Many people struggle to lose weight even though they are eating healthy foods and exercising. The key to weight loss is consuming fewer calories than your body burns on a daily basis, and when dieting and exercise is not leading to weight loss, it means that a person is not burning more calories than they are eating.
How do you find out how many calories they need to eat each day to lose weight? Knowing your resting metabolic rate is an important first step to weight loss. Read on to learn what a resting metabolic rate is, how to find yours, and how to use it as a guide to change your eating and exercise habits to lose exactly the amount of weight you want to lose each week.
What is a Resting Metabolic Rate & How Can You Find Out Yours?
Your resting metabolic rate is the number of calories your body burns while at rest. While there are RMR calculators out there that can give you a rough estimate of the RMR of typical person of your height and weight, everyone’s body is different, and these calculators don’t account for these differences.
To find out what your true resting metabolic rate is, you must obtain a professional measurement of it by a healthcare provider skilled at measuring RMRs.
Don’t worry that having your RMR measured will be painful or stressful, because the process is very simple. All you have to do is sit still for about 10-15 minutes while breathing into a special mask that covers your nose and mouth and is connected to an indirect calorimetry machine.
As you breathe into the mask, the machine measures the amount of carbon dioxide and oxygen that you exhale. These measurements are then used to calculate your RMR, so you know exactly how many calories your body burns when you are not performing any activity.
How to Use Your Resting Metabolic Rate Measurement to Lose Weight
A persons’ resting metabolic rate never changes, so once you know how many calories you burn at rest during a 24-hour period, you can use this to easily calculate how many calories you need to eat each day to lose weight.
Every pound of fat on your body is made up of about 3,500 calories. That means that by consuming about 500 calories less than you burn each day, you can look forward to losing about one pound every week. If you want to lose two pounds each week, you would have to burn 1,000 more calories each day than you eat.
An Easy Step-by-Step Tutorial to Guide Your Weight-loss Journey
1. The first step to losing weight is having your Resting Metabolic Rate Measured.
2. Decide on a weight loss goal that is healthy for you. Work with a healthcare provider to determine how much weight you need to lose and how many pounds you should aim to lose every week.
3. Choose an exercise that you enjoy and plan how often and how long you will perform it. While weight loss is possible without exercise, everyone needs to exercise to stay in good health. Choose an activity you enjoy and commit to performing it at least 3-4 days each week.
4. Add the number of calories you will burn during exercise to your resting metabolic rate. You can find many online resources that give you an estimated number of calories burned performing a specific activity. By adding these numbers together, you can then estimate your total number of calories burned each day.
5. Determine how many fewer calories you need to eat each day than you burn to reach your target weight.
Losing weight can be very difficult when you don’t know how many calories your body burns each day while at rest. Knowing your resting metabolic rate can make determining how many calories you need to eat each day to lose weight much easier.