When it comes to fitness goals, there are three major goals in which most, if not all, other goals fall under. Quite simply, they are: gain weight, usually in the form of muscle mass; lose weight, or body fat; and lastly, a combination of the two, toning, which involves maintaining your weight by simultaneously shedding fat and building lean muscle to create a cut look.
Each fitness goal has its own unique path in which to get there. No one goal is better than another, and no one goal is harder or easier. Each one can be achieved by simply having a plan designed for that goal, and sticking to it. It really is that simple.
I feel like its obvious, but the first step in reaching whatever goal you have in mind is exactly that: know what your goal is. I feel like that part is pretty easy. We all know what we want. We either want to be super skinny like the cover model, or super buff like Chris Hemsworth in Thor, or we just want to feel better and confident about how we look in (and out of) our clothes.
Regardless of which goal you’re pursuing, the first thing I want to say to you is “Good for you. Good for you on having a goal, and good for you on wanting to make yourself better.”
The second thing I want to say is, again, regardless of your goal, there is one thing they all have in common — a necessary piece of information, and that is your Basal Metabolic Rate, or BMR for short.
What is Basal Metabolic Rate?
Your BMR is extremely important to know when it comes to pursuing your fitness goals because it dictates what your daily caloric intake should be. Your BMR is simply the amount of calories your body burns by doing absolutely nothing. If you were to just sit on the couch all day without moving, it’s the number of calories you would need to maintain your current weight.
There’s a simple equation you can use to calculate your BMR. Luckily because we live in today’s modern, technology driven world, you don’t need to do it the old fashioned way. There are many BMR Calculators available on the internet, including our own Apex Tough BMR Calculator.
Once you know what your BMR is, the next step is to figure out how many calories you burn a day based on your activity level. Remember, your BMR is the rate at which you burn calories by doing nothing. Now, I may be taking a wild guess here, but I don’t believe you spend everyday sitting on the couch and doing nothing. You go to work, or you go to school, you make dinner, you play with the kids, you hit the gym, or do some of a million other possible activities. So with the Harris-Benedict equation, you will learn what your required calorie intake is based on the activity you do every day.
The Harris-Benedict Equation
Next is where the Harris-Benedict equation comes into play. It takes your BMR and your activity level, and combines them. Then BOOM! Using this equation, you now have your daily caloric intake to just live your day to day life. This is the amount of calories you need daily in order to maintain your current weight and current activity lifestyle.
You can use the Apex Tough Harris-Benedict Equation calculator to figure out what your required daily calorie intake should be to maintain your current body weight.
Congratulations! Give yourself a pat on the back, you’re taking steps to reach your goal! But what is your goal? That is where the next step comes in, and that step is determining how you need to adjust the number you received for your required Daily Calorie Intake in order to meet your fitness goals.
Click the link below to continue to the next section and learn what your Daily Caloric Intake should be based on your fitness goals.