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Eating less then BMR?


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CC tools I know are inaccurate. It told me to eat 1200 cals/day. Ick I was starving. So I went to phord. Phord basically told me not to eat less then what my BMR is. Which I changed to immediately.

 My question is if it is ever recommended to eat less then your BMR, or is it even safe?

16 Replies (last)

Well then, what is it?

my BMR told me to eat less than 1,700 calories a day, but on this website it says that i should eat about 2,200 calories to maintain my weight. So i would probably not eat less than your BMR. It would probably help you lose weight quickly, but it would be unhealthy and you would be starving and cranky all the time.

Original Post by mommakitty:

Well then, what is it?

 My BMR is about 1520

if you eat below that every so often, it isn't the end of the world.

I think that if you are very very overweight, it's probable that the calculators aren't accurate for you, and that your bmr is lower than calculated, so you could eat less than the calculator said. But for you, just aim for about 1500, and you should be fine.

Some people eat what are called "Very Low Calorie" diets. Basically, it's about 800 calories a day, which is below anyone's BMR. But the only time those VLC diets are acceptable is under close medical supervision. And the only people doctors put on them are very obese patients.

It's not a huge deal to eat slightly under your BMR, but it's not the best for you long term. And it doesn't make sense, really. Your body has sort of a critical amount of fat that it converts for energy per day, so once you require more than that (too high calorie deficiency), you'll start burning lean tissue.

I found a tool that will work out you BMR, it tells you how much you should eat to maintain your weight and how much you need to eat to loose a bit of weight and alot of weight.

Turns out my BMR is 2050 kcals (yikes) and to loose alot weight i'd need to eat 1528 kcals a day

http://www.freedieting.com/tools/calorie_calc ulator.htm

Original Post by oddbob86:

I found a tool that will work out you BMR, it tells you how much you should eat to maintain your weight and how much you need to eat to loose a bit of weight and alot of weight.

Turns out my BMR is 2050 kcals (yikes) and to loose alot weight i'd need to eat 1528 kcals a day

http://www.freedieting.com/tools/calorie_calc ulator.htm

Actually, oddbob - that site isn't calculating your BMR, it is calculating your daily expenditure, same as what CC calculates. BMR is basal metabolic rate and it's what you would burn in a coma, not what you actually burn in a day.

If you want to find your BMR, try www.phord.com/cc.

thhq
Mar 09 2009 14:00
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#8  
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Well, cc recommended eating under your BMR, so there's one party in favor of it.

If you start out obese and sedentary, the only way you will lose any weight at all is to eat under your BMR.   If I had continued eating my 2100 calories per day BMR I'd still weigh 215 lbs.  To create the 500-1000 calorie deficit that it takes to lose 1-2 lbs/week either you have to eat a lot less than BMR, or exercise a LOT more.  I found that it was easier to do it with less eating when I was obese and felt lethargic.  As I approached normal weight it was easier to do it with more exercise because I felt starved.

#9  
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Thanks for info about the site - very usefulSmile

Original Post by thhq:

Well, cc recommended eating under your BMR, so there's one party in favor of it.

If you start out obese and sedentary, the only way you will lose any weight at all is to eat under your BMR.   If I had continued eating my 2100 calories per day BMR I'd still weigh 215 lbs.  To create the 500-1000 calorie deficit that it takes to lose 1-2 lbs/week either you have to eat a lot less than BMR, or exercise a LOT more.  I found that it was easier to do it with less eating when I was obese and felt lethargic.  As I approached normal weight it was easier to do it with more exercise because I felt starved.

bolding is mine

I think you're mixing up BMR and RMR.  The BMR is what your body would burn if you were in a coma (running your organs, etc.)  The RMR adds in the calories you burn doing such fun and exciting activities as brushing your teeth, driving to work, eating lunch, etc.  Punching in a weight of 215, I can't get a BMR reading as high as 2100 calories even if I set you as male, tall and very young.  A 25 year old female weighing 215 has an RMR of ~2100 cals/day though - and a BMR of 1700ish.  So, she could eat 1700 calories/day and lose about a pound a week without adding exercise.

#11  
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yeah i just want to agree with susiecue. my bmr is about 1450 while my sedentary burn (my rmr) is 1850 so if i'm losing i never go below 1450 even though its less than the 500 deficit- which makes sense as i am already a healthy weight and so it should be slower to lose any weight. If i were to do anything above sedentary i'e exercise i would eat more so that my deficit was no more than 500. if that makes sense!! :)

Thanks to everyone for the responses!!!

I was unsure if it was safe or not. I think I will stick with not. I want to lose a healthy way and do not want to risk messing up my metabolism.

Also thanks for the clarification on the BMR and RMR. I thought there was a difference but did not know what it was.

Hopefully eating just at my BMR is creating enough of a deficit. I work out 3-4 times a week, though sometimes it is just walking 1.5 miles with my doggies. So that should increase my burn rate. I had set my level at sedentary because I work in an office.

We'll see--

 

Thanks again.

thhq
Mar 09 2009 22:12
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#13  
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Susiecue, I use the Harris Benedict BMR calculation. You can find the equation I use on wiki - and while wiki doesn't show RMR, the two are very close to the same thing.  The higher "sedentary" activity you are talking about is something else altogether. My H-B BMR is currently 1610 cal/day.   For a man, cc advises that I don't eat below 1500 cal/day.  As I said above it's difficult for me to get much deficit by reduced eating anymore.  If I were still trying to lose weight, I'd need considerable exercise to create a large deficit.

#14  
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OK yes i think myself and susiecue got confused with rmr and sedentary burn. but still you don't need to and shouldn't eat less than your BMR (or RMR which is very similar) because by eating this you will still have a deficit because you burn quite a bit more than this number just by digesting food, sitting, moving etc. for example if thhq's BMR is 1610 and sedentary burn is 2100 by eating 1610 there is still an almost 500 deficit just by being sedentary. thats a lb loss per week.

thhq
Mar 09 2009 23:37
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#15  
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jade, I don't eat anywhere near my H-B level.   I average 2100-2300.  I keep my exercise up in order to maintain weight at that eating level. 

That said, I don't count sitting around reading or watching TV as anything more than BMR level activity. I have been maintaining for 18 months by counting against my 1610 BMR as a base, recording any exercise (subtracting 60 calories/hour for BMR, which would otherwise be double counted) and eating to keep a small deficit.  If I were to use the sedentary activity level as a base (1.2 x BMR, or 1930 calories/day) I would gain weight at my current level of activity.  This could be because I systematically undercount my eating by 20% rather than truly being at BMR activity level when I'm not exercising, but the method works for my weight maintenance.

Original Post by amethystgirl:

Original Post by oddbob86:

I found a tool that will work out you BMR, it tells you how much you should eat to maintain your weight and how much you need to eat to loose a bit of weight and alot of weight.

Turns out my BMR is 2050 kcals (yikes) and to loose alot weight i'd need to eat 1528 kcals a day

http://www.freedieting.com/tools/calorie_calc ulator.htm

Actually, oddbob - that site isn't calculating your BMR, it is calculating your daily expenditure, same as what CC calculates. BMR is basal metabolic rate and it's what you would burn in a coma, not what you actually burn in a day.

If you want to find your BMR, try www.phord.com/cc.

according to this i should be eating 1709 cals a day to loose half a pound a week

 

to be honest i'm confused now..

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