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When people decide they want to get into shape, the first thing they typically do is sign up for a gym. They start off with great excitement, vowing to hit the treadmill or weight room every day.  They keep this up for a couple weeks, but when the changes don’t come, the enthusiasm wanes. 

So, what is the reason?

Perhaps you’ve heard the expression “six-pack abs are made in the kitchen.” It’s true. You can train as hard as you want in the gym, but you can’t out train a bad diet. Regardless if your goal is to gain muscle or lose fat, if you’re not optimizing your meals to reach those goals, you’re setting yourself up for failure.

So how do you optimize a meal plan? There are many factors that go into meal planning, such as the type of nutrients consumed, the frequency of meals, and the selective use of fasting to name a few.  But a great place to start is to determine how many calories you burn a day. And it all starts with your BMR-TDEE.

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What is BMR-TDEE?

BMR - TDEE is a complicated concept and plays an important role in fitness.

1. BMR – Basal Metabolic Rate – the number of calories required to keep your body functioning at rest. BMR is also known as your body's metabolism; therefore, any increase to your metabolic weight, such as exercise, will increase your BMR.

BMR Calculation:

  • -     Harris-Benedict Formula, Mifflin-St Jeor Formula: Out-of-date, incorrect.
  • -     Katch-McArdle Formula: Exactly, based on the percentage of body fat.

BMR = 370 + 21,6 x LBM

LBM = [Total weight x (100 - percentage of body fat)] / 100

How to measure the percentage of body fat accurately:

  • -     Checking and testing on medical equipment in hospitals.
  • -     Measuring Inbody Composition Analyzer.

Notes on the Inbody:

  • -     Wearing lightweight Clothes.
  • -     Measuring your body composition in the morning after waking up and after working out without eating.

To reduce the fat amount, we need to increase BMR, and increase muscle to burn more fat. This principle is based on two main explanations:

  • -   Any increase to your metabolic weight, such as exercise, will increase your BMR.
  • -  Most of the energy used for functional activities (breathing, blood circulation, control of body temperature, brain and muscle growth) come from body fat. In addition, Muscular activity will consume more calories.

There are several ways to increase the BMR:

  • -     Workout by gym equipment such as dumbbell, cardio equipment to recover the body (recovery is also a functional activity).
  • -     Divide your menu into 5-6 meals a day.
  • -     Drink more water (causing your body to use more energy to absorb more water).
  • -     Avoid sleeplessness and stress.
  • -     Do not eat too harsh diet to lose fat.

2. TDEE - Total Daily Energy Expenditure is an estimation of how many calories you burn per day when exercise is taken into account.

Example: A person with a BMR of 1400 calories, the total energy for working out consumes 600 calories. The TDEE of this person is 2000.

  • -     Higher than TDEE, put on weight
  • -     Equal to TDEE, balance weight
  • -     Less than TDEE, lose weight

Assuming you have a BMR of 1500, you will consume 200 calories at moderate-intensity level exercises. You're a full-time officer that consume less than 300 calories. So, TDEE is estimated at around 2000. In the first week, you will eat more to put on weight based on TDEE. After a week, the weight will remain the same, so you have to continue to eat more until gaining target.