustments to take great strides in accomplishing your weight loss/gain goal.   More on the BMR topic to come, please continue asking the questions you so desire to be answered.

Steve @ Team Fitastic

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