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admin | Natural Testosterone Replacement | 05.09.2014
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Using a calorie intake calculator when planning weight loss or bodybuilding diet plans is not as easy as it seems. Using a calorie intake calculator for determining calorie needs is the first step in designing a weight loss or bodybuilding diet plan.
A calorie intake calculator for determining calorie needs can sometimes be overly simplistic: Some online calculator intake calculators for determining calorie needs only ask for your height and weight. Even if a calorie intake calculator accounts for activity level, the most important variable when determining calorie needs, the formula is going to be ambiguous: For instance, both the Harris-Benedict Equation and the Mifflin-St. Furthermore, calorie needs can vary based on differences in muscle mass: A study published in the 2005 edition of The American Journal of Clinical Nutrition aimed to explore the role muscle mass, fat mass, age, gender, and certain hormones play in determining a person’s basal metabolic rate (BMR)4.
Even when accounting for muscle mass, a calorie intake calculator can still be inaccurate due to unexplained differences in individual metabolisms: Although the Scottish study found that differences in muscle mass can cause great variation in metabolic rate between individuals, the researchers also mentioned that “there was a large unexplained residual variation between individuals that accounted for 26% of the total variance”4. Determining calorie needs for weight loss or bodybuilding diet plans with a calorie intake calculator is difficult. Some calorie intake calculators are overly simplistic and use only a few variables to estimate your metabolic rate. Even if a calorie intake calculator accounts for your activity level, the formula is still guaranteed to be ambiguous and open to interpretation.
Furthermore, calorie needs can vary from person to person based on differences in muscle mass. Even if a calorie intake calculator accounts for muscle mass, studies have shown that metabolic rates can vary dramatically between individuals for no clear reason. Almost no calorie intake calculator takes into consideration that different foods have different thermic effects; thus, a diet very high in one macronutrient (protein, carbohydrate, fat) can cause your body to need more or fewer calories to maintain its weight. Assuming you use a calorie intake calculator to successful plan the start of your weight loss or bodybuilding diet plan, your calorie needs will change over time as you lose or gain weight. A calorie intake calculator can give you a rough estimate of the number of calories you need to maintain your weight, information which can be very helpful if you do not already plan and track your diet as well as your weight.
Since a calorie intake calculator is only a Google search away, you would think that determining calorie needs is a simple, straightforward task; however, in reality, using a calorie intake calculator when determining calorie needs for weight loss or gaining muscle is easier said than done. While height and weight are important considerations when determining calorie needs, other variables such as gender, age, and especially activity level, are important considerations and can have a dramatic effect on your daily calorie requirements. Jeor Equation are used to estimate a person’s basal metabolic rate (BMR), or the amount of calories a person needs to maintain bodily functions while at a state of total rest1,2,3. Jeor Equation, you need to use physical activity multipliers to turn your predicted BMR into your maintenance calories. Jeor Equations consider a person’s activity level, they are more accurate than many other calorie intake calculators used for determining calorie needs for a weight loss or bodybuilding diet plan. Some formulas are overly simplistic; others try to be more accurate, but ambiguities can lead to inaccurate estimates. If portion sizes are equal, a 100 gram serving of butter or olive oil (pure fat) will contain more calories than a 100 gram serving of egg whites or whey protein powder (nearly pure protein). At (7:22) in his video, he suggests that once your weight loss has stalled for 1-2 weeks, “go ahead and decrease your calories by about 150 and recalculate your macros,” or perhaps slightly increase your weekly cardio, in order to continue losing weight7.


