Because the important moments in life just don’t fit in a status update! I started this blog when I was training for my first ½ Ironman, (70.3 miles) to record what I hoped would be growth and progress but ended up being a huge learning experience. Although fitness is one of the key ingredients to a happy life, it certainly isn't the only ingredient. My blog has evolved to document growth, progress and setbacks in other areas too. From my surprise proposal in Rome and wedding in the fall of 2013, to Mom's devastating stage IV cancer diagnosis and death 2 weeks after I found out I was pregnant. Who knows what shape it will take, but thanks for being along for the ride.

Friday, January 7, 2011

BMR

So, no matter how much you work out, it still comes down to that basic equation of calories in vs. calories out.


Remember, it takes creating a deficit of 3,500 calories to even loose one pound. Many people overestimate the amount of calories they burn, while underestimating the amount of calories they consume. I fell victim to this for years while training for marathons. I would eat more the day before a long run because I was going to be running, eat extra the day of the long run because I had run and then eat extra the day after (in the name of recovery, of course). That explains why I actually ran 10 marathons (each included four months of training!) without loosing even one pound!


So, how many calories do you need each day? First, you need to find your Basal Metabolic Rate (BMR) which is dependant on your height, age, gender, weight. Here's the actual formula:


Women: BMR = 655 + ( 4.35 x weight in pounds ) + ( 4.7 x height in inches ) - ( 4.7 x age in years )
Men: BMR = 66 + ( 6.23 x weight in pounds ) + ( 12.7 x height in inches ) - ( 6.8 x age in years )


Instead of calculating, try the easy BMR calculator found HERE.

I have a BMR of 1358.55. Once your BMR is known, you just need to multiply your BMR by the appropriate activity factor, as follows:

1. If you are sedentary (little or no exercise) : Calorie-Calculation = BMR x 1.2
2. If you are lightly active (light exercise/sports 1-3 days/week) : Calorie-Calculation = BMR x 1.375
3. If you are moderately active (moderate exercise/sports 3-5 days/week) : Calorie-Calculation = BMR x 1.55
4. If you are very active (hard exercise/sports 6-7 days a week) : Calorie-Calculation = BMR x 1.725
5. If you are extra active (very hard exercise/sports & physical job or 2x training) : Calorie-Calculation = BMR x 1.9

So, I'm somewhere between number 4 and 3, depending on my training week.

1358.55 X 1.725 = 2,344 calories (if I'm a 4)
1358.55 x 1.55   = 2,105 calories (if I'm a 3)

This means that I need to consume between 2,344 and 2,105 calories each day to maintain my current weight. But, if I want to loose one pound a week (I plan to lose 10 more) I need to cut that number by 500 calories every day, consuming somewhere between 1,844 and 1,605 (if it is a lighter day/week of workouts).


Of course I need to eat enough to aid in my recovery and the rebuilding of my (hopefully new) muscles. Creating a calorie deficit of 250 per day and consuming instead between 2,094 and 1,855 is a little more realistic given my training and will still result in a 1/2 pound per week loss. I learned that my calories were a little too low the day I worked out three times, but that day was certainly atypical. Usually, I'm lucky to get in a double workout. Tomorrow, I plan to ride and then run! 

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