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Thanks but way too many variables in play for BMR (or calorie counting for that matter) to make sense in any place other than a sealed metabolic ward :)

Junkfood Science ~ The first Law of Thermodynamics in real life...

For example:
...in real life, balancing energy includes a lot more than just the calories we eat and the calories we burn according to those exercise charts. The energy parts of the equation include: calories consumed; calories converted to energy and used in involuntary movement; calories used for heat generation and in response to external environmental exposures and temperatures; calories used with inflammatory and infectious processes; calories used in growth, tissue restoration and numerous metabolic processes; calories used in voluntary movement; calories not absorbed in the digestive tract and matter expelled; calories stored as fat, and fat converted [to calories]; and more. Add to that, to put it simply, each variable affects the others, varies with mass and age, involves complex hormonal and enzyme regulatory influences, and differs in efficiency.

Calories eaten and calories used in voluntary movement are only two small parts of energy balance and are meaningless by themselves, unless all of the other variables are controlled for … which they can never be as they aren’t under our control.
 

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Anecdotal, but what the heck: I'm losing close to 2 lbs/week and know I'm not eating 1000 calories below my BMR adjusted with a bit of exercise.

This explains why calories in/calories out as has always been explained remained a practical mystery.
 

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Mine came up 1800 calories a day. I usually eat well over that and can maintain my weight loss. I think everyone is different. Plus I think it is the quality of the calories that matter for me. Carb calories put on weight, fat and protein calories don't.
 

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Keep in mind that BMR is your BASAL metabolic rate. Meaning, the caloric expenditure if you were on 24/7 bed-rest.

Yes, there are many factors that influence it. I like one that factors in more exercise/activity, such as this one.

One important factor none of these show is your body-fat percentage vs. your weight. IE: we all know muscle burns more than fat. I'm just over 6'2" and run anywhere between 225 and 230lbs at the moment. But I have much more muscle than most people my height and weight. (Most people my height/weight are actually Obese, whereas I'm getting quite fit.) As such, my BMR would be considerably higher than most men of my age/height/weight simply due to my lower body-fat percentage and higher muscle mass.

A good example of body-type difference is between Eric (TheBackPages) and myself. He's a similar height to me, yet I think he runs 60 to 70 lbs LESS than I do in body-weight. Since neither of us is currently overweight (though if he's like me, he still 'feels' like a fat guy... It's hard to get out of that mindset...) we would obviously have a MASSIVE difference in our BMR, not just because of the weight difference, but because of the muscle-mass difference.

These calculators are a good 'starting point' though for folks with no clue as to what they should/might be eating. Just bear in mind they are based on averages, and numbers should be modified up/down depending on your physical makeup adn the success you have with weight loss.
 

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...These calculators are a good 'starting point' though for folks with no clue as to what they should/might be eating. ...
Perhaps, although I can't help thinking that wild animals seem to manage equilibrium without recourse to calorie charts, BMR BMI, GI etc... do they know something that we don't? :whistle:
 

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Perhaps, although I can't help thinking that wild animals seem to manage equilibrium without recourse to calorie charts, BMR BMI, GI etc... do they know something that we don't? :whistle:
We can't really compare our lifestyle to that of a foraging or predatory animal.

First they don't always have a steady supply of food and most wild animals stay very lean because they expend as much or more energy searching for food, avoiding predators, etc., as they intake.

Our lives are very different. Most of us are sedentary both within and outside of work. We can have food delivered, drive-thru, etc. We all have a Wal-mart or something similar close by, etc.

Because we're not working hard from dusk to dawn like we used to once upon a time (whether in the industrial age or the bronze age, or earlier...) it might be beneficial to crunch the numbers in regards to our caloric intake/expenditure in order to stay healthy.

Those of us that do manual labour 8+ hours a day probably don't have the same concerns though...
 

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(Awright awreddy - every time I see this thread come up, all I can think is: ♫While strolling through the park one day, in the very merry month of May ... ) This is all your fault, Bugg! You & Robert Keiser, who also wrote "Beautiful Ohio". ;)
 

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We can't really compare our lifestyle to that of a foraging or predatory animal.

First they don't always have a steady supply of food and most wild animals stay very lean because they expend as much or more energy searching for food, avoiding predators, etc., as they intake.

Our lives are very different. Most of us are sedentary both within and outside of work. We can have food delivered, drive-thru, etc. We all have a Wal-mart or something similar close by, etc.

Because we're not working hard from dusk to dawn like we used to once upon a time (whether in the industrial age or the bronze age, or earlier...) it might be beneficial to crunch the numbers in regards to our caloric intake/expenditure in order to stay healthy.

Those of us that do manual labour 8+ hours a day probably don't have the same concerns though...
Lions may spend 2-3 hours hunting every 2 or 3 days.. the rest of the time is spent resting. Rabbits may be surrounded by fields of clover a few hops away from their burrows and yet how often do we see an obese one? Even modern-day human hunter-gatherer communities spend much of the day sitting in camp or lying in hammocks. This idea of life being an endless physical struggle from dawn to dusk just does not bear up to scrutiny. The more energy you expend the more you need to eat... the less you expend the less you eat -- all other animals manage this balance innately... I am convinced that we can too.

