If you’re about to get started on a diet and workout program that’s aimed to improve your body composition, having you lose body fat and/or build lean muscle mass, the starting point to get this process started is with figuring out your metabolic rate.
Your metabolic rate is going to dictate how many calories you burn up on a day to day basis, so this influences the direction in which your body weight moves.
Since you need to burn more energy than you consume each day with your food intake in order to use fat as a fuel source, it pays to know about how much you are burning.
That said, there are some pretty serious errors that can be made when calculating your metabolic rate and if you aren’t careful to identify these so that you can protect against they may really influence your progress.
Let’s look at what you should know.
Your Past Diet Habits
The first factor that can sway your metabolic rate is the past diet that you’ve been using. If you’ve been on a reduced calorie diet for weeks on end, chances are good that your metabolic rate is going to be slower because of this.
Your body will naturally slow down the metabolism in order to conserve fuel and prevent further weight loss from taking place, so know that you may need to factor this in.
Proper diet breaks every few weeks can help to prevent this from occurring.
Your Body Fat Percentage
Next, you also should consider your total body fat percentage. Since your metabolic rate will be estimated off your total body weight, those who are very lean may have higher metabolic rates than the estimates give them.
This is due to the fact that muscle is highly metabolically active, so the more of it you have, the more you will burn on a day to day basis.
On the flip side, those who are heavier individuals with more fat weight may burn less than what the estimates give them.
Your Fitness Routine
Finally, if you’re involved in weight lifting three or more times per week, expect to have a higher resting metabolic rate because of this. Weight lifting is going to boost the resting metabolic rate for up to 48 hours after the session is finished, so it can definitely have an effect.
So there you have the main points to remember as you go about figuring out your metabolic rate. Make sure to make a few adjustments if any of these are factoring in for you.