What is BMR and How Do You Calculate It?
How successful would you be playing darts blindfolded? It’s fair to say that luck would play a bigger part in hitting the bullseye than skill. Trying to manage your weight without knowing how many calories you consume and burn each day has an equal chance of success as not being able to see your target. Let’s take a quick look at knowing those numbers…
It takes some time to input ALL of your food into an app on your smartphone but the information is extremely important and pretty accurate. Just do it…that’s the easy part. Knowing how many calories you use each day is for most, an educated guess.
Your Basal Metabolic Rate (BMR) essentially is how many calories your body burns each day to stay alive via a beating heart, breathing and a functional brain (I use that term loosely). Basically, it’s like knowing how much gas your parked car burns while at idle.
To pinpoint this number requires a lab but for now, let’s use this BMR Calculator. It will ask you to input your age, gender (you have to pick one…sorry for the possible confusion), height and weight. Then select “settings” and choose calories and the Katch-McArdle formula. It will then ask you for your body fat percentage…which you should know based on my nagging over the last 22+ years. Then, using an app on your phone that tracks heart rate and intensity time, you’ll have an estimate how your calories burned from activity.
For example: My Garmin Tactix Delta fancy watch tells me that my BMR is 2066 calories daily, (the formula above says 2263…it’s going to vary. When I add my daily training calories, I usually burn between 2800-3000 calories each day. If I want to lose weight, I obviously need to eat less calories than I burn. That’s how it works.
Some misguided folks refuse to have their body fat measured and don’t want to see the real numbers of the food they eat. Not knowing the numbers doesn’t change the reality of how (un)healthy you are. Take off the blindfold…get serious.
Don’t Know Your Body Fat %?
Reach out and schedule a time to get your body fat percentage measurement! There are lots of options – let us know if you have questions about each method, interpreting results and test accuracy.
Hydrostatic Body Fat Test – A great option is the hydrostatic body fat test (the dunk tank) which offers very accurate measurements! Find a location.
DEXA Scan – A DEXA (Dual-energy X-ray absorptiometry) Scan is a medical imaging test. There are many medical facilities that offer this service (likely not covered by insurance). Search online for options near you.
Caliper Test – Sharks can always schedule a free caliper test with Keath. This device measures skin folds at several points on the body to determine your body fat percentage.