Without getting into the minutia of the science, we can say that your Metabolic Rate is a direct measure of the calories you burn in a given amount of time.
This means that your “metabolism” is a measure of the relationship between Calories and time.
My resting metabolic rate is somewhere around 1,700 Calories per day. Add in activity (other than planned exercise) and my daily Calorie needs are probably around 2,300 Calories. For simplicity sake we’ll round this up to 2,400 Calories per day.
Now, to me this number is fairly useless, but knowing that I burn around 100 Calories per hour, now that’s a usable number.
I now know how many hours it takes to for the Calories in my food to be “used up.”
Calories = Time
If I eat a Snickers bar I can type “snickers bar calories” into Google and find that the average snickers bar has about 270 Calories. I can round this up to 300 and find that…
If I eat a snickers bar, I am “fueled” for the next 3 hours.
If I eat more food during those 3 hours I am building up a surplus of calories, if I don’t eat for the next 5 hours I’ve created a two-hour deficit. Granted that deficit isn’t much (probably around 200 calories) but it adds up.
Now, 2,400 calories per day is not a perfect measurement of how many calories a person uses in a day. It’s a bit of an overshoot for most women and a bit of an undershoot for most men, but it’s really close, and really, really practical.
100 Calories = 1 Hour
If I eat a massive 1,200 Calorie breakfast at 7 am, then I have fueled myself for 12 hours. This means I should do my best to not eat (or eat very little) until 7 pm (12 hours times 100 Calories = 1,200 Calories).
If I ate a smaller breakfast of say 500 Calories then I should probably eat at noon.
That’s it. This is eating at a “Calories per hour rate” and I think it is an excellent way to make Calories work, and work simply.
It still takes a little bit of work, you need to know the rough calorie count of the foods you eat, but that’s it.
Here’s the super quick synopsis of this entire blog post ?Let how many calories you have eaten guide you in deciding when you should eat again.
[[Tip: Since most of us are trying to lose or maintain our weight always round UP to the nearest 100 Calories. ]]
You do NOT need to factor in things like the thermic effect of food, or hormone alterations, or macro nutrient composition of your foods… In fact, generally I wouldn’t even count your workouts.
This is the basic premise of calories and metabolic rate, the part that most people skip over while searching for the super complicated concept that will provide them with the magic weight loss bullet.
[[ Remember the “rate” in metabolic rate already implies an association with time. ]]
100 Calories will “roughly” fuel 1 hour of your day.
If you want to lose weight, leave some hours of your day “empty.”
I recommend somewhere between 2 and 6 hours per day. They do not have to consecutive and you can pick the hours that work best for you.
Let me know how it goes,