- Accurately calculating your calorie expenditure is not as simple as it seems
- Relying on ‘average’ calculations will make weight loss much more difficult
- We take other important factors into account for improved accuracy
Knowing your metabolic rate – how many calories you burn on a daily basis – is a useful tool, especially if you’re trying to lose weight. To help in this endeavour, you’ll quickly note that the internet is now populated with ‘calorie expenditure calculators’ and we’ve added one at the bottom of this page as well.
You simply enter your age, gender, height and weight and possibly a further calculation to workout calories burned during activity or exercise and hey presto, one touch of the mouse and you finally arrive at an amount. From here you can now plan your calorie intake safe in the knowledge that science has provided you with all the necessary information to achieve your goals. Except that it hasn’t.
What’s the problem?
Whilst these calculations are founded on solid, scientific research, they are based on a test that lasts for less than 60 minutes and from this simple ‘snapshot’ of a person’s life a fairly complex equation is derived and then applied equally to everyone on the planet and do you honestly believe that everyone is the same?
We’ve studied and researched this problem extensively and, along with our years of experience from working with many thousands of clients, have come to realise that there are more factors than just age, gender, height and weight to take into account if you want more than just guesswork. Factors such as
- Diet history – regular dieters, or anyone that has just come off a low calorie diet may have up to a 40% lower metabolic rate than normal.
- Exercise Activity – people who exercise regularly burn fewer calories than beginners for performing the same workout
- Stress & sleep patterns – excess stress and poor sleep patterns lower your metabolism
- Alcohol intake – alcohol affects liver function which in turn can lower metabolic rate
- Body fat levels – pound for pound, muscle tissue burns more calories than fat tissue so if two people are the same weight, the one with more body fat will have a lower metabolic rate (and vice versa).
So, unless you take the above factors into account, your true, accurate daily calorie expenditure figure could be anything from 20-40% LESS THAN YOU THINK, which on an average person works out about 400-800 k/cals per day. Of course, you may be the perfectly average person upon whom the figures are based, but do you want to take that chance? For example, just a 10% error – approx. 200 kcals per day – adds up to 73,000 kcals per year; that’s equivalent to about 22lbs (10kg) of fat
Does it really make that much difference?
Over a short, 10-14 day low-calorie diet plan – such as our ‘Beat the Feast plan’ – being out by a couple of hundred calories per day will only make a small difference because the majority of the weight you lose in such a short space of time is mainly water and intestinal bulk, rather than fat. However, the longer the diet runs for, then the bigger the problem becomes, especially when you factor in the added problem of your metabolic rate automatically slowing down when dieting. If you over-estimate your metabolic rate at the outset of a plan, then your weight loss will plateau and stall much faster than you expect and is probably one of the main reasons that many people fail at their diets: they’ve started off using incorrect information.
The best way to fix this issue is use our FREE METABOLIC ANALYSIS SERVICE. Simply click on the button below – it takes about 10 minutes to complete – and send it over. We’ll check it over and then either call you or send you an email with, we think, is a more accurate figure.
FREE METABOLIC ANALYSIS
Alternatively, you can use the free calculator below to give you a benchmark figure to start with and our recommendation would be to take at least 10% off whatever figure it gives you, just to be on the safe side and remember that it’s only a guideline – a place to start from and see what happens – it’s not written in stone.
If you would like to arrange a FREE CONSULTATION to discuss any aspect of diet, nutrition or training, please contact us on 0114 266433 or click on the button below for further contact options
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The above calculation is only an approximation of your Basal Metabolic Rate (BMR – also know as Resting Metabolic Rate or RMR) which is classed as the minimum amount of energy (calories) that you need to maintain your weight whilst being inactive. You then need to add in your daily activity level and/or exercise amounts. To do this refer to the table below
Just multiply the final figure from the calculator by the relevant activity level above. For example if your BMR is 1,500 and you are a moderately active person then multiply 1,500 x 1.55 = 2,325 k/cals per day. As we said at the beginning, calculating your metabolic rate is not quite as simple as it seems, unless of course you’d like us to do it for you
FREE METABOLIC ANALYSIS