BMR… you kidding me?

Mrs. Nutrition Teacher

I am a high school Family and Consumer Sciences teacher, and one of the courses I teach is Nutrition.  It is one of my favorite courses to teach because I have a personal interest in it, but also because I think basic nutrition is a topic EVERYONE should be informed about.  One of the topics that we discussed this week has really resonated with me… Basal Metabolic Rate (BMR).

I learned what this was when I was in college as a Health Education major, but I still did not really understand fully what it meant to me.  Through my many weight loss phases, I would eat 1200-1400 calories a day.  I only understood that I needed to burn more calories than I took in.  Even after my first pregnancy I used the features in MyFitnessPal to calculate how many calories I needed to intake in order to lose weight.  This was 1200 calories!! It was only after I hit a plateau and was sick of depriving myself that I sought for a better understanding of energy balance.

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My personal basal metabolic rate based on my age, height and weight is approximately 1500-1600 calories.  There are many online calculators that will determine your BMR for you when you enter your information (so google it).  What they don’t tell you is that you should NEVER eat below that number.  Your BMR is a base number that shows your energy needs (calories) for just staying alive, not being active in any way.  So, from my BMR calculation and MyFitnessPal telling me to eat 1200 calories, I now know I was eating well below my needs.

There are many legitimate resources that will help the average person understand this concept much better (see Eat More 2 Weigh Less).  However, far too many people (especially women) are depriving themselves to achieve an unattainable goal.  My goal as a Nutrition teacher but also in my future goal of being a Certified Personal Trainer is to help use this information in a helpful and healthful way.  I want to help people understand what BMR is and how to use it along with their total daily energy expenditure (TDEE) to determine calorie needs for whatever goals they have.

What other nutrition concepts are confusing??

 

Non-Scale Victories

*Note:  This post contains affiliate links, please see disclosure at the bottom of this post.

Weighing yourself on a scale can be very misleading.  The number on the scale can be influenced by fat loss, muscle gain, hormones, water retention, inflammation, and so on. It is important if you want to see real progress in fat loss (and not “weigh” yourself down mentally) to find other ways to measure progress.

Non-Scale Victories

Other Ways to Measure

There are two other ways that I like to physically measure my fat loss progress. A consistent measurement tool is using measuring tape to calculate the inches of each area of the body. Keep in mind that you should measure in the same spot each time and take measurements on a regular basis (i.e., every Friday or every 1st of the month).  See this article from Livestrong.com for the proper way to take body measurements. I have seen a lot of people gain weight on the scale, but their body measurements get smaller.

The other physical measurement of fat loss can be your clothing.  Water retention, muscle gains, etc. may also affect how your clothes fit, but this can be a good gauge on your progress.  I also like to give myself a goal outfit or piece of clothing to work toward as another way to motivate myself.

Lifestyle Wins

The weight on the scale is not going to be a straight downward slope, there will be ups and downs. To help keep your focus on the goal and motivate your through the journey it is important to find behaviors, daily tasks or mental shifts that have improved as a result of your healthy choices. Examples of these type of non-scale victories can be saving money by skipping the drive-thru, fitting into your old favorite jeans, having the confidence to cross over into the side of the gym with the heavy weights, walking up flights of stairs without having to catch your breath, and the list goes on.  Find what will motivate you based on your lifestyle, or search #nsv or #nonscalevictory on social media for inspiration.

Please share your #nonscalevictories in the comments!

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Liebster Award Nomination

I am very excited to be nominated for the Liebster Award.  It is such a great way to promote and acknowledge new blogs. Thanks to Ray at Super Powers Sold Separately for the nomination! Bloggers nominate other bloggers and answer the questions, so here we go…

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  1. What inspired you to start your blog?

    • I am currently a high school Family and Consumer Sciences teacher, but my next career plan is to become a Certified Personal Trainer.  The purpose of my blog is to document the rest of my weight loss journey to show my future clients that I have been through the struggle.
  1. What is your favorite hobby outside of blogging?

    • Sadly enough, my favorite hobby right now is sleeping.  I have a 1 year old and 3 year old that wake up around 5am daily.  As soon as I finish the day and put the kids to bed, I usually end of falling asleep on the couch.  In the near future (fingers crossed) I would like to sleep past dawn and actually have some hobbies.  My goal hobbies are reading, watching a full movie without falling asleep and traveling more.
  2. If you could have dinner with anyone, living or dead, who would it be?

    • I would love to have dinner again with my Grandpa Leonard.  Not only for myself to see and talk to him, but I REALLY would have loved for my husband and children to meet him.  I know my husband would have so many questions for him about being a tank commander in WWII and opening the family restaurant we had for over 60 years.  My grandpa loved children and it would have been magical to see him with mine.
  3. What is your go-to easy dinner?

