Kamaljit, male, 44 years, height 170 cm, Weight 94 Kg, having a sedentary lifestyle, 9 to 5 job type work life. He was kept on a very low calorie diet; Eat less and lose more types diet.  Initial results were very encouraging. A feel good weight loss was evident to everyone, 5 kgs in just 25 days. Actually he was kept on a 1200 Kcal diet. Without getting into technical aspect of 1200 Kcal for sustenance of a 94 kg body seems too miser and stringent.

Kamaljit, one fine morning while moving to his office, had a minor heart attack and was rushed to a hospital by his daily cab driver…initial test results and Cardiologists remarks were astonishing. He was saved after spending 15 days in hospital and coughing a sum of 6 lacs as the bill.

Try to understand the science of diet given below. Don’t be in haste while losing weight. If you have taken time to gain those kilos, give some time to lose them too; Even a driver who drives uphill, keeps lower gear to go up and follows the same while coming down.

But let me explain this, He was consuming less calorie than his BMR. His BMR was 1621.50 Kcal and he was just taking 1200 kcal.

BMR or Basal metabolic rate (BMR) is the total number of calories that your body needs to perform basic, life-sustaining functions. These basal functions include circulation, breathing, cell production, nutrient processing, protein synthesis and ion transport. But Kamaljit wanted weight loss at a fast pace and his Nutritionist prescribed him 1200 Kcal diet without considering it and rest everything is history to say the least.

You can calculate the basal metabolic rate using a mathematical formula. If you are looking to reach or maintain a healthy weight may find it helpful to calculate your BMR. You can either find the number using a formula designed by scientists, you can get it tested in a lab, or you can use an online calculator. No method is perfectly accurate, but a lab test will probably give you the best estimate. But since lab tests can be costly, many dieters and exercisers use one of the other two methods to determine basal metabolic rate and/or the total number of calories they burn each day.

The Harris-Benedict equation is often used to estimate basal metabolic rate.

Men: BMR = 88.362 + (13.397 x weight in kg) + (4.799 x height in cm) – (5.677 x age in years)

Women: BMR = 447.593 + (9.247 x weight in kg) + (3.098 x height in cm) – (4.330 x age in years)

You can use this information to figure out how many calories you should be consuming to maintain your weight as it is. On active days, you’ll need more calories, so it’s okay to eat a little more than you would on an average day. But on more sedentary days, you may want to reduce your calorie intake. If you want to lose weight, try to stay below your calorie needs or increase your activity level. However, make sure you are eating nutritious meals and not restricting your calories too much – eating too little or losing weight rapidly can be unhealthy and dangerous.

Once you understand the concept of BMR it will help you to reach or maintain a healthy weight first. First you can try to increase your basal metabolic rate, then you can increase the total number of calories you burn each day to help you reach your goal. A combination of factors determines your Basal Metabolic Rate. Genetic factors, age, gender and body composition all play a role. There’s not much you can do to control genetics, age or gender. But you can change your body’s fat to muscle ratio to boost your metabolism. So how do you change your body composition? Build muscle! Even when your body is at rest, lean muscle mass will burn more calories than fat. And you don’t even have to be a bodybuilder to see benefits. Several studies have shown that after just a few weeks of resistance training you may be able to see a 7% – 8% increase in resting metabolic rate.

The total number of calories you burn each day is heavily dependent on your basal metabolic rate. But you can also burn more calories each day by making changes to your diet and activity level. Your basal metabolic rate combined with two other factors can give you an idea of the total number of calories you burn each day. 

  • Basal metabolic rate accounts for about 60%-75% of total calories burned each day. Increase muscle mass to burn more calories.
  • Activity thermogenesis: (non-exercise movement and exercise) accounts for about 15%-30% of total calories burned each day. Increase daily movement to burn more calories.
  • Thermic effect of food: (calories burned from eating and digestion) accounts for about 10% of total calories burned each day. Choose healthy protein-rich foods to make a small difference.

If you can burn more calories than you consume, you will create a calorie deficit or negative energy balance. A calorie deficit of 500-1000 calories per day should result in a ½ or 1 kg weight loss per week. So cutting the long story short; what should have Kamaljit opted. May be 1800 Kcal diet with mix of some physical activity, better sleep management and a slow but steady weight loss to avoid a dangerous health issue later.