"1200 calories, maximum allowed per day". Does this sound familiar to you? Growing up as a girl in the usual fashion I definitely have always felt that my body type didn't measure up. There was always someone with a completely different body type I would have preferred to my own. I went to great lengths to try to achieve this, but you are what you are. No matter how much I would have wished to be taller and slimmer, with a longer torso, perhaps, or a slimmer waist, no amount of "dieting" or exercise could have gotten me there.
For a short time in high school I almost developed an eating disorder. My mom enrolled me in Weight Watchers after she found out I was limiting myself to a diet coke and a banana while I was at school. I don't know that WW is for everyone, but it did open my eyes to a lot of things, one of them the right way to watch calories...quality over quantity, and watching your quantities of even nutritious foods. I don't remember exercise playing a role in weight loss lessons back in my WW days, but it has been more than 25 years since I attended.
So, enough of my history. Let's talk about basal metabolic rate, or BMR. In short, this number is the measurement of how many calories your body requires just to stay alive. To blink, breathe, etc. If you were in a coma, you'd still need these calories. It's a different number for everyone, and it changes with your changes. Get taller, gain weight, lose weight, shrink in height, age, etc- your number will always change.
Here is an excellent page on determining your BMR. The thing to remember, is, you need more calories than your BMR gives you. Remember, that's just what you need for basic survival. Once you add in living, no matter that you're considered sedentary or otherwise, you need more energy to fuel your life.
Follow this link for "Daily Calorie Needs" to continue on to a calculation for how many calories you should actually be consuming. If you're anything like me, it's going to take a while to allow yourself to eat that many calories.
What are your thoughts on this? Are you surprised by the number you were given? I know I was.