I suspect we have this notion about working hard all day only since the dawn of industrialization and toiling in factories -- that is not our natural state :)
 

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...This idea of life being an endless physical struggle from dawn to dusk just does not bear up to scrutiny...
In some examples, that may be true. There are, of course, examples of very active animals as well.

The more energy you expend the more you need to eat... the less you expend the less you eat -- all other animals manage this balance innately... I am convinced that we can too.
Well, we must agree to disagree on this one. Not being lower animals we don't just 'eat to survive'. Eating is something we plan, often as a social occasion. We think about it in advance, purchase foods/drinks, etc., whereas animals don't.

Unlike animals eating for us just isn't a primitive response. Whereas we may be able to manage breathing innately (which is a more-primitive function), we give much thought to eating... which means it's NOT an innate response to a primitive drive (hunger) like in more primitive species.

I suspect we have this notion about working hard all day only since the dawn of industrialization and toiling in factories -- that is not our natural state :)
Well, for thousands of years we've been farming... before industrialization that was pretty hard work for most... The vast majority of human beings for thousands of years have been working-class, and did toil pretty hard for their supper...

Regardless of WHEN someone believes the human species originated, it would seem logical that most human beings worked harder PRIOR to the industrial age, than since it... All food/housing/equipment/clothing, etc., was made by hand/hard work, once upon a time. It was the industrial age that allowed us to labour LESS, for the most part.
 

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Well, we must agree to disagree on this one. Not being lower animals we don't just 'eat to survive'. Eating is something we plan, often as a social occasion. We think about it in advance, purchase foods/drinks, etc., whereas animals don't.

Unlike animals eating for us just isn't a primitive response. Whereas we may be able to manage breathing innately (which is a more-primitive function), we give much thought to eating... which means it's NOT an innate response to a primitive drive (hunger) like in more primitive species.
You might try having that discussion with an heavily pregnant woman at 3am when she wakes with a craving for pickles and ice-cream. Try explaining to her how it is all a conscious choice and nothing to do with primitive (biochemical) drives. You might (if you are particularly brave or foolhardy) suggest it is all in her head --"psychological" -- and not her body signalling the need to satisfy a required nutrient. If you survive the night intact, then we can talk. :)

Think about this: you haven't eaten all day, you just spent an hour at the gym... you find yourself at a fancy restaurant drawn in by the smells and sights of enticing food. You eat your fill... would you now feel hungry if that same food was offered all over again? Is eating behaviour or biochemistry?

Do you remember when people talked about going for a brisk walk to "work up an appetite"..? When did we lose sight of that concept? Now it seems that "exercise" is the key to weight loss!

If a "lower animal" can manage energy balance without weights and measures, are you suggesting that we are any less able?

Well, for thousands of years we've been farming... before industrialization that was pretty hard work for most... The vast majority of human beings for thousands of years have been working-class, and did toil pretty hard for their supper...
Consider the life of a medieval peasant farmer -- spring time busy with ploughing and planting, autumn busy with the harvest... so busy that the whole community would come together for this work -- followed by much partying and feasting. Summer...? Watching the crops grow..? Winter??? OK so if they have livestock there are a few hours each day of making sure they have food and water. Maintenance work around the farm, cutting some wood etc... but constant toil? There are parts of Europe where records show the peasants went into virtual hibernation during the Winter... nothing to do and so little food that they would huddle together and sleep for days on end.

In other parts of the World consider major building projects like the Pyramids. The latest understanding is that rather than being built by slaves these were made by Egyptian farmers/peasants with time on their hands -- work as a form of taxation. Clearly they still had plenty of time to raise a surplus of food. Of course the building was hard work (taxes) but consider that they did so in time that they did not need to be toiling on the land AND by all accounts they were well fed while so doing.

In fact look at any major civil engineering/construction -- from stone circles, through Egyptian tombs, temples and pyramids; Greeks, Romans, Incas, Mayans, European Cathedrals etc.. etc... and I think we can be pretty confident that there was a surplus of food, labour and energy. These people were not in a constant struggle from hand to mouth. It seems the cry in Rome was for "bread and circuses" as their leaders had to keep the citizens fed and entertained for fear they might riot from lack of anything else to do.

I am not trying to start an argument but I do think we need to shake up, or at the very least question, some of these widely held beliefs :) We take many things for granted as if they are established facts and I'm not so sure they hold up to scrutiny.
 

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Well, I've got to give you the 'pregnant woman' argument. I've been through three pregnancies with my wife and therefore cannot refute that.

I learned much during her first pregnancy . . . Like . . . do NOT question her... She woke me up at 2:40am once demanding Chinese Food, specifically 'Ginger Beef' (It's an Alberta-thing) ... I told her there was nothing open that late ... Bad Idea ... She had called around first finding a place still open so I could go get it... and she scared the CRAP outta me with her response, LOL...

Needless to say, she got her Chinese Food.

Cravings may be biochemical, yes. But certainly much of our consumption of food, especially in these modern times, is behavioural... especially in a social context.

And no, there's no point arguing, I can certainly agree with that :)

Maybe we're both right? To some extent. Lets go with that...

For those just joining us, this thread has diverted to what it is now from initial discussions on BMR calculators, LOL. Please continue...
 
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