You are not always sitting at rest. Sometimes you are running, walking, playing, doing physical labor, and doing many other activities. From the perspective of your body, this is all EXTRA work over and above the work your body must do when you are resting. When you are active, your metabolic rate moves up above your resting level because you are burning more calories. Some of the work your body does is very subtle and you are hardly aware of it. When you are too hot or too cold, your body has to do work to warm you or cool you. So temperature control causes your metabolic rate to increase. When you eat food, your body does work so your metabolic rate increases. When you digest food your metabolic rate increases as you digest and absorb food. At the end of the day, your total calories burned are determined by your resting metabolism (your RMR) PLUS all of the calories your body burns to do the extra work you performed throughout the entire day.
Your Total Daily Energy Expenditure covers the total number of calories you need for the entire day.
If you are a chronic dieter – and these days the majority of people are chronic dieters (whether they realize it or not) – you need to know why restricting calories too severely is damaging to your body and counterproductive. If you feel like you are restricting calories but not losing weight, the information in this three part article series will help you understand why restricting calories below your resting metabolic rate (RMR) can actually work against you. Your body is a complicated “machine” and meeting its needs with high quality “fuel” is important for health and performance. The quality of the food you provide your body – especially the quality of the calories you eat to meet your RMR – is important to your health.
Restricting calories too severely causes your RMR to decrease. The more severe the restriction, the more drastic the drop in your RMR. Restricting calories too severely is counterproductive because your body will fight back by decreasing RMR. Not only should you avoid restricting calories below your RMR, you should take care to make sure you eat wholesome food to meet your RMR.
- Introduction: Why You Need To Know Your RMR
- Part 1: What Is “Metabolism?”
- Part 2: What happens if you cut your food intake BELOW your RMR?
- Part 3: Food Is More Than Calories