Your body needs a minimum number of calories in order to perform at high levels. Your daily calorie intake provides energy for the millions of chemical reactions that enable your body to function. Basal Metabolic Rate (BMR) is the minimum amount of calories needed to fuel your body while resting. Our BMR accounts for about 60-70% (in males) and over 50% (in females) of our daily calorie requirements. It is typical for BMR to peak at age 20 and then slowly decrease by 2 percent per decade. So how can you use this?
Daily calorie NEEDS are those required to MAINTAIN your current weight. Athletes desiring to LOSE weight must reduce their daily calorie intake. Conversely, clients desiring to GAIN weight must increase their calorie intake. For example, to lose one pound of weight per week, you must consume 3,500 fewer calories, or consume 1,500 fewer calories while burning an extra 2,000 calories from exercise.
Eat 5-6 small meals per day with similar calories – Understand a serving size and eat slowly – Drink a minimum of eight 8 oz. cups of water daily – Do not eat too much within 3hrs before workouts – Consume lean protein (low fat) – Consume complex & fibrous carbohydrates (CHO’s) – Consume polyunsaturated fats (PUFA’s) – Log & track meals for a week each month – Consume a multi-vitamin/mineral supplement daily – All calories are NOT created equal! Fat gives your body a 5% calorie burning boost, Complex CHO’s a 10% boost, and Proteins a 25% boost.
Smith, Heidi (2003). Nutrition for the long run. Guelph, Ontario, CA www.heidismithnutrition.com
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