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  1. #1
    Registered User Lizzy3200's Avatar
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    What exactly does BMR account for?

    I’m having trouble figure out what numbers I need to be using. For reference, I’m 5’7 and ~154lb

    My BMR comes out to around 1650 calories. What is that accounting for? Does it take into account sitting up, shifting in chair, moving my computer mouse around, typing, etc? Or is it just laying down not moving all day?

    Is RMR more accurate? That comes out to maybe 1850-1950 calories. My watch gives me an estimate if I walk around, pace around, do cardio, etc, but I don’t see any change if I’m sitting in my chair playing my game, or tossing and turning, or writing, etc.

    if I burn 500 calories through workouts, yard work, etc. should I add that to RMR or BMR?

    My thoughts is that I must be burning about 15 calories and hour over 15+ hours (the time I’m awake) through small movement my watch doesn’t pick up on. That’s why I’m wondering if I should start adding those active calories to my RMR and not BMR.
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  2. #2
    NASM-CPT xsquid99's Avatar
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    BMR and RMR are really both irrelevant numbers when it comes to the weight loss equation. BMR by definition is the amount of calories you burn in a completely fasted and no-movement state. Basically if you laid in bed all day and didn't move, thats your BMR. RMR includes light movement for essential functions only (eating, going to bathroom, etc).

    TDEE (Total Daily Energy Expenditure) is the key number.

    TDEE = BMR + NEAT (non-exercise activity) + EAT (exercise activity) + TEF (thermic effect of food)

    You will never know how many calories you burn during exercise or for any functions. The only way to get a decent estimate on your TDEE is to meticulously track your calories for multiple weeks and watch what your weight does over that time. If it stays the same, then you know you're generally eating at maintenance (TDEE).
    Last edited by xsquid99; 05-17-2022 at 04:04 PM.
    All it takes is consistency, effort, proper nutrition, good programming, and TIME.

    Don't be upset with the results you didn't get from the work you did not do.
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  3. #3
    Registered User Lizzy3200's Avatar
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    Originally Posted by xsquid99 View Post
    BMR and RMR are really both irrelevant numbers when it comes to the weight loss equation. BMR by definition is the amount of calories you burn in a completely fasted and no-movement state. Basically if you laid in bed all day and didn't move, thats your BMR. RMR includes light movement for essential functions only (eating, going to bathroom, etc).

    TDEE (Total Daily Energy Expenditure) is the key number.

    TDEE = BMR + NEAT (non-exercise activity) + EAT (exercise activity) + TEF (thermic effect of food)

    You will never know how many calories you burn during exercise or for any functions. The only way to get a decent estimate on your TDEE is to meticulously track your calories for multiple weeks and watch what your weight does over that time. If it stays the same, then you know you're generally eating at maintenance (TDEE).
    So let’s say I use this TDEE equation. If my BMR is 1650 calories and I add my TEF (let’s estimate 150 calories), that would give me 1800 calories burned just by eating and existing.
    So now my watch keeps track of my waking and exercise and the calories I burn when doing so. Assuming the watch is accurate, if I burn 700 calories in that day, I’d add that to my 1800, correct? And that would give me 2500 calories total (excluding any small things my watch can’t pick up on, such as NEAT, which may of may not make a difference).

    So if I eat 1800 calories on a day where my watch says I burned 700, that would mean I am in a 700 calorie deficit, correct? (Again, assuming the watch is 100% accurate)

    Thank you for your help.
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    Registered User RapidFail's Avatar
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    Originally Posted by Lizzy3200 View Post
    So let’s say I use this TDEE equation. If my BMR is 1650 calories and I add my TEF (let’s estimate 150 calories), that would give me 1800 calories burned just by eating and existing.
    So now my watch keeps track of my waking and exercise and the calories I burn when doing so. Assuming the watch is accurate, if I burn 700 calories in that day, I’d add that to my 1800, correct? And that would give me 2500 calories total (excluding any small things my watch can’t pick up on, such as NEAT, which may of may not make a difference).

    So if I eat 1800 calories on a day where my watch says I burned 700, that would mean I am in a 700 calorie deficit, correct? (Again, assuming the watch is 100% accurate)

    Thank you for your help.
    I would assume your watch is NOT accurate. Tracking calories burned through activity probably isn't worthwhile because it's almost impossible to do it accurately. Best practice IMO is to estimate your TDEE, the adjust using changes in your average weight.
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  5. #5
    NASM-CPT xsquid99's Avatar
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    Originally Posted by RapidFail View Post
    I would assume your watch is NOT accurate.
    Exactly this OP.

    I have a watch that tracks calories too, but I completely disregard it. Mine is in no way accurate, based on the data that I have from tracking calories and watching my weight my watch is almost 700 calories off.

    There's 3500 calories in a pound of fat, so if you lose a pound a week, you know you're in a deficit of approximately 500 calories a day. This is how most people usually solve the equation rather than relying on electronic devices that may or may not be in the ballpark.
    All it takes is consistency, effort, proper nutrition, good programming, and TIME.

    Don't be upset with the results you didn't get from the work you did not do.
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  6. #6
    Registered User air2fakie's Avatar
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    You can lose weight without using any complex formula, especially if you count and adjust calories based on results. My watch barely tells time accurately.
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    ^ As the guys above have said, keep it simple.

    Losing weight is about the broad strokes, not about precision. Just set a daily calorie target and don't exceed it. Do this for 2 weeks, weighing yourself every morning. If the trend is down (maybe 1lb a week) then all is well, keep going. If not, make a small adjustment and try again.

    You can eat the same on training days and off days. Formal exercise actually doesn't impact TDEE much.
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  8. #8
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    Originally Posted by Lizzy3200 View Post
    I’m having trouble figure out what numbers I need to be using. For reference, I’m 5’7 and ~154lb

    My BMR comes out to around 1650 calories. What is that accounting for? Does it take into account sitting up, shifting in chair, moving my computer mouse around, typing, etc? Or is it just laying down not moving all day?

    Is RMR more accurate? That comes out to maybe 1850-1950 calories. My watch gives me an estimate if I walk around, pace around, do cardio, etc, but I don’t see any change if I’m sitting in my chair playing my game, or tossing and turning, or writing, etc.

    if I burn 500 calories through workouts, yard work, etc. should I add that to RMR or BMR?

    My thoughts is that I must be burning about 15 calories and hour over 15+ hours (the time I’m awake) through small movement my watch doesn’t pick up on. That’s why I’m wondering if I should start adding those active calories to my RMR and not BMR.
    don’t worry about any of this. You’ll never be accurate and your calorie counting and tracking will be incorrect. Those watches are basically worthless and will lead you in the wrong direction with their inaccuracies. If your goal is fatloss then just pick a reasonable calorie amount, stick with it for 3 weeks and adjust as needed.
    If you don't get what you want you didn't want it bad enough
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