Metabolic Compensation & Why You May Not Be Losing Weight

BMR for Your BMI

For this post, we are going to look strictly at calories. Quality of food, etc. is a topic that we will dive into in a future post. Our goal is to break things down for you into digestible posts so that you can sift through the vast sea of information easier. When it comes to losing weight, you can only control up to about 30% of your daily calorie burn. The rest is a result of your Basal Metabolic Rate (BMR) which is what your body burns on a daily basis from various everyday tasks such as digesting food, keeping blood flowing or blinking your eyes. This is stuff we have little to no control over, yet it accounts for most of our daily calorie burn.

So, what matters more than exercise in the weight loss equation? What you eat: your caloric intake! At the most basic level, your energy intake level vs. your energy expenditure will determine whether you lose, gain or maintain your current weight. If the goal is weight loss, then simply you need to expend more calories than you take in. The problem is that this is a simple formula, but the answer is more complex.

Metabolic Compensation

There are more factors that play into the weight loss equation than just calculating one’s calories in vs. calories out. Just as your weight fluctuates, so can your BMR. As you lose weight, for example, your body will adjust its BMR accordingly. This is  metabolic compensation, and it could be cramping your weight loss or maintenance goals. It can also be responsible for why the weight comes back so quickly when you take a break from the gym or stop exercising all together. This means that you need to adjust and calculate your current caloric intake along with the changes you’re seeing. For example, if your caloric intake was 2000 calories a week ago but now you’ve lost 5 pounds, your caloric intake will need to be readjusted this week to match this change in your weight. Adjusting your BMR and caloric needs specifically to your goals will help keep your results rolling!