Calorie Counters - Low BMR




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Fishbowl
06-06-2013, 02:34 AM
I suspect that I have unusually low basal metabolic rate (BMR) that is causing my daily caloric estimate to be too high. I'm a 6' 1" male age 31 who weighs 256 pounds. Using various approximation formulas, I come up with 2200 calories/day as my BMR.

I work out intensely 3 times/day spending 1 hour doing group cardio and another hour weight lifting. My daily caloric intake ranges between 1500 to 1700 calories. Without considering all the exercise I'm doing, I should be dropping about a pound per week. However, I'm actually steadily gaining a pound per week.

Has anyone else encountered this problem during their first few weeks of dieting? Could my body be so efficient that it's running on something close to 1500 calories/day??


Emma4545
06-06-2013, 05:42 AM
Has anyone else encountered this problem during their first few weeks of dieting? Could my body be so efficient that it's running on something close to 1500 calories/day??

Yes. While not a man.. I suspect either there is something wrong with my body (although all the normal doctor tests have come back normal) or it is just the way I was born. But I have to eat much less than what the experts say for me to lose weight. I kept trying and kept trying on my own and nothing worked until I did a medically supervised very low calorie diet and that worked.

I continue to explore why I am this way. I have had metabolism testing and it came back normal. So I suspect it is not that. I am eating considerably less than you are (although I guess women and men are different) and I exercise and it would seem I should have an BMR of about 1400 to 1500 cals..but if I eat that much I gain. I find I need to stay around 900 cals with exercise to lose and even that is getting insanely slow.

I suspect also that your working out so hard might be leading to water weight gain. I find that working out hard can make me go up 3 lbs or so .. but if i give it a rest... I see it drop off.

Suggestions? Cut back on calories by 200 and give the exercise a bit of a rest -- like 5 days and I bet you will see something happen. Also, I used a technique called Zig Zagging (or also intermittent fasting). One day I would eat a high amount of calories -- 1500 or so.. and then the next I would drop that back to 500, the next higher, the next higher, until I reached an average of like 900 -1000 per day. There seems to be something about tricking your body into thinking you are getting food. Someone once told me it was "Leptin". When you eat enough 1500 cals, your body reacts like you are not dieting only to be caught off guard on the next few days when you cut back hard. This worked very well for me.

charliee
06-06-2013, 08:42 AM
How long has your weight been going up? Is it just a couple of weeks or has it been steady for a month or more?

To me it looks like your calorie intake is too low for your weight/height and exercise habits. Definitely stay closer to 1700 or even higher on the days you work out intensely.

Also what is your diet consisting of? Are you eating a lot protein and carbs? How are you measuring your calories? Are you weighing and measuring portions?

How is your body responding to the weight training? Are you taking measurements?


Munchy
06-06-2013, 10:12 AM
It takes a good six weeks or so for me to start dropping weight after starting a more rigorous exercise/lifting plan. I always seem a bit bigger at first from the water weight, then it eventually flushes and tapers out. Just keep at it! :)

freelancemomma
06-06-2013, 02:41 PM
Could my body be so efficient that it's running on something close to 1500 calories/day??

That would be very unusual for a male of your height, weight and age. Before anything else, make sure you're counting your calories accurately.

Also, your BMR is the amount of energy you would expend if you were comatose all day. Your TEE (total energy expenditure) is the actual energy you expend over the course of a day, which is typically 20 to 50% higher than BMR, depending on your activity level. If your BMR is 2,200 (which sounds about right), your TEE should be close to 3,000, meaning you should be losing 2+ pounds per week on your current regimen.

Of course everyone is different, but such a large deviation from the average would be highly unusual.

F.

Fishbowl
06-06-2013, 05:03 PM
How long has your weight been going up? Is it just a couple of weeks or has it been steady for a month or more?

To me it looks like your calorie intake is too low for your weight/height and exercise habits. Definitely stay closer to 1700 or even higher on the days you work out intensely.

Also what is your diet consisting of? Are you eating a lot protein and carbs? How are you measuring your calories? Are you weighing and measuring portions?

How is your body responding to the weight training? Are you taking measurements?

My weight has been going up for about a month now, although such deviation might be attributed to drinking a lot more water (+ 90 oz/day). [edit] I realize now that maybe the weight gain is due to mostly drinking more water.

My diet consists of of a fairly even balance of carbs/fat/protein. I use "my plate" on livestrong.com to track my daily calories. Despite my reservations about Lance Armstrong, the website has a large database of nutritional information on all sorts of foods. All this is saying is that my calorie count can't be off by more than 20%, if anything, I'm usually overestimating my caloric intake.

I'm not weighing or measuring portions. Maybe I should be doing this, but I know that tracking every single calorie I consume will eventually drive me mad and cause me to fall off the wagon.

I'm definitely a lot stronger these days, more alert, and I walk with a straight posture. Some people have told me that I look "fit", although I'm not sure that's the correct attribute to a 256 lb obese male...

TripSwitch
06-06-2013, 05:28 PM
My weight has been going up for about a month now, although such deviation might be attributed to drinking a lot more water (+ 90 oz/day). [edit] I realize now that maybe the weight gain is due to mostly drinking more water...

I'm not weighing or measuring portions. Maybe I should be doing this...

I would suggest that you weigh and measure your portions at least at first to make sure your calorie counts are accurate... and see if this helps to get the scale moving in the right direction...

As far as the possible "water" weight gain... Daily fluctuations of 2 to 4lbs are pretty common... I keep a running average of my weights, so I can see what is "water" weight... And what is real weight loss or gain...

Fishbowl
06-06-2013, 08:04 PM
Also, your BMR is the amount of energy you would expend if you were comatose all day.


That's actually a pretty good description of my lifestyle before I started working out.

Lolo70
06-06-2013, 08:30 PM
What is happening is that your muscles store more glycogen now that you force them to work. 1 molecule of glycogen binds 3 molecules of water. You also retain water due to the muscle damage during exercising. Then you are also slowly building more muscle, which is denser than fat. So you initially gain weight. As somebody above said, it'll take about 6 weeks, then you will start dropping. Take measurements and pictures. You will see a loss of inches before you notice the scale drop.

At your age and weight, your BMR is higher than 2200. Make sure you eat enough protein with 3 work-outs a day. Otherwise you will loose muscle mass.