    • My favorite go-to meal right now is Skinnytaste’s Pork Carnitas in my Instant Pot.  We make it into so many meals… street tacos, quesadillas, or eat it by itself for my lunches.
  4. What have you learned about yourself through blogging?

    • I have learned that I like writing so much more than I thought.  When I was in high school I thought I was a bad writer and I hated any writing assignment in school.  I guess that if I am motivated by the topic that I find it much more enjoyable.
  5. What is your first piece of advice for someone getting into fitness for the first time?

    • My first piece of advice would be to incorporate weight lifting from the beginning.  It doesn’t have to be heavy weights.  Even starting with just your body weight, 2 lb weights, or 5 lb weights can lead you down a great path.  Weight lifting has so many benefits but people often think that cardio is the primary method for weight loss or exercise.
  6. What do you wish you knew about blogging before you began?

    • I didn’t realize how in-depth blogging can be and how much time it can take.  Becoming a part of Facebook groups for bloggers and downloading some podcasts have helped me tremendously to navigate through all of the information.

Liebster Award Nomination Rules:

(according to The Global Aussie and Super Powers Sold Separately)

  • Thank the blogger who gave you the award with a link back to their blog.
  • Link to this post from The Global Aussie in your Liebster Award blog post.
  • Answer the questions given to you.
  • Give the award to 5-10 new bloggers.
  • Leave a comment on their blog to let them know you nominated them!
  • Create more questions for your nominees to answer (unique and creative ones)
  • Comment on this blog post with a link DIRECTLY to your Liebster award.
  • Entries start 1st Jan 2018 and ends on 25th Dec 2018. The winner will be picked on the 31st of December.

My Nominations!

Here are your questions…

  1. What inspired you to start your blog?
  2. How do you balance all of the things in your life?
  3. If you had a day completely free of responsibility, what would you do?
  4. If you woke up and had 2,000 unread emails and could only answer 300 of them, how would you choose which ones to answer?
  5. Which animal would make the best type of president if the animal kingdom ever rises up and takes over?
  6. You’re on death row, what would your last meal be?
  7. What have you gained or learned since starting you blog?

Checking in on 2018

January is almost over and I need to reformat my goals for this year.  It is a plan I would like to stick to for every month this year, to evaluate my progress and adjust to meet my needs.

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In my last post, Things That F*ck with My Balance-Vol. 1, I explained how illness has gotten me off course so far this year.  This has resulted in no progress for my weight loss and fitness goals.  I have also stopped any and all work to keep up with my 2018 planner.
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My specific goals for January were to increase my water intake and stick to my daily calorie goal.  I definitely did not keep up with these goals, and I should have been more specific about my water goal.  My daily calorie goal has also been too broad of a range.

For February, I am going to focus on the following goals:

  1. Stick to my calorie goal and macros breakdown that I had calculated. I had my macros calculated by Poppy Locks.
  2. Start the Jessie’s Girls Home Edition workout program that I bought a LONG time ago and never used.
  3. STOP eating leftover food from my son’s plate.  I have to stop this the rest of my life!
  4. Keep track of my goals by using my planner.

I am putting this out there for accountability, but I think this is a good strategy for everyone to reevaluate goals on a monthly or on regular basis.  New Year’s Resolutions are out, monthly goals are it!

Things That F*ck with My Balance-Vol. 1

I’ve been out of commission for the last couple weeks, but I’m finally getting back to blogging.  The 2018 flu hit half of the members of my household, and as many mothers know the workload increases ten fold! This brings me to my 1st volume of Things that Fuck with My Balance.

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Before having children I did not realize the impact that illness would have on my life, my work, my money, etc.  When I was single and got sick, for the most part I would just suck it up and continue life.  I rarely called in sick or even got sick for that matter.

Now, I have to leave work at a moments notice if one of my kids spikes a fever or their poop is too runny.  I am a big planner so this really fucks with my balance to drop everything and leave. I obviously want to run to take care of my child, but I don’t like leaving things left undone.  Also, if you’re a teacher you know that getting work ready for a Substitute is more work than just being at school.

Illness also affects my paycheck.  Fortunately as a teacher I have a lot of time off compared to others, but I still end up using more personal days than what I have available.  This occasionally leaves my paycheck several hundred dollars short.

Enough bitching.  So, how do I find balance amongst the recurrent illness? A positive mindset.  I know that the children get sick in waves, so it will return to normal.  My son was sick often the first year he attended daycare, but now is rarely sick.  So, I know that my daughter will soon (hopefully) be in the same boat.  Now, a husband getting sick… there is no good advice for that.  Just grin and bear it!

These times that unexpected illness or other trauma come into your life, just survive! Don’t worry about getting a workout in everyday or cooking the perfect meal.  Just make it through without any damage, and know you can return to normal soon enough.