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TOPIC: What's the reasoning behind eating AT LEAST your BMR?

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January 31, 2013 9:17 PM
Just something I was thinking about, as I see people repeatedly say that you shouldn't eat below your BMR. The only explanation I've seen is along the lines of, "Because that's what your body needs to do its most basic functions," but that doesn't really make sense considering the whole point of a caloric deficit is to eat less than what your body needs to function so that it takes from its stored energy.
  27019456
January 31, 2013 9:34 PM
Ummm... no. Eating less than your body NEEDS TO FUNCTION is dangerous and unhealthy. Think about it. If your body isn't doing its basic functions how could that possibly be a good thing? Oh look my heart stopped - cool I'm burning extra calories because my body isn't wasting calories keeping my heart beating. Noooo....
  5637461
January 31, 2013 9:41 PM
QUOTE:

Ummm... no. Eating less than your body NEEDS TO FUNCTION is dangerous and unhealthy. Think about it. If your body isn't doing its basic functions how could that possibly be a good thing? Oh look my heart stopped - cool I'm burning extra calories because my body isn't wasting calories keeping my heart beating. Noooo....


As I said, the whole point of a caloric deficit is to eat less than what your body needs to function so that it takes from its stored energy. When you're eating less than your TDEE, you're eating less than your body needs to function. It makes up the difference by using stored energy. How is BMR any different?
  27019456
January 31, 2013 10:01 PM
BMR is what your body needs if you are at bed rest / coma. Do know what happen to people's muscle / organs when they are at bed rest or coma for an extended period of time?

TDEE is the number of calories you burn when you are moving around. If you stay in bed the whole day but get up and pee, then your calories burn is more than BMR.
Edited by wmoomoo On January 31, 2013 10:05 PM
  17807897
January 31, 2013 10:05 PM
QUOTE:

BMR is what your body needs if you are at bed rest / coma.

I know.

QUOTE:
Do know what happen to people's muscle / organs when they are at bed rest or coma for an extended period of time?


Muscle atrophy due to not moving. Nothing happens to their organs if they're being fed properly.
  27019456
January 31, 2013 10:12 PM
It's just far too much of a deficit. You will lose a lot of muscle mass along with some fat loss. If you lose a lot of muscle, your weight loss will slow.
  31568851
January 31, 2013 10:19 PM
QUOTE:

It's just far too much of a deficit. You will lose a lot of muscle mass along with some fat loss. If you lose a lot of muscle, your weight loss will slow.


So basically you're saying it's a rule of thumb? I considered that, but your deficit depends on how active you are. If you're very inactive, you can eat less than your BMR with less than a 500 calorie deficit. For example, my BMR is (supposedly) 1813. I'm sedentary and spend about 10 hours a day on my computer, giving me a TDEE of 2175. Subtract 500 and you get 1676.
Edited by SmileyFaceGuy On January 31, 2013 10:25 PM
  27019456
January 31, 2013 10:20 PM
Here is an article on coma. Read what cause coma and the side effects. These people are on usually on life support to keep their body alive.... For me, that means the body is not functioning correctly. And I am just using coma as an extreme case.

http://www.columbianeuroicu.org/patient-information.html
Edited by wmoomoo On January 31, 2013 10:21 PM
  17807897
January 31, 2013 10:20 PM
Many are choosing to NOT have TOO large of a deficit. They feel it causes plateaus, can slow the weight loss process because body feels its not getting enough needed for basic function. Also that after weight loss, it is easier to maintain because the body's metabolism doesnt slow because of low caloric intake.

I personally have just started trying this concept, time will tell, if it helps!
  1568156
January 31, 2013 10:24 PM
I started out eating below BMR. My initially weight loss was terrific, I dropped 15 pounds in about 2.5 months. After that, I platueu'd...it was like I hit a brick wall. As I began slowly increasing my calories, I found I had more energy at the gym, and I was losing again (after not budging a pound for 2 months).
  31052072
January 31, 2013 10:26 PM
Wow. You really have to ask?

BMR is absolute minimum. No moving. Just laying in bed.

When you get up, go to work, walk to the pub, have a beer and a sandwich, then go to the gym and lift heavy weights for an hour, all that is on top of BMR. That's your TDEE, which you seem to know so why are you asking? So, most people gain weight because they eat way above their TDEE. If you eat at TDEE. You will neither gain nor lose. If you eat less than TDEE, you lose. But, because your basic survival needs are at BMR, You don't want to eat below BMR. Somewhere above BMR and below TDEE is your weight loss program.

I hope that's clear.
Edited by GuitarJerry On January 31, 2013 10:29 PM
January 31, 2013 10:29 PM
QUOTE:

Wow. You really have to ask?

BMR is absolute minimum. No moving. Just laying in bed.