However, calorie intake calculators have numerous flaws, so you cannot take their predictions as absolute truth. If your doctor told you that your body fat percentage is too high, do you understand what he’s talking about? Although you can use a calorie intake calculator to get a general idea of what your calorie needs may be, accurately determining calorie needs requires experimenting with different calorie intakes and tracking your weight over time. However, if you want to use a calorie intake calculator for weight loss or bodybuilding, then you must multiply your predicted BMR by a physical activity multiplier based on your activity level in order to estimate the number of calories you need to maintain your weight1,3. However, the activity level classifications are vague and open to interpretation: if your “light exercise” is something that the creators of the calorie intake calculator would classify as “moderate exercise,” then you may overestimate your calorie needs.
The researchers found that “most of the between-subject variation in BMR was explained by differences in FFM [muscle mass], which alone explained 62.3% of the variation”4.
So, even if you not only used a calorie intake calculator that accounts for muscle mass but you were also able to accurately measure your body composition, your predicted metabolic rate may still be inaccurate for a reason that science has yet to pinpoint. Moreover, studies have shown that muscle mass plays a key role in determining calorie needs, so two people of the same weight but with different body compositions can have different metabolic rates.
However, in addition to different caloric values, the three macronutrients also have different thermic effects, or the amount of energy that your body expends while digesting and processing food6.
Even if you manage to correctly estimate your calorie needs with a calorie intake calculator, you will have to adjust your diet to continue losing weight or bodybuilding if you want to see a significant change in your physique. If you really want to know how many calories you need to maintain your weight so that you can plan either a cutting or a bulking diet, the best approach is to track your diet and weight over a period of time: if you are consistently eating the same number of calories and your weight is not changing, then you have found maintenance. Most people are confused by this and I’d like to clear up some of the confusion for you.What is body fat percentage?A body fat percentage is calculated by taking the total weight of a person’s fat and dividing it by the person’s overall weight. Using regression analysis, the researchers concluded that “each kilogram of lean tissue exerted about 5 times more effect on BMR than did each kilogram of fat tissue”4. Even if you use a calorie intake calculator that accounts for muscle mass, research has shown that there can still be inexplicable variation in metabolic rate between individuals. Since a long-term diet requires multiple calorie adjustments, determining your calories needs for weight loss or bodybuilding diet plans with a calorie intake calculator, even if the prediction is correct, is just the first step. Every person needs some body fat in order to maintain hormonal functions and to allow the body to work effectively. Jeor Equations are definitely an improvement over other calorie intake calculators for determining calorie needs, their ambiguity makes any prediction beyond a rough estimate impossible. As you can see, determining calorie needs is difficult because even if a calorie intake calculator includes multiple variables such as height, age, weight, and activity level, the prediction will not be accurate unless you use a formula that takes body composition, specifically muscle mass, into consideration. As you can see, determining calorie needs for weight loss or muscle gain with a calorie intake calculator is an imperfect science. Since a calorie intake calculator is unable to account for your diet’s macronutrient ratios, determining calorie needs with a formula is very difficult because eating more or less of certain macronutrients should theoretically change the number of calories your body needs to maintain its weight.
Women need more body fat than men.The percentage of fat NEEDED on a man is 2-5%, while a woman NEEDS at least 10-13%.
Accurately measuring muscle mass is difficult without highly specialized equipment, so calorie intake calculators that account for body composition can still give inaccurate predictions.
In theory, if your diet is very high in protein (for example, 50% of total calories), you will likely be able to eat slightly more calories than a calorie expenditure formula would suggest; likewise, if your diet is very high in fat (for instance, 50% of total calories), you will likely have to eat slightly fewer calories than a calorie intake calculator would predict.


Since your food choices can either increase or decrease the number of calories you need to maintain your weight, accurately determining your calorie needs with a calorie intake calculator is almost impossible. Body mass index is a measurement that can be used as a comparison of individuals of different heights in terms of their weight. BMI is calculated by dividing your weight (in kilograms) by your height (in meters, squared).
Muscle mass is not considered in the equation.BMI isn’t always an accurate measure of body fat because the individuals who have a lot of muscle on their body may weigh more, but the BMI doesn't reflect that accurately.
For example, let’s say we have two men, Joe and Shmo.Joe is a collegiate athlete who is in the weight room every day. Their BMI will be the same because it’s only calculated by height and weight, yet their body fat percentage will be very different!  They will look COMPLETELY different!Here’s a great visual to show you how one body fat percentage could look completely different on two individuals due to muscle mass.(Image Source) In order to get your BMI, you can just read the above chart. In order to get your body fat tested, you may have to go to a gym or arrange an appointment to get it tested. This is done by submerging a person in water and calculating the body fat based on the displaced water. This will give an actual measurement of body density rather than just a prediction.Air Displacement Plethysmography (ADP) – Also known as a Bod Pod.
The person is put into a sealed chamber and air flow determines body fat and lean body mass. This technique is just as accurate as underwater testing.Skinfold Tests – This is done through calipers. Several areas of the body are measured with the caliper which produce an estimated amount of body fat. This isn't the most accurate reading, however it can be useful if you consistently test using the same method.
If you do the test exactly the same and your body composition changes, you’ll be able to see changes over a period of time.You may also see some handheld devices at your local gym. These have proven to be the most inaccurate type of body fat testing.The key to get an accurate reading is consistency.
You can use any of the methods above as long as you're consistent on how you test it and what method you use. I didn’t want to do it in the first place, and then, they told me I could stand to lose a few percentage points. I reassured myself by saying they were inaccurate machines and I wouldn’t trust anything but the bod pod. My school has a bod pod and sometimes they offer free testing, so I need to look into it and take them up on it!Reply Erin says February 23, 2012 at 3:33 pm Oh man!
I have 4 weeks!Reply Sarah says February 24, 2012 at 12:29 am Hey Erin- aren’t those pictures from Leigh Peele or something like that?



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