What Does It Mean To “Eat Fewer Calories Than You Burn”?

“To lose weight, you must eat fewer calories than you burn”

Said every weight loss program out there.

But what does that even mean?!!?

Just by looking at the quote, your average Joe will think the following:

  • Since I have a sedentary job, let’s say I burn 100 calories total at work.
  • I take the train to work and walk for 5 min, another 100 calories. 
  • I use my stair master daily and burn off 300 calories.
  • To lose weight, I must eat less than 500 calories a day. 

Let’s have a moment of silence for our friend Joe and the miserable month he has to look forward to. Joe will push himself to go to work, pay bills and hang out with friends all while living off of one bagel with cream cheese a day.

Thankfully, only Joe has to experience that month. You don’t have to. 


Resting Metabolic Rate

Calorie-Intake-To-Lose-Weight.jpg

Resting Metabolic Rate (RMR) is the number of calories required to keep your body functioning at rest. So in other words, the amount of calories your body needs to perform basic functions like breathing and circulation.

Joe doesn’t know he’s burning around 800 calories a day simply from sitting in front a computer. He’s also burning around 600 calories just from sleeping.

Pretty crazy huh. 

The average RMR for an American woman is about 1,400 calories and for an American man its about 1,800.

There are also calculators online if you want an exact measurement. 

So technically, Joe could’ve lost weight off of just 2,200 calories daily (because he’s burning 2,300 calories daily; 1,800 + 500).


Do Your Research

Joe made the same mistake so many other people make: he didn’t do his research. This has it’s consequences everywhere in life but with bodybuilding or weight loss it’s crucial because we can really harm our bodies if we don’t do it correctly.

Too often we funnel our time and energy pointlessly into something because we’re misinformed. And when we don’t get the results we want, sadly most of us give up. 

But our health is something we should never give up on.


Conclusion

You don’t need to restrict your calories to insane amount. Like I said, Joe could’ve lost weight if he stuck to 2,200 calories a day.

That number you pick just needs to be less than your Resting Metabolic Rate. 

That being said, as you lose weight, your RMR will decrease as well because your body needs less energy. Which means you’ll have to lower your calories accordingly.

That’s the general idea and I can get really specific but for now, remember this:

Don’t second guess your health. Read my articles or do your own research.

Health needs to always be your #1 concern. 

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Lastly, here’s another article about weight-loss that I know you’ll find useful!

The Biggest Mistake People Make When Trying To Lose Weight

 

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