In the last article I highlighted the difference between perceived and actual calories consumed. How Much Do I Eat vs How Much Should I Eat.  Today I want to pick up where I left off.  Discussing ways to increase your resting metabolic rate (RMR) and how to create a caloric deficit to lose fat.   But before I get too involved with RMR I need to introduce and review a couple of other key terms:

  • TDEE (Total Daily Energy Expenditure):  The amount of energy (calories) burned daily.
  • EPOC (Excess Post Exercise Oxygen Consumption):  Increase of oxygen following bouts of exercise.
  • PA (Physical Activity):  Planned physical activity i.e. working out.
  • NEAT (Non-Exercise Activity Thermogenesis):  Any activity done outside of a planned workout.
  • RMR (Resting Metabolic Rate): The amount of calories the body needs to function at rest.

Every good discussion starts off with a why.  Why increase RMR?  When the goal is to lose weight what we are really talking about is increasing TDEE.  Increasing RMR is part of the process of the overall increase of TDEE. Resting Metabolic Rate does not increase quickly.  It takes time.  Just how long is tough to say.  But here is what we do know.  During exercise and/or activity RMR is temporarily increased.   However, to permanently increase RMR consistent demand needs to be in place.   Incorporating the following items into your lifestyle will increase RMR in the long term:

  • Interval Training–  Interval training is a means by working out at high intensities (85% of Targeted Heart Rate Max) following by periods of low intensities.  This type of exercise increases EPOC.  Simply put our bodies continue to burn calories at a higher rate for a period following the workout.
  • Lift Weights–  Lifting weights also increase EPOC.  This doesn’t mean going to the gym and picking up the light weights.  You must lift a weight that is physically demanding.
  • Build Muscle–  Muscle is metabolically activity. Muscle burns more calories as rest than fat.
  • Eat Protein–  Consuming protein as a greater impact on Thermogenic Effect of Food (TEF) than the other two macronutrients (carbohydrates and fats).
  • Increase your Non-Exercise Activity Thermogenesis (NEAT)–  Find a way to more during the day.

By now you should have a pretty solid idea of what it will take to increase your RMR.   If you have additional questions, please feel free to comment below.

Tackling the second part of today’s article.  Creating a caloric deficit.  Revisiting our example from previous article:

  • 40 year old male
  • 220 lbs.
  • 77 inches tall

His estimated RMR= 2035 kcals.   Incorporating an activity factor of 1.2 (sedentary).  His daily caloric needs are approximately 2798 kcals per day.

Using our example this male needs to consume approximately 2800 kcals to maintain his current weight of 220 lbs.  If he wanted to lose 4 lbs. over the next month, he would need to create a 500 kcal deficit per day. Consume 2300 kcals per day.   He could create the deficit is a variety of ways:

  • Increase Physical Activity (PA) to burn an additional 500 kcals per day.
  • Decrease caloric intake by 500 kcals per day.
  • Decrease caloric intake by 250 kcals per day and increase his PA by 250 kcals per day

Applying what we learned about increasing RMR.   It would be beneficial to increase our PA by incorporating interval training and weight lifting in order to help build muscle.  Consume additional sources of protein to increase TEF. Finally increase NEAT.