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June 05, 2023 3 min read

A Busy Dads' Guide to Weight Loss: What the hell are BMR, TDEE, and Macros?

Let’s be honest. You used to be in pretty decent shape. You worked out at the gym 5 days a week, ate whatever you wanted to, had high metabolism, and wouldn’t gain a pound no matter what you did. 

Well Dad, those days are over. Now you are lucky to get a 15 minute workout in, but only after you snag a donut out the door on the way to the office. The pounds have started to pack on, you catch a glimpse of yourself in the mirror one day from a not so flattering angle and think… “What the hell happened?” 

I’ll tell you what happened… fatherhood. Being a Dad is an absolutely incredible opportunity and responsibility - but more often than not, our health and physical appearance starts to take a back seat to other priorities. 

It’s not your fault. You used to be able to down a three pack of ramen noodles while playing Call of Duty and not even bat an eye on the scale. Oh, how times have changed… 

But by understanding a few key concepts, it’s pretty easy to get right back on track and start attacking that dreaded “dadbod.” 

The main thing to understand is that losing weight and keeping it off is all a math equation. By understanding key concepts such as Basal Metabolic Rate (BMR), Total Daily Energy Expenditure (TDEE), and setting macro targets, it's not only possible, but practical, and dare I say “simple” to start making progress on your weight loss. 

Let’s get started by understanding a few key terms and principles: 


Basal Metabolic Rate (BMR) is the number of calories your body requires to perform basic bodily functions at rest. It represents the energy needed to sustain vital functions such as breathing, circulation, and cellular processes. Calculating your BMR is crucial as it forms the foundation for determining your daily calorie needs. To calculate BMR, the Harris-Benedict equation is often used. 

However, BMR alone doesn't account for the calories burned through physical activity. This is whereTotal Daily Energy Expenditure (TDEE)comes into play. TDEE represents the total number of calories you burn in a day, including your BMR and physical activity.

TDEE can be calculated by multiplying your BMR by an activity factor that reflects your activity level. Don’t worry about calculating this on your own…we’ve got a calculator HERE for you. 

To lose weight, you need to create a calorie deficit by consuming fewer calories than your TDEE. Aim for a gradual and sustainable weight loss rate of 1-2 pounds per week.

Start by reducing your daily calorie intake by 500-1000 calories below your TDEE (or what we recommend is to shoot for 75% of your TDEE as a total caloric intake target). This creates a reasonable and achievable deficit without compromising nutrition. Monitor your progress and adjust accordingly.

Ok, now that you’ve got a calorie target - let’s talk about how to maximize your intake of those calories… macronutrients, or in lingo term…Macros.

Macronutrients, namely carbohydrates, proteins, and fats, are the building blocks of our diet. Setting appropriate macro targets helps optimize weight loss efforts.

Proteins; simply put - you are not getting enough protein in your diet. Ensure an adequate intake of high-quality proteins, which promote satiety, preserve muscle mass, and aid in recovery. Aim for around0.8-1 gram of protein per pound of body weight. Include lean meats, poultry, fish, legumes, and dairy products in your meals.

Carbohydrates: Opt for complex carbohydrates like whole grains, fruits, and vegetables, which provide sustained energy and essential nutrients. Avoid refined sugars and processed foods. Tailor your carbohydrate intake based on activity levels and personal preferences.

Fats: Include healthy fats like avocados, nuts, seeds, and olive oil. They provide essential fatty acids and promote satiety. Moderate your fat intake to control calorie consumption.

All this sounds pretty complex… but I promise it’s a lot easier than it seems. Simply put - you need to be tracking what goes into your body (i.e. calorie target), and you need to fuel your body with the right things (i.e. macros).

If you’ve got questions about any of this, want more support, or just want to be surrounded by Dads on the same journey - hop into ourEpic Dad 7 Day Challenge and start becoming the husband, father, and man you are called to be. 

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