A chapter from my book ‘My Big Fat Fat’ (2018)
A humorous and touching account for those losing or coping with excess weight. With her laugh-out-loud humor, Samantha Dee covers all subjects from beauticians to socks in this easy to read A to Z guide on weight loss, maintenance, and ways to nourish your self-esteem.
B is for… Base Metabolic Rate
Here, it gets a bit heavy. (See what I did there?)
Your BMR is the number of calories you burn at rest. There is a basic formula in which you can calculate your own BMR. Here it is, (fear not and stay with me here, I will explain):
P = Heat produced (calories burned) at rest (your BMR) – equals:
m = Mass (your weight, in KG) x 10 +
h = Height (in CM) x 6.25 +
a = Age (in YEARS), 5 per year (so mine would be 47 x 5) +
s = +5 for males and -161 for females
So, mine would be: 1111.3 + 950 + 235 – 161: 2135.3.
Then, multiply by your activity level:
Sedentary (desk job, don’t really exercise): x 1.2 (that’s me, so I’m 2562)
Light Activity (exercise 1-3 times a week): x 1.375
Moderate (exercise 3-5 times a week): x 1.55
(by exercise I mean increasing your heart-rate for at least 30 minutes)
Everyone has a different BMR. Imagine a normal-weight 20-year-old, and an overweight, 47-year-old chic. Biologically, I reckon it would take a lot more work for the body to keep the overweight 47-year-old alive and breathing.
Remember that calories, which we’ve been conditioned to think and believe are hell spawn, are fuel for things. Sneezing, stretching, shagging, sleeping, pooping, all burns calories; your BMR is what all this is for – and so, in all likelihood, this (your BMR) will change in a small way every day. You might be under stress, fighting an infection, or having a lot of sex (please?).
So, what do you do with this information? To maintain your current weight, eating up to that limit should see you straight. It helps to get comfortable with the amount of calories you actually need, before we decide to lower that in order to lose weight.
Half the battle is knowing that eating the slice of black-velvet cake in the Godiva Chocolate Café in Harrods will put you over what you need. And that it will likely turn into several billion fat cells.
I’m sorry that this section might have been frown-worthy to read. I’m right with you; but hey, it’s science. Doodling was always more my thing.
* See also: Calories