When you get up, go to work, walk to the pub, have a beer and a sandwich, then go to the gym and lift heavy weights for an hour, all that is on top of BMR. That's your TDEE, which you seem to know o by are you asking. So, most people gain weight because they eat way above their TDEE. If you eat at TDEE. You will neither gain nor lose. If you eat less than TDEE, you lose. But, because your basic survival needs are at BMR, You don't want to eat below BMR. Somewhere above BMR and below TDEE is your weight loss program.

I hope that's clear.


It is clear; however, it doesn't answer my question as it completely disregards my argument.
Edited by SmileyFaceGuy On January 31, 2013 10:29 PM
  27019456
January 31, 2013 10:31 PM
I ate below my BMR 2 years ago and I dropped nearly 40 lbs in about 3.5 months I was running every day and doing P90X. The intensity of the workouts forced my body to eat a lot of the muscle I was using. So when I weighed about 165 I still looked pretty fat because my body consumed a lot of muscle. You'll lose weight, but don't expect to look fit if you eat below your BMR you'll be scrawny and flabby. The only muscles i had that looked decent were my biceps at the time because I used them so much my body was eating away at other muscles for energy. Then I plateaued. I definitely recommend eating above your BMR if you want to lose weight, build muscle, and look fit when you reach your goals.

Course your actual BMR is gonna differ from a standard calculator which is almost never your actual BMR (which is what I went off of) but if you do eat an extremely low deficit you'll be grouchy and you won't look good when you're at your goal weight either.
Edited by tweak222 On January 31, 2013 10:36 PM
January 31, 2013 10:31 PM
QUOTE:

QUOTE:

BMR is what your body needs if you are at bed rest / coma.

I know.

QUOTE:
Do know what happen to people's muscle / organs when they are at bed rest or coma for an extended period of time?


Muscle atrophy due to not moving. Nothing happens to their organs if they're being fed properly.


FYI the heart is a muscle. You can cause serious heart damage by not eating enough. Most people who die from anorexia actually die from cardiomyopathy - basically their body eats away at their heart causing massive damage.

That doesn't even begin to go into the damage done to liver and kidneys, which can also lead to death.

Is eating below your BMR going to do that? Probably not, but its a slippery slope. Eating a couple hundred calories under your BMR for awhile shouldn't set you back too far. But I know people with BMR of 1800 who dropped down to 1000 calories a day and ended up very very sick.

It's not worth it. Wouldn't you rather eat as much as you can while still losing weight... and lose it slowly and reasonably so it's sustainable?
Edited by laurynwithawhy On January 31, 2013 10:32 PM
  8075010
January 31, 2013 10:33 PM
QUOTE:

Just something I was thinking about, as I see people repeatedly say that you shouldn't eat below your BMR. The only explanation I've seen is along the lines of, "Because that's what your body needs to do its most basic functions," but that doesn't really make sense considering the whole point of a caloric deficit is to eat less than what your body needs to function so that it takes from its stored energy.
Your BMR is the amount of calories burned if you just sat on the couch all day and did NOTHING. If you intend to do NOTHING all day but lie around, then by all means eat 500 less than your BMR. But if you work, move, exercise etc., you're OBVIOUSLY burning more calories. Deficits too high will slow metabolic rate and also may cause catabolism.

A.C.E. Certified Personal and Group Fitness Trainer
IDEA Fitness member
Kickboxing Certified Instructor
Been in fitness industry for 30 years and have studied kinesiology and nutrition
  9285851
January 31, 2013 10:33 PM
I don't agree that anyone needs to eat at least their BMR when they are losing weight, at least if they have a fairly sedentary lifestyle and not working out. Especially if their only goal is some weight loss.

If you did it long term there could be serious consequences, malnourishment, seriousloss of muscle,. eventual organ failure etc. and if you're not working out, then even short term you also risk catabolizing muscle instead of fat, or at least a portion of each.

Generally it's a better idea to eat approx. your BMR and then do a little bit of low intensity working out, going for a walk, taking stairs instead of elevators etc. to help preserve some of the muscle that you use most while stimulating a small caloric loss that way instead.
January 31, 2013 10:35 PM
QUOTE:

QUOTE:

Wow. You really have to ask?

BMR is absolute minimum. No moving. Just laying in bed.

When you get up, go to work, walk to the pub, have a beer and a sandwich, then go to the gym and lift heavy weights for an hour, all that is on top of BMR. That's your TDEE, which you seem to know o by are you asking. So, most people gain weight because they eat way above their TDEE. If you eat at TDEE. You will neither gain nor lose. If you eat less than TDEE, you lose. But, because your basic survival needs are at BMR, You don't want to eat below BMR. Somewhere above BMR and below TDEE is your weight loss program.

I hope that's clear.


It is clear; however, it doesn't answer my question as it completely disregards my argument.


