Whether you’ve recently been assessed with specific tools or measurements, or looking at the results from the main calorie calculator, you’re likely looking at some numbers and not sure what to do with them. Here’s a quick rundown of what those numbers mean and how to use them towards achieving your goal.
Resting Metabolic Rate is the amount of energy your body requires just for you to stay alive and breathing each day. It’s the bare minimum for you to function. It can change based on your age, weight, height, gender, and it can also change based on what your body is made of like the amount of muscle on your frame.
Total energy expenditure is the total amount of energy you use every day to not only stay alive and breathing, but to also live the way you live. Your TEE includes your RMR plus all of the activity you are engaged in all throughout the day. This activity can look like deliberate activity like exercise as well as non-exercise related activity like fidgeting, typing, doing laundry, and all of those small movements that make up your day that you don’t even think about.
This energy that you are putting out, all day and all night into everything you do, is measured in calories. A calorie is just a unit for measuring energy in the human body, and your TEE is showing you the amount of energy measured in calories that makes up your life. While your TEE is the total energy, measured as calories, going out from the human body, the only source of this energy that a human body can take in is in food. Food is the only source of calories, and therefore the only source of energy that a human body can take in.
We categorize this energy or calories in our foods based on the primary roles they play in the body. Those categories of energy or calories coming from food are called macronutrients and they include protein, carbohydrates, and fats. The foods you eat will be providing you with macronutrients, but in different amounts. You need to have a certain amount of each of these macronutrients each day to keep you functioning at a level you want.
Some foods provide a lot of one macronutrient and little of another, and some provide more nutritional value with those calories than others, some may be really great for your specific health or goal in mind. To learn more about the foods you eat and how they translate to what you put out, check out the nutrition tracking tool and the other resources throughout this app!
Staying on track towards a goal you have takes more than just motivation, it takes a plan. Having a plan means you have a focus for the day of what you intend to do, and have already prepared yourself for when unexpected changes come up. How do you get the most out of each day?
What’s your schedule look like today? Are you training today or is it your rest day? Do you work or have any appointments today? Map it all out into a calendar so you can visually see your commitments. Pro tip: find one day a week, like Sunday, to map out your schedule for the week ahead and set intentions for the overall goals this week, and the main priorities. By establishing the priorities ahead of time, it’ll help with making decisions in the moment if anything unplanned comes up so that you know what needs to get done first
Each morning, check back with your weekly schedule including the goals and the main priorities. For today, what do you need to accomplish to stay on track for the rest of the week? Focus on a realistic expectation for the day ahead. Give yourself a list of tasks, however short or long, that are completely manageable for this specific day in your life, and check off each item as it’s completed. Some days you’ll feel focused and productive and other days you may not. Productivity each day is not the goal, but rather working towards what is realistic each day is.
Plan for the unexpected. Establish “escape routes” or backup plans that will allow you to stay on track towards the overall goal for the week in case your time commitment for the day suddenly changes. Pro tip: keep a variety of food items in the house that can quickly make a meal like microwave rice pouches, canned beans, frozen or canned vegetables, packets or cans of tuna, or sardines, or shredded chicken, and frozen uncooked chicken breast or fish. You can throw together a breakfast in less than 90 seconds of oats, chia seeds and/or flaxseeds, protein powder, and a sprinkle of cinnamon that will give you a great combination of high fiber complex carbohydrates, Omega-3 fatty acids, and lean protein, all from shelf-stable products that can travel easily.
Allow yourself to go with the flow. Sometimes we can stick to our schedule and sometimes we have to improvise. Your best way to navigate any situation and still stay on track is to utilize the tools in this app so you can always hit your fitness goal for the day no matter your location, and you can always keep track of what you’re eating to keep in line with what your body needs.
By far, the most difficult part of starting a new plan, whether it’s a new training program, or new nutrition plan, is navigating any disruptions that come up along the way. You’re trying to stay consistent because you have a goal in mind, but what happens when your daily routine gets disrupted? Or you’re traveling? Or your work or home-life is getting busier with more things on your to-do list than you ever imagined?
It can be a challenge to stay on track with a new routine because life seems to break routine all the time. The best way to navigate these changes, adjustments, or disruptions, is to arm yourself with a plan that allows you to adjust on the fly without halting your progress to your goals. Here’s a list of some of the greatest tools and tidbits you can incorporate now so that you have a strong foundation of resiliency for any unknowns that come about.
By providing yourself with a solid base of grounding to begin and end each day, tracking everything you can to build that awareness of yourself, and planning ahead with the most simplified solutions to fall back on, you’ll be prepared to handle any changes or disruptions that come your way.