Are you working out and watching the diet and not seeing the results of weight loss that you’re hoping for? There just might be a reason or three for that.
You are either eating too much or eating too little
It is imperative to fuel your body with high quality foods to reach your goals, and balance is key. It is next to impossible to out-train a bad diet, meaning you can’t eat a dozen donuts and think it’s okay because you’ll run twenty miles later. On the flip side, believe it or not, your body may actually hold onto fat if you are under eating. To guarantee you’re fueling your body with the appropriate amount of calories, you can use your BMR (Basal Metabolic Rate) and the Harris Benedict Equation to figure out your specific caloric needs.
Your Basal Metabolic Rate (BMR) allows you to roughly determine how many calories to eat according to your health goals. Whether you are exercising or inactive, this equation is highly beneficial. Your BMR will provide you with a starting point of how many calories you typically burn per day, and from there, you may adjust your caloric needs to meet your specific activity level.
You can determine how many calories you will need to consume in order to gain weight (muscle) or lose fat, depending on your personal goals. This formula assists in muscle growth while limiting fat gain based upon expenditure on actual individual metrics.
Next, apply your BMR with the Harris Benedict Equation to determine how many calories you burn per day when adding in your daily activities and exercise.
Let’s get started!
Find your BMR using the BMR Formula.
Women: BMR = 655 + (4.35 x weight in pounds) + (4.7 x height in inches) – (4.7 x age in years)
Men: BMR = 66 + (6.23 x weight in pounds) + (12.7 x height in inches) – (6.8 x age in year)
Harris Benedict Formula
To determine your total daily calorie needs, multiply your BMR by the appropriate activity factor, as follows:
If you are sedentary (little or no exercise): Calorie-Calculation = BMR x 1.2
If you are lightly active (light exercise or sports 1–3 days a week): Calorie-Calculation = BMR x 1.375
If you are moderately active (moderate exercise or sports 3–5 days a week): Calorie-Calculation = BMR x 1.55
If you are very active (hard exercise or sports 6–7 days a week): Calorie-Calculation = BMR x 1.725
If you are extra active (very hard exercise or sports & physical job or 2x training): Calorie-Calculation = BMR x 1.9
You are over exercising
Over-reaching with exercise may end up burning more muscle long term, which will slowly decrease your BMR. Muscle burns more calories at rest than fat, so when your muscle declines, your overall percentage of calories burned per day through your BMR will slow. Muscle also takes up less space than fat, allowing you to appear slim and toned.
Over-reaching in training may also elevate cortisol, a stress hormone that is famous for storing belly fat. On that note, keep your workouts around 45–60 minutes to avoid over doing and putting too much stress on your body. Exercise is a considered a “good” stress; however, too much of a good thing may have negative consequences. Hours of cardio may actually do more harm than good.
You are avoiding resistance training
As mentioned earlier, muscle burns more calories per pound of fat. This not only tones your body and strips fat away, but it also increases your metabolism. Win, win!
Ladies, lifting weights does not make you bulky! Do not be afraid of lifting a challenging weight at the gym. Women do not produce nearly as much testosterone as men do and will not experience negative side effects of bulking up from lifting weights. Paired with moderate cardio, weight lifting is also a great fat burning tool.