WIAW – Resting Metabolic Rate

WIAW – Resting Metabolic Rate

I know I sort of left you hanging last week when I mentioned I’d be discussing my resting metabolic rate and caloric intake following my body fat test.  Well I’m finally getting around to it today and a perfect day to discuss food and eating since it’s time for What I Ate Wednesday!

Peas and Crayons

In case you missed it, I recently did a Hydrostatic Body Fat test at my gym.  It was through a mobile company that comes by every few months and offers the testing for around $50.  A pretty good deal if you ask me as the information obtained is very beneficial.  You can read about my results here but today I wanted to specifically discuss my resting metabolic rate and how many calories I discovered I should be eating in a day.

First, some of you may be wondering what resting metabolic rate is.  Don’t feel silly if you don’t know as it’s something that doesn’t get discussed enough.  Basically our bodies need a certain amount of energy to function every day.  This even includes when we are sleeping.  This energy that we need is taken into our bodies in the form of calories.  Our resting metabolic rate (RMR) is the amount of calories our bodies need to simply exist.  To breath, to sleep, to walk, to live.

This website offers an RMR calculator that seems somewhat accurate based on the number that was calculated for me from my Body Fat Test.  Keep in mind that it might not be 100% accurate for each individual and the best way to determine your exact RMR is a Hydrostatic Body Fat test.

This number is the lowest amount of calories you should be taking in each day.  If you go below this your body goes into survival mode and struggles to function properly.  This is when you store fat, crave more sugar, battle fatigue, illness’, etc.

Now, that RMR number only applies to 70% of your daily energy function.  This doesn’t include things like walking around, cooking, taking care of a child, work, doing dishes, cleaning, just basic day to day activities.  Again, this will be different for each individual based on your lifestyle.  Once you know your resting metabolic rate, you want to add 30% of that number to your RMR.  That will give you about how many calories you need to maintain the weight you are at just on a day to day basis.  This does not include any added exercise which we’ll get to in a second.

So let’s take a look at my number.  I mentioned before that I was surprised at my RMR as for years I strived to eat under 1500 calories a day.  Sometimes I was eating as low as 1200 calories.  Imagine my surprise when I learned that  my RMR is 1680!  It’s no wonder I had such a hard time producing breast milk, losing the baby weight, was dizzy and tired all the time!  Add 30% of that number to that number and on a normal day, without exercise, I need to be eating around 2100 calories.  Add another 300-500 calories depending on my activity on that day and I should be eating close to 2500 calories just to maintain my weight.  WOW!!!!

I wanted to see how my daily caloric intake stacked up against these numbers so I decided to track my meals for a day using Myfitnesspal.com.  A tool I used to use often when trying to eat less calories but now don’t use at all.  I gave up tracking calories over a year ago and am so glad I did.  It’s tedious work!

So let’s look at my calorie breakdown and meals for a day.

Breakfast –

photo 1

lunch2

Horrible picture but delicious meal.  I wish salmon wasn’t so expensive or I’d cook it just to have like this with breakfast everyday!  So good with those roasted tomatoes and an awesome healthy fat to start my day 🙂

I ate about 2 1/2 hours before my spin class so on the way to the gym I munched on a few cashews and Superfood bites.

Here’s where my extra calories burned on exercise come in.  I just used the calorie tracker on the bike to check how many I burned during my workout so I’m sure it’s not 100% accurate but it gave me a general idea.

photo (1)

So on this day I needed to eat around 400 more calories….

Post workout snack wasn’t what I would normally eat for a post workout meal.  Not having an oven or much of a kitchen to meal prep has limited my options.  So an apple and some almonds it was.

Lunch was good though!  Roasted chicken breast in olive oil from FitEats along with  steamed veggies with lemon juice and some olives.

lunch

I also ate a few carrot sticks with raw almond butter because I can’t go a day without!

photo 2

Being in the hotel I feel like I’ve been a little snackier than normal.  The Love Nugget typically naps from 1:00ish to 3:00ish so I’m stuck in there for a few hours.  If I was at home I’d be cleaning, working, prepping dinner, etc.  Here I just sit… Then I get bored and snack… Not good!

