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This article was written on 28 Jun 2008, and is filled under Calculators.

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Basal Metabolic Rate (BMR) Calculator

The BMR (Basal Metabolic Rate) Calculator is an estimate of how many calories your body needs to maintain its current weight. It represents the amount of calories per day your body burns, regardless of exercise.

In order to lose weight, you simply need to increase your daily activity or consume fewer calories than those needed to maintain your weight. When you know your daily calorie need, the TLBC BMR Calculator can help you manage your weight. If your goal is to lose weight, you can deduct 500 calories. This will allow you to lose one pound a week.

People who are overweight or obese are at higher risk for chronic conditions such as high blood pressure, diabetes, and high cholesterol. Anyone who is overweight should try to avoid gaining additional weight. Additionally, if you are overweight with other risk factors (such as high LDL cholesterol, low HDL cholesterol, or high blood pressure), you should try to lose weight. Even a small weight loss (just 10% of your current weight) may help lower the risk of disease.

Calories for Fat Loss

Science tells us that 1 pound of fat is equal to 3500 calories, so a daily calorie deficit of 500 should result in 1 pound per week fat loss. In reality things don’t quite work that efficiently!


Always try to aim for the “Fat Loss” daily calorie level. The “Extreme Fat Loss” level is effectively a rock bottom calorie level. Do not attempt to immediately drop your calories to this level hoping for the quick fix – this may ultimately backfire. The Extreme Fat Loss level is listed to show the lowest calorie amount that could be considered. It should be seen as the exception rather than the rule.

It truly is better to burn the fat than to starve it.

The Weight Loss Plateau

Over time our bodies adapt to the lowered calorie level. Our body becomes more efficient at using energy (lowered metabolism), and therefore burns less fat.

This is why most of us reach a weight loss plateau. At this point, the only option is to boost metabolism; increased cardio, weight training, ‘cheat’ meals (i.e. ocassional high-calorie meals), cycling (or zig-zagging) calories, and even manipulating macro-nutrient ratios can all help to do this (don’t forget adequate sleep and hydration). You often find that the nearer you get to your goal weight (or body fat percentage) – the harder things get!

Continually dropping calories only serves to lower metabolism even further – the moment you return to ‘normal’ eating – the weight comes back on.

Minimum Daily Calorie intake

It is difficult to set absolute bottom calorie levels, because everyone has different body composition and activity levels. Health authorities do set some baselines – these are 1200 calories per day for women, and 1800 calories per day for men. This doesn’t really make too much sense – are you are sedentary person with little muscle mass? Or someone who is tall, muscular, and exercises a lot? Absolute levels don’t work – but do give us a starting point.

When reducing calories:

Try not to lower your calorie intake by more than 1000 calories below maintenance. Doing so may invoke the bodies starvation response, which can lead to the Yo-yo dieting effect.

Try to gradually lower calories. A sudden drop (such as 500 calories or more) can cause your metabolism to slow.

What happens when calories are too low?

1) Muscle mass is broken down for energy (catabolism).
2) Metabolic rate will begin to drop (typically) after 3 days of very low calories – this is related to, and compounded by the loss of muscle mass.
3) With very low calories you risk sluggishness, nutritional deficiencies, fatigue, and often irritability. You are completely set-up for a regain in fat if you suddenly return to your previous eating patterns.

Lose Fat And Build Muscle?

Depending on your body type, it can be a very difficult balance trying to eat to burn fat, but retain or even build muscle. It’s worth reading Tom Venuto’s Burn the fat, feed the muscle (BFFM) for valuable insight on how to balance this. But realize that there is no single answer for everyone. It is a process of trial and error – but you need a starting point.

If you are over age 35, then the ebook Fit Over 40 is an excellent read. It gives the cardio and nutrition regimes of over 50 different people who have achieved amazing fat loss and muscle tone.


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    May 26, 2016

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