What is your argument? I guess I don't understand. You are asking why can't you eat below BMR. I thought I explained it pretty well. It's your minimal level of nutrition.

It's like saying, "I didn't drink 8 glasses of water all last year on any day, and I'm fine. Therefore, I conclude it's not necessary." We'll, that's kind of stupid because you're not really looking at the problem the right way. It's a fallacy in thinking and it's not proper research. Dehydration causes problems that may not be readily available to you. You may be totally unaware of the effects. But, they are there.
Edited by GuitarJerry On January 31, 2013 10:36 PM
January 31, 2013 10:39 PM
QUOTE:

QUOTE:

Just something I was thinking about, as I see people repeatedly say that you shouldn't eat below your BMR. The only explanation I've seen is along the lines of, "Because that's what your body needs to do its most basic functions," but that doesn't really make sense considering the whole point of a caloric deficit is to eat less than what your body needs to function so that it takes from its stored energy.
Your BMR is the amount of calories burned if you just sat on the couch all day and did NOTHING. If you intend to do NOTHING all day but lie around, then by all means eat 500 less than your BMR. But if you work, move, exercise etc., you're OBVIOUSLY burning more calories. Deficits too high will slow metabolic rate and also may cause catabolism.

A.C.E. Certified Personal and Group Fitness Trainer
IDEA Fitness member
Kickboxing Certified Instructor
Been in fitness industry for 30 years and have studied kinesiology and nutrition



So, in other words, it's the caloric deficit that matters rather than the BMR. Glad we cleared that up. Now we need others to understand that BMR isn't some sacred number, other than for calculating TDEE.
Edited by SmileyFaceGuy On January 31, 2013 10:48 PM
  27019456
January 31, 2013 10:41 PM
I was pretty much bed ridden for about 2 years, & the only time I got up was to go to the bathroom & shower. And I did laundry about once every week & 1/2 - which was actually some exertion for me. Definitely would be fine eating < BMR.
  1364763
January 31, 2013 10:41 PM
QUOTE:

QUOTE:

Just something I was thinking about, as I see people repeatedly say that you shouldn't eat below your BMR. The only explanation I've seen is along the lines of, "Because that's what your body needs to do its most basic functions," but that doesn't really make sense considering the whole point of a caloric deficit is to eat less than what your body needs to function so that it takes from its stored energy.
Your BMR is the amount of calories burned if you just sat on the couch all day and did NOTHING. If you intend to do NOTHING all day but lie around, then by all means eat 500 less than your BMR. But if you work, move, exercise etc., you're OBVIOUSLY burning more calories. Deficits too high will slow metabolic rate and also may cause catabolism.

A.C.E. Certified Personal and Group Fitness Trainer
IDEA Fitness member
Kickboxing Certified Instructor
Been in fitness industry for 30 years and have studied kinesiology and nutrition


LOL isnt the whole point of a deficit to cause catabolism

OP I for one see your point and i ask this to everyone throwing your argument away.

can your body tell the difference between losing calories to exercise and losing calories to BMR? my guess is probably not.
  31788727
January 31, 2013 10:42 PM
I get it. This is a troll thread.

Bye!
January 31, 2013 10:44 PM
QUOTE:

can your body tell the difference between losing calories to exercise and losing calories to BMR? my guess is probably not.


Thank you, that is exactly my point, and that was what I alluded to in my second post.
Edited by SmileyFaceGuy On January 31, 2013 10:45 PM
  27019456
January 31, 2013 10:44 PM
Something about "thats how much you need to live"...... blah blah blah

I eat when I'm hungry and try to make healthy choices.. not really caring what my BMR / TDEE is.
  23226464
January 31, 2013 10:47 PM
QUOTE:

Something about "thats how much you need to live"...... blah blah blah

I eat when I'm hungry and try to make healthy choices.. not really caring what my BMR / TDEE is.


Can I ask why you are on this site then? Just curious because this is a calorie counting site. So, it's odd to me when someone comes here and says what you are saying.

So, if you just eat when hungry and stop when full, why are you here?

Seem like a waste of time to even bother logging in.
Edited by GuitarJerry On January 31, 2013 10:49 PM
January 31, 2013 10:49 PM
QUOTE:

QUOTE:

Something about "thats how much you need to live"...... blah blah blah

I eat when I'm hungry and try to make healthy choices.. not really caring what my BMR / TDEE is.


Can I ask why you are on this it's then? Just curious because this is a calorie counting site. So, it's odd to me hen someone comes here and sys what you are saying.

Seem like a waste of time to even bother logging in.


So I can keep myself in check. I find my "making healthy choices" mantra gets a bit messed up if I don't log my food. It gives me the motivation to swap a 400 calorie muffin for a banana if it's written down and I can see the macros.

No need to be a ****.
Edited by Arexxx On January 31, 2013 10:51 PM
  23226464

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