Resting Metabolic Rate and its impact on your body composition

Thursday, April 13, 2017. Author Paul Rose

When assessing body composition goals, most people are looking to gain muscle or lose fat. More often than not, they want to do both at the same time. The starting point for either of these body composition goals involves estimating total calorie (kcal) intake needs.

Simply put, when your calorie intake (what you eat) is greater than your calorie expenditure (what you burn), you gain scale weight. The same is true for scale weight loss: calorie intake is less than calorie expenditure. Maintenance occurs when the two are equal.

However, even though lots of people discuss weight loss in terms of scale weight, it is much more appropriate to look at weight loss from a body composition perspective. Yes, you may wish to lose weight but more specifically you are trying to lose body fat while gaining/maintaining muscle.

Unfortunately, since most scales cannot differentiate between lean mass and fat mass, total calorie intake will not necessarily be best judged by looking at scale weight alone.

The total number of calories a person needs each day depends on a number of different factors including age, body weight, activity level, gender, diet, training program, body composition, and genetics. Before we can determine the energy (calorie) needs of an individual we must first look at these factors, which determine a person’s ability to use the calories ingested.


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