BMR .. Basal Metabolic Rate .. what is it?

I’ve never really been a calorie (or kilojoule) counter. Over the years I have become used to simply eating the portions as prescribed for me by dieticians or by following the formula selected for me at Weigh-Less. So much easier in my view!

However, I have recently become curious and have swotted up about the balance of macronutrients (carbohydrate, protein and fat) in eating plans suitable for those of us with Metabolic Syndrome (Insulin Resistance Syndrome.)

Remember that according to the IDF (International Diabetes Federation), for a person to be defined as having metabolic syndrome, they must experience the following metabolic abnormalities:
– abdominal obesity (defined as a waist circumference beyond ethnic specific values (see elsewhere on this blog),
Plus any two of the following factors:
– raised triglycerides (above 1.7mmol/l);
– reduced HDL (good) cholesterol (below 1.03mmol/l in men or 1.29mmol/l in women);
– raised blood pressure (systolic >130mmHG; diastolic >85mmHg); or
– raised fasting plasma glucose (above 5.6mmol/l).
Ria Catsicas – The Complete Nutritional Solution to Diabetes. Publisher: Struik Lifestyle 2009.

According to Anne Till, another leading South African dietician, the balance of macronutrients could look like this:

Proteins 15%
Carbs 45-55%
Fat 30-40%
The Ultimate Diet Solution. Anne Till. Published by Struik 2006

Through membership of the GI Club run by GIFSA (Glycemic Foundation of South Africa), I have direct access to Liesbet Delport and Gabi Steenkamp authors of the bestselling Eating for Sustained Energy books. The books published by these two dieticians are the gold standard on low/lower GI/GL, lower fat eating in South Africa.

Liesbet Delport has advised me not to have more than 20% protein and 30% fat in my eating regime so I have tweaked my Benutriwise software to reflect the following breakdown:
Protein: 20%
Carbs: 50%
Fats: 30%

BMR / Calories Required Calculator

Basal Metabolic rate (BMR) is the amount of calories needed by your body at rest.

For the average sized body the BMR is extremely accurate. However, for larger bodies (both muscular and fat) it can be inaccurate in determining your caloric needs.

For the muscular body type, the BMR can underestimate the number of calories required, and for the
overweight body type it can overestimate the number of calories required.

What you eat and how much you exercise are both important for achieving health and the type of physique you want.

But, the basic equation remains the number of calories taken in minus the number of calories consumed equals what’s left over to be stored as fat.

The BMR is calculated according to the formula :
Women: BMR = 655 + ( 9.6 x weight in kilos ) + ( 1.8 x height in cm ) – (4.7 x age in years )
Men: BMR = 66 + ( 13.7 x weight in kilos ) + ( 5 x height in cm ) – ( 6.8 x age in years )

To calculate Calories Required, BMR is multiplied by a factor depending on your Activity Level:

Sedentary – 1.2
Lightly Active – 1.375
Moderately Active – 1.55
Very Active – 1.725
Extra Active – 1.9

Based on the above, a Lightly Active, 30 year old woman, 55 kgs, 155 centimetres will have a BMR of
BMR = 655 + (9.6 x 55) + (1.8 x 155) – (4.7 x 30) = 1 321
Calories Required = 1 321 x 1.375 = 1 816 (calories required to maintain weight)

Be in good health ” Should you opt to download a trial version of this great nutrition software, please be good enough to quote agent code AG Hall. Thank you! More about how I use this resource in a future post.


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