Message Boards » Food and Nutrition

TOPIC: BMR and Net calories

 
Ic_disabled_photos
Topic has been inactive for 30 days or more and images have been disabled.
Display All Images
January 5, 2012 10:58 AM
Sorry if this has been brought up before, I didn't see my specific question posted anywhere so here it is

MFP has me on a net of 1200 cals a day. I do exercise but I make sure to eat all my exercise calories too so I don't hit starvation mode. (Ex: If I burn 500 cals working out I will make sure to eat 1700 cals that day) However, My BMR is around 1566. S0, my question is since BMR is how many calories you need just for your body have basic function...Am I going to go into starvation mode since my net calories taken in are only at 1200? Should I increase my net intake to 1566? And If I do will I still lose weight?

Thanks in advance for any help!
  3649851
January 5, 2012 5:17 PM
I had this exact talk with a medical professional today who ran a series of metabolism tests, bodyfat/muscle composition tests and he advised me that my bmr is 2200cal but this site is putting me at a little over 1700. Needless to say he had serious issues with it when I brought it up and advised me to never go below my bmr and that includes calories burnt exercising. My net each day should be 2200. And with a diet change and appropriate exercise my fat will be replaced with muscle and in the end will provide a healthy caloric intake.

I am not saying this to sway anyone or to speak ill of the site, I will definitely use it to track my calories but with advice of a medical professional will not follow the calorie recommendation.
January 5, 2012 6:05 PM
Thanks a lot! That helps. I knew I couldnt be the ONLY person on here that had figured out that it didn't add up. lol. I think I might up my net to my BMR level just to be on the safe side. Thanks again!
  3649851
January 5, 2012 6:15 PM
Your very welcome. I always say its best to check with the medical pros when it's something that can affect your health. :)
January 5, 2012 8:36 PM
I was literally just wondering this! haha :) Wait, then if I want to maintain, should I still net my bmr? or above?
January 6, 2012 2:30 AM
Hey gracibelle,
Regardless of whether you want to maintain or lose weight, the calorie intake should always be above BMR or you will end up losing your muscle instead of fat.
If you know your BMR, the next step is to calculate your total daily energy expenditure(TDEE)
This is the number of calories you would need to eat each day to maintain your current weight based on your activity levels.
I found this site very helpful - http://calorieline.com/tools/tdee
:)
January 6, 2012 3:17 AM
Gracibelle, what nimiprem wrote hits the the nail right on the head. From what I was told yesterday after visiting my doctor and sports professionals you should never ...ever..go below your BMR as this will cause your body to a) slow down your vital organs in a bid to protect itself and b) go into what more people call starvation mode which will cause your body to convert muscle into energy and store fat to protect itself long term. If you only believe one part of what I and others are saying please believe that no matter what this site tells you, bmr is your life and the energy required to keep it going at 100%, that being said I am lucky that there is a local private clinic that does testing to determine as true a bmr as possible.

Keep in mind that all online calculators will take basic data you give it and use averages to determine your value. The tests vary but many use electrical impedance to determine your fat %, muscle weight including bones/organs etc..in my case I do carry fat but my muscle weight was above normal for my height and weight and therefore my bmr was quite a bit higher than online calculators would give me. So now I have a true number to reach for net calories after eating / exercising . The weight loss wouldn't be as drastic as someone who drops 500cal a day 7 days a week for 1lb loss but mine will be healthy, building muscle, losing fat while keeping all the internal organs/brain happy and healthy.
January 6, 2012 3:23 AM
QUOTE:

Sorry if this has been brought up before, I didn't see my specific question posted anywhere so here it is

MFP has me on a net of 1200 cals a day. I do exercise but I make sure to eat all my exercise calories too so I don't hit starvation mode. (Ex: If I burn 500 cals working out I will make sure to eat 1700 cals that day) However, My BMR is around 1566. S0, my question is since BMR is how many calories you need just for your body have basic function...Am I going to go into starvation mode since my net calories taken in are only at 1200? Should I increase my net intake to 1566? And If I do will I still lose weight?

Thanks in advance for any help!


