Wednesday, June 30, 2010

Back to the heavyweight - How to basal metabolic rate PART 2

So now I know my resting metabolic rate - link to PART I, PART 2. If you remember, your RMR is basically how many calories you expend just sitting on the couch doing nothing.

However, most of us are doing things during the day other than sitting on the couch. We have to go to work, we have chores, and we get to train. We need to add those calories to the RMR to know how many calories to eat in a given day.

So, for me, I make sure I get my RMR calories and then I add a few more for my activities. Unfortunately I have a sedentary desk job. No matter how hard I type on a keyboard I am not expending very many calories. (On a sidebar I do boost my metabolism by doing a few exercises at my desk and I make sure I always take the stairs!) I am always conscious with my weight so I am conservative. I doing the Activity Factor of sedentary of which is RMR x 1.2. My daily calories for just living are 1670 x 1.2 = 2004 calories. This includes walking around, sitting in the car other mundane tasks.

Next is factoring in your training. You have to add more calories back into your diet for the calories that you expend. A good rule of thumb for running is 100 calories per mile regardless of speed. This actually works out to be fairly accurate. And remember, we do not have to be exact; we just need to be close. Monday was a recovery day after a lot of cycling miles over the weekend. I went for an easy 3 mile run at lunch with a friend. It does not matter how long the run took; it only matters how far – 3 miles. I add those 300 calories to my RMR + activity calories and get 2004 + 300. To maintain my weight I need about 2300 calories yesterday.

That works out pretty good. On a side note, I almost always underestimate calories burned. The machines at the gym, the heart rate monitors and almost all other methods lie – they grossly overestimate. Take a look at the treadmill the next time you are on it – it is very, very hard to burn a 1000 calories an hour.

Also, you must remember that while you were exercising you were actually alive. Your RMR has already counted those calories. For me that is 1670 calories a day which is nearly 70 calories per hour. Since it took about 30 minutes to run those 3 easy miles I have to deduct 35 calories from my 2300 calories. That might not seem like much but I know some of you are doing 3 and 4 hour bike rides and bricks and such. Those 70 calories an hour do start to make a difference.

I know it looks like it is hard to manage but it is just habit. Stay tuned, I will show you how.


Matty O said...

Great part 2. I often forget to add in the "alive time" to the workout time. I too underestimate the calories burned on my workouts.

But then I allow myself to eat more saying, well I had a hard workout... its ok.

I have a boring desk job too... which is why I blog and read all day haha. I think this is one of the reasons I workout so much, I have to compensate for sitting all day typing on the keyboard and moving the dumb mouse.