BMR and Muscle Mass:
Muscle tissue is metabolically, highly active even at rest, whereas fat tissue is not. Thus, lean body mass (LBM) greatly influences a body’s energy requirements and, in conjunction, its nutrient needs. An increase in muscle mass, for both males and females, will elevate BMR.
Starvation and Restrictive Dieting:
Metabolic rate can drop to as low as 20-30% during a period of starvation and restrictive low-calorie dieting. This drop is due to the body’s effort to conserve energy (and its eventual loss of lean tissue) by slowing its BMR. This slowing process is a natural protective mechanism that conserves fat stores when a food shortage occurs. Because of this, consumption of fewer calories than required to sustain BMR will be counterproductive, and can actually cause body fat levels to increase.
5. What impact does exercise have on BMR?
While we can’t change our genetics, age, gender, height or (in most cases) our environment, we can change our body composition. We can decrease our body fat and increase our lean body mass (LBM), which will mean a higher metabolic rate. Changing our body composition is done through proper diet and exercise — two things that will directly impact BMR.
Exercise can increase BMR and, depending on intensity and duration, the metabolic rate may remain elevated for several hours afterward. During sustained, large-muscle exercises like running and swimming, people can generate metabolic rates that are ten times higher than their resting values. Exercise will also increase your muscle mass, which will then increase your BMR.
This is why many top athletes can consume high amounts of calories and still maintain low body fat. The value of exercise cannot be overlooked — it is critical for both short and long-term weight loss; it prevents obesity, poor posture, muscle and bone loss, pre-mature aging, depression, and many other health issues, and it facilitates ultimate fitness levels; physically, mentally, and emotionally.
6. Calculating daily calories. Gender: why men can eat more than women and what women can do about it.
Whether you are interested in health, fitness or weight loss, calories should always be calculated according to your personal BMR, activity level and other variables. While gender is an influential factor for women, it is not necessarily the culprit when it comes to a lower BMR. Instead, a woman’s lower BMR is due to a smaller proportion of muscle mass to fat. That said, females should consume fewer calories than men (childhood, adolescence, pregnancy and athletes excluded). Girls, don’t despair; if you exercise you can eat more. Even though exercise in general increases BMR, strength training is the master to key to the development and protection of lean body mass, which as stated earlier, increases BMR, thus guaranteeing weight loss. However, there is a limit to how much muscle mass females can or want to have on our physique, so we as women have to deal with our limitations when it comes to calorie consumption.