Basic rule i follow is Multiplying your BMR by .2 then subtracting that. from your BMR

Yours would be closer to 1266 so not too much more! But then again if your metabolism is faster than you can actually eat more and lose weight... MFP set mine to 1200. that was a joke so I kept on increasing it, I was seeing loss still. So I would almost say play around with it a bit... And MFP's BMR is different to other calculators, so I would highly recommend to try some other ones
January 6, 2012 3:30 AM
I disagree with the figures on that website completely. It tells me that I should be eating 1,990 a day. Apparently if I eat that and do nothing all day, I'll maintain my weight. That's a load of rubbish, I won't and I don't. It also says that with my job (teaching) and a brisk walk 3 times a week, I need 2,600 a day to maintain that weight. Doesn't anyone else think that seems ridiculously high?

I have 1350-1400 now, which is below my BMR and that sees a loss of about 1-2lbs a week usually around 2lbs but not always. I think that maybe if you only have a little to lose, sticking to BMR might work for you but for me when I still want to lose a fair bit, I'm not going to do that, it takes too long. And to be honest, it doesn't really make sense. If people are saying that you shouldn't go below your BMR even with exercise then how on earth are you supposed to lose weight? To lose weight, you have to have a calorie deficit whether that's through exercise or cutting your calories, though I think a mix of both is best. But if you're always sticking to your BMR then you're not really burning anything in addition to that to reduce your weight. I'm not going to put my body at risk for the sake of a quick weight loss but even eating just 1400 calories a day, I get a healthy, balanced diet, I get all my nutrients and vitamins and I get enough protein, so I don't see the problem with it.

Starvation mode changes depending on who you speak to. Some say it's 1200 ish for women, 1500-1600ish for men. Others say below BMR. In short, no-one really knows.
Edited by caroline_g On January 6, 2012 3:39 AM
January 6, 2012 3:30 AM
Definitely, in my case my bmr is 2200 calories so I need to net that the end of the day to be healthy and as my muscle to fat ratio improves even more my body may need even more calories to sustain itself so I get follow up metabolism tests every couple of months to re-evaluate my numbers.
January 6, 2012 3:38 AM
QUOTE:

I disagree with the figures on that website completely. It tells me that I should be eating 1,990 a day. Apparently if I eat that and do nothing all day, I'll maintain my weight. That's a load of rubbish, I won't and I don't. I have 1350-1400, which is below my BMR and that sees a loss of about 1-2lbs a week usually around 2lbs but not always. I think that maybe if you only have a little to lose, sticking to BMR might work for you but for me when I still want to lose a fair bit, I'm not going to do that, it takes too long. And to be honest, it doesn't really make sense. If people are saying that you shouldn't go below your BMR even with exercise then how the hell are you supposed to lose weight? To lose weight, you have to have a calorie deficit whether that's through exercise or cutting your calories, though I think a mix of both is best. But if you're always sticking to your BMR then you're not really burning anything in addition to that to reduce your weight. I'm not going to put my body at risk for the sake of a quick weight loss but even eating just 1400 calories a day, I get a healthy, balanced diet, I get all my nutrients and vitamins and I get enough protein, so I don't see the problem with it.

Starvation mode changes depending on who you speak to. Some say it's 1200 ish for women, 1500-1600ish for men. Others say below BMR. In short, no-one really knows.


I'm not sure saying " no-one really knows " is an accurate statement and I've stated myself this is the advice I've received from medical professionals and testing services. But I do believe you need to research what your BMR truly is because it does fluctuate greatly based on your body composition and personal health factors, I was able to get my reading and it is by no-means exact but should be close to where I need to be. That being said I don't think anyone would argue ( well some might ) that your BMR is what you need to have in your body every day at a minimum to keep your vital organs healthy and running and then once you work on replacing fat with muscle you'll see weight changes ( may even go up a bit because muscle weights more than fat ) but in the long run you'll see a gradual weight loss as the fat gets burned off and replaced by lean muscle tissue

All I know is that for myself, when I told them that this site said I should be eating 1700cal vs my BMR which is in the 2200-2300 range they were shocked and advised me that would be detrimental to my health regardless of loosing pounds or not. Again this is advice given to me and me alone, and since this was the topic of the conversation I decided to share my experience.
January 6, 2012 3:47 AM
Bump for later reading
January 6, 2012 3:49 AM
QUOTE:

QUOTE:

