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Thursday, 18 October 2007

No Wonder I'm Confused

I have tried many times to use all the various internet calculators to determine my BMR (basal metabolic rate = how many calories I burn just resting), my maintenance calories and my losing weight calories.

I always get confused.

Let me demonstrate the results from this site.

Exhibit One - based solely on age and height.

First of all, if I have a small frame (which I have based on the "fingers overlap on the wrist" method), I should only weigh 108 pounds. I don't know how many kilos that it is but it is something ridiculous (yeah, I just worked it out and it's 49 fuckin kilos). Now aside from the fact that a 40s number is beyond my comprehension, there is a much bigger problem which will be evident when we contemplate Exhibit Two.

Smartie pants bloggers will have noticed that I actually have 109 pounds of lean body mass, so to get to 108 I would have to sacrifice huge amounts of muscle. Otherwise I need 0% body fat to come close and then ... I WOULD BE DEAD!

But back to the calories:

(A) BMR 1293
(B) BMR 1445

(A) 1730 for weight loss
(B) 1994 for weight loss

Now it appears that most days I have been eating under my BMR, but the days I eat anywhere near maintenance (free days) I blow up like a balloon.

So the conclusion of this post is the title : No wonder I'm confused!

Oh and please don't tell me that I am starving myself which is why I gain weight on 1730 calories a day. I don't subscribe to the starvation theory. If it were true, anoxerics wouldn't be able to get as underweight as they do because their bodies would 'hang on to their fat' rather than continue to lose it.


  1. Anonymous10:19 pm

    i am confused! but yes these things are farked up it seems haha

    good luck with that load of numbers! sis ;)


  2. I think the whole weightloss, fitness thing is confusing!!
    My trainer worked out my BMR for me. I will find out how she did it.
    Cheryl :)

  3. Anorexics tend to lose large amounts of muscle, Katie, they often sill have flabby bits, believe it or not... and their metabolisms are seriously screwed up too.

    If you're eating less than 1200 calories, it's way too little. You need to gradually bring your calories up though - suddenly increasing to 1700 (or 1800 or whatever) will see you intially stack on weight. But try adding just a little extra food for a few weeks and see what happens.

    You can't compare free days to consistently eating a higher amount of calories either - the bloating you experience is far more likely to be related to the types of foods you eat on those days. And it'll be from fluid, not fat.

    Those calculators ARE nuts though - you can try 5 different ones and get 5 different answers. Annoying!

  4. I totally agree with kek. 1200 calories is like nothing for you. Have you tried calorie cycling? That could be one way to make it easier to slowly increase your intake. E.g. like this:

    Mon: 1300
    Tue: 1500
    Wed: 1700
    Thu: 1300
    Fri: 1500
    Sat: 1700
    Sun: 1700

    Then you would slowly get used to eating more without doing so all the time. A plan like this one still leaves you with a pretty low average intake, but the idea is to increase the intake on the low days every week so that you'd get to around 1700 a day in a month or two.

    You can do it! Eating is fun, so don't torture yourself with those low levels.

  5. Anonymous7:02 am

    Im with you Katie, after having worked with anorexics for 6 years, the starvation theory is blown right out of the water.... and anorexics only have "flabby" bits when they are re-feeding too quickly....
    S X