Metabolism explained – How many calories do you need?

Metabolism is not always easily explained to dieters, yet holds the key to weight maintenance.

Losing excess body fat is both necessary and attainable, but