I disagree with the figures on that website completely. It tells me that I should be eating 1,990 a day. Apparently if I eat that and do nothing all day, I'll maintain my weight. That's a load of rubbish, I won't and I don't. I have 1350-1400, which is below my BMR and that sees a loss of about 1-2lbs a week usually around 2lbs but not always. I think that maybe if you only have a little to lose, sticking to BMR might work for you but for me when I still want to lose a fair bit, I'm not going to do that, it takes too long. And to be honest, it doesn't really make sense. If people are saying that you shouldn't go below your BMR even with exercise then how the hell are you supposed to lose weight? To lose weight, you have to have a calorie deficit whether that's through exercise or cutting your calories, though I think a mix of both is best. But if you're always sticking to your BMR then you're not really burning anything in addition to that to reduce your weight. I'm not going to put my body at risk for the sake of a quick weight loss but even eating just 1400 calories a day, I get a healthy, balanced diet, I get all my nutrients and vitamins and I get enough protein, so I don't see the problem with it.

Starvation mode changes depending on who you speak to. Some say it's 1200 ish for women, 1500-1600ish for men. Others say below BMR. In short, no-one really knows.


I'm not sure saying " no-one really knows " is an accurate statement and I've stated myself this is the advice I've received from medical professionals and testing services. But I do believe you need to research what your BMR truly is because it does fluctuate greatly based on your body composition and personal health factors, I was able to get my reading and it is by no-means exact but should be close to where I need to be. That being said I don't think anyone would argue ( well some might ) that your BMR is what you need to have in your body every day at a minimum to keep your vital organs healthy and running and then once you work on replacing fat with muscle you'll see weight changes ( may even go up a bit because muscle weights more than fat ) but in the long run you'll see a gradual weight loss as the fat gets burned off and replaced by lean muscle tissue

All I know is that for myself, when I told them that this site said I should be eating 1700cal vs my BMR which is in the 2200-2300 range they were shocked and advised me that would be detrimental to my health regardless of loosing pounds or not. Again this is advice given to me and me alone, and since this was the topic of the conversation I decided to share my experience.


Well to be honest, I think that it is an accurate statement. I know that your advice is from a medical professional and I'm not disagreeing but the advice varies from one medical professional to another, so it does seem like no-one really knows. Because some medical professionals say not below a specific number, some say not below your BMR, both can't be right.

My point was though, if you're eating the exact number of calories that you need to function and what you're burning on top of that, then what you're burning comes from that food rather than your fat stores surely? And so you'll see a very minimal loss. I could be wrong but that's how the science seems to make sense to me.

I don't disagree that you need a certain amount to function but I'm not sure that I agree that you need to be eating your BMR to do that. Energy can come from your fat stores as well. Though you said something about muscle loss, I think, and I agree that if you're going too low and not getting in enough protein, you do risk though. Though keeping your protein levels up reduces that and should prevent it happening. I eat 600 below my BMR and I've seen no negative effects, just positive ones. I think that if you're going lower and you're not getting a healthy, balanced diet with all the vitamins, nutrients etc that you need then you're definitely putting your body at risk. But I think that if you're within a safe range of that figure, I don't think you're risking any damage personally.

I wasn't slating your experience, at all. I understand that it's your experience, it's what you were advised to do and it's what works for you. My post wasn't even aimed at you, it was in relation to the website that someone posted.

But my general opinion is that, for most, the BMR is a very vague figure that can be up to as much as 20% out for some people. Unless, like NBEric, you've been and had it tested properly, you don't really know what that figure is. I've heard a number of people say not to eat below your BMR but I've not ever really seen any science or studies behind that reasoning, so I don't really understand why. Surely if your goal is to burn the fat that you've got stored, you need a calorie deficit to do that otherwise you're just going to be using what you're consuming rather than what you've got stored? If it's never below BMR as your NET calories, then you're never really utilising those fat stores. I think we more just need to find what works for us and for me, sticking to my BMR for my NET calories doesn't work, I don't see any loss or changes.
Edited by caroline_g On January 6, 2012 3:56 AM
January 6, 2012 3:51 AM
QUOTE:

Sorry if this has been brought up before, I didn't see my specific question posted anywhere so here it is

MFP has me on a net of 1200 cals a day. I do exercise but I make sure to eat all my exercise calories too so I don't hit starvation mode. (Ex: If I burn 500 cals working out I will make sure to eat 1700 cals that day) However, My BMR is around 1566. S0, my question is since BMR is how many calories you need just for your body have basic function...Am I going to go into starvation mode since my net calories taken in are only at 1200? Should I increase my net intake to 1566? And If I do will I still lose weight?

