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!
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.
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.
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.
I also ate a few carrot sticks with raw almond butter because I can’t go a day without!
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!
(All my snacks from the day)
Dinner was a prepared meal I ordered from FitEats that was really good!
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.
However, a little later I did get in some extra fats with a dried fig and a spoonful of coconut butter.
Total calories for the day… 1505
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!
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- Have you ever had an accurate Resting Metabolic Test done?
- Do you think you eat enough calories for your energy level?