This day I snacked on Snip Chips, raisins, plantain chips, then a kombucha tea which filled me up.  Can’t wait to be home and in our normal routine!

photo 4

(All my snacks from the day)

Dinner was a prepared meal I ordered from FitEats that was really good!

lunch3

Roasted turkey breast, mashed cauliflower, carrots and peas.  The only problem… it was only 277 calories!  I was stuffed though and there was no way I was eating much more.

photo 3 (1)

However, a little later I did get in some extra fats with a dried fig and a spoonful of coconut butter.

lunch4

Total calories for the day…   1505 

Not good!  

I felt like I ate a lot but obviously I didn’t.  However, I definitely think I’ve been doing fairly decent with my average caloric intake since I’ve managed to gain weight in the past few months.  I’m sure the extra wine has helped too 😉

Overall I feel like learning my resting metabolic rate was very helpful in that I’m now more aware of how many calories I should truly be eating daily.  It’s also a big reassurance that what I was doing before was so wrong for my body and that it’s no wonder I was having such a hard time getting pregnant.

I plan to be more conscious about eating more total calories especially on days I exercise.  Most likely in forms of proteins, healthy fats and carbohydrates like sweet potatoes and plantains.  I think once we move back home this will be much easier but in the meantime I just have to try a little harder.  After all, my healthy is important!

Don’t forget to enter my Wonderful giveaway for Wonderfully Raw goodies!

QUESTIONS – 

  • Have you ever had an accurate Resting Metabolic Test done?  
  • Do you think you eat enough calories for your energy level?

Related Posts Plugin for WordPress, Blogger...

Comments

  1. I would love to get this done. I did track my calorie intake through a school class calculator and it was 1900 just for no exercise. I was shocked as I didn’t eat that much either (well, ok when I baked cookies I did…). I think it’s SO important to know this and I wish doctors offered it or had a way of including it in your insurance. It really is ridiculously beneficial.

    • Giselle Schroer says:

      I agree, doctors should offer this testing or at least offer the information. Even when I was going to my doc frequently for fertility she never mentioned my RMR and obviously there are some calculators to predict it. All the focus is on BMI which isn’t necessarily accurate. So beneficial to know!

  2. Holy crap, based upon my calculations I need to eat 1900 calories every day, PLUS all the calories I burn running. I’m training for an ultra marathon, so the amount of calories I burn in a day is absolutely ridiculous. Looks like I need to eat WAY more food!!
    I also gave up tracking calories because it’s too darn tedious and annoying!

    • Giselle Schroer says:

      YES! You definitely need more calories! On the chart they gave me with calories burned per exercise it says running an 8 min mile burns about 421 calories in 30 minutes! I’m sure you are doing way more than that for ultra marathon training! Good luck on your Ultra marathon!!!! You go girl!

  3. Love this post!! You really did a great job explaining RMR, which really is something few people seem to know much about. I also love your honesty & that you showed how much you really ate & are trying to work at getting your number up. It’s sometimes tough to get that number up when we eat real food & it’s more filling & satiating! I would LOVE to have an accurate RMR test done… just don’t know where I can do it here. I think I may try to recalculate mine again though, always good to have some sort of baseline! Think it used to be 1450…

  4. I can’t believe you’re still living in the hotel! I feel so bad….. You really made me wanna determine my RMR now… I always feel like I’m eating too much but looking at your food it looks pretty similar to mine and I don’t even really snack. I just feel like there’s no way I’m “not eating enough”…. I feel like I eat so much food! One thing I don’t do though is have an after workout snack which I need to start doing….

    • Giselle Schroer says:

      Awe thanks Andrea! It’s not the most ideal situation but it could be worse 🙂 Yes! I definitely recommend getting your RMR tested! I feel like you’ve experienced a lot of the same things that I have as far as weight loss, loss of menstruation then healthy weight gain so it would probably be very beneficial to know. If anything, just to confirm the way you are eating now 🙂

  5. This was really interesting! I’ve calculated my RMR before and it’s amazing how high they are. I don’t normally get enough calories but I’m so full I don’t even want to eat more! Lately I’ve been trying to eat more calorie dense food!

  6. I think this is really interesting. I have slowly gained a few pounds over the last few months and a lot of my friends are staying it’s because I generally done eat enough on most days. I feel like I usually eat too much so it would be interesting to have it calculated so I knew what I should aim for.

  7. This beautifully compliments your previous post about the Paleo community. It also makes me a little mad at how much the “calorie equation” is touted for magic weight loss but yet it can create a huge issue with fertility, health, and just overall well being. It’s hard, mentally, to try and eat more without getting subconscious that you won’t just gain a billion pounds because of it.

    • Giselle Schroer says:

      Thank you Jade! I agree. It is frustrating how we are told to eat so little calories when our bodies TRULY need them to survive! I was told by a personal trainer to eat under 1500 calories at one point which is obviously too low for me!

  8. I remember when I was trying to increase my calories it was so hard at first. I know that seems ridiculous because you can pack in the calories with low volume food – but I honestly thought I was eating more than enough until I actually had to calculate it. I honestly still do struggle with keeping my calories where they should be, but that’s mostly because I don’t have much time to Snack these days.It’s so interesting to see how your RMR was actually a lot higher than you assumed it was! I’m always interested in those things. It’s so cool how they can calculate all that.

    • Giselle Schroer says:

      Definitely higher than I thought it was. I’m sure it goes up with age and I definitely feel like it’s increased since having my son. EVERYTHING changes after that! I try not to snack during the day but I guess I need the extra calories!

  9. This is so interesting!!! When I first learned about all of my food intolerances I struggled to eat enough calories in the day. I can certainly tell in my energy levels if I’ve not gotten enough to eat. Sometimes, though, I feel like I get to the end of the day and have a ton left to eat!!! I need to start with a huge breakfast 🙂
    Happy Wednesday!

    • Giselle Schroer says:

      I definitely feel a difference when I haven’t eaten enough food. Especially if I’ve had a good workout and don’t get enough carbs or proteins. It was surprising though to see how I was lacking calories on a day that I felt like I had nourished my body pretty well! Huge breakfast is key!

  10. This is so interesting! I totally geek out over data, especially something like this that is so personalized!

    • Giselle Schroer says:

      Thanks Marjorie! I found it so interesting as well and am so happy I finally got it done!

  11. Thank you SO much for sharing this! I remember when I first had my RMR tested, and my thoughts were just the same. Its hard to see those numbers and even harder to aim for them when we are so accustomed to certain habits. But you’re right! Its no wonder we have all these “minor” health issues when we are so under-fueling. What has helped me most is having those numbers in my head, but letting myself have freedom throughout the day–sure, I’ll take another spoonful of almond butter before I put the jar away! Why not put the entire half of the avocado on the salad? It takes some of the stress out (something you certainly don’t want to add!)
    GREAT post! Can’t wait to hear how your changes go!

    • Giselle Schroer says:

      I was just thinking this morning about how I used to avoid certain food that I now increase daily as I scooped grass-fed butter into my coffee (Bulletproof style). Before I wouldn’t touch butter! I wish more women would get their body fat tested and find their RMR then feed themselves how they need to be fed!

  12. ever so often i get this tested, because like you, i am way off somewhere and need to revamp the nutrition. It sure does help! way to take action friend

    • Giselle Schroer says:

      I look forward to having mine tested again and seeing how it changes with Crossfit. These traveling body fat testing facilities are genius!

  13. Interesting! I may have to go check out mine. I can definitely tell my metabolism has changed since pregnancy. I think eating more helped me.

  14. Jennifer Wear says:

    Mine is low–only 1398, which is super easy to hit since my favorite foods are nut butters, avocado and coffee with coconut oil blended in. Not very low calorie! Sometimes I eat three avocados a day!

    Great information! Thank you for sharing!

    • Giselle Schroer says:

      I wish mine was lower as it would be so much easier to meet each day! I LOVE avocados and if they weren’t so expensive would definitely eat three a day!