Thanks in advance for any help!
Yes, 1200 is too low, and I guess I am curious about your goals seeing that you are already thin.
That's a red flag to me.
January 6, 2012 3:54 AM
QUOTE:

Hey gracibelle,
Regardless of whether you want to maintain or lose weight, the calorie intake should always be above BMR or you will end up losing your muscle instead of fat.
If you know your BMR, the next step is to calculate your total daily energy expenditure(TDEE)
This is the number of calories you would need to eat each day to maintain your current weight based on your activity levels.
I found this site very helpful - http://calorieline.com/tools/tdee
:)


Great website!! Thanks for sharing. MFP has me down to 1320 calories a day, but according to my BMR I should be eating 1453.
  6720589
January 6, 2012 3:55 AM
Me too... :) Bump, for later reading. Thanks! Great post.
  12253011
January 6, 2012 2:25 PM
I'm actually not as thin as I was in my picture. I've gained about 30 pounds since that pic was take about 2.5 years ago. I keep it up as a motivator. So, when I log in I'm reminded how I want to look again. But you're right... I definitely wasnt worried about losing weight back then. lol. I'm just trying to get back to being an athlete and feeling healthy again.
  3649851
January 6, 2012 7:59 PM
I did the calculation with that neat-o site (calorie line) and the cals aren't that much different for me than what MFP has, if I am reading it correctly, that is.

MFP has me on 1300 plus exercise cals. That site (which is really quite interesting!!) has 1340 as the REE, plus the exercise cals, which works out to about 100 cals plus or minus depending on what day it is.

Did I compare correctly, though? Or am I missing something? I read all the explanation but I'm not sure I took it in properly.
January 6, 2012 8:03 PM
If one isn't to eat below their BMR, two questions:

1) How is a person meant to lose weight when their BMR is ridiculously high (MFP says mine is 2571)?
2) Doesn't BMR change with weight with no thought to organs, muscle, etc? Me @ 190# won't have the same BMR as I do now but it's safe then but dangerous now to eat the same amount of calories (1600 for example). How does this work?

I'm not simple as I've been around the block but this is the first I've heard of not eating below BMR.
January 6, 2012 8:48 PM
omg i have the exact same issue. my bmr is 1430 but apparently the calories i burn doing normal daily things are around 1800 (dont remember exact number0 so mfp had me on 1330 cals a day. i felt hungry all the time and light headed on that amount so today i bumped it to 1400. i feel better , but im confused as to the difference between the bmr and the number of calories you burn doing daily activities, since i have really diffferent numbers for both.
January 7, 2012 3:06 AM
QUOTE:

If one isn't to eat below their BMR, two questions:

1) How is a person meant to lose weight when their BMR is ridiculously high (MFP says mine is 2571)?
2) Doesn't BMR change with weight with no thought to organs, muscle, etc? Me @ 190# won't have the same BMR as I do now but it's safe then but dangerous now to eat the same amount of calories (1600 for example). How does this work?

I'm not simple as I've been around the block but this is the first I've heard of not eating below BMR.


The important thing to remember is that your not necessarily trying to lose weight on a scale but become healthier as a whole. For example you could be 140lbs but be carrying 125lbs of muscle,organs and bones/skin then it would be very difficult if not unhealthy to try to drop to 120lbs. The important part is your muscle mass / fat % ratio, you want to improve that while staying in the healthy fat range ( everyone needs to have fat on their body ) . Keep in mind that BMR is minimum you need to live if you were in a coma ( extreme I know ) just to keep your organs alive and fully functional. In my case I've consulted with a family doctor,a kinesiologist and nutritionist and they are unanimously agreed that going below bmr is unhealthy in all cases and that I need to replace fat with muscle. Doesn't have to be bulky muscle, it can be lean muscle.
January 14, 2012 2:37 PM
I took another look at that site and tried to figure out what I should eat without exercise. I used the sedentary, no exercise number and it's 1500 (ish) base calories without exercise, to get the 1 pound a week type of weight loss. Here, on MFP, it equals a half pound loss a week.

Last week I burned 4600 exercise calories and not only didn't lose but gained 3 pounds (or appeared to). I do have hypothyroidism, but I stayed well within my previous numbers for eating (1300 plus exercise).

Will see what happens with 1500 plus exercise!

Message Boards » Food and Nutrition

Posts by members, moderators and admins should not be considered medical advice and no guarantee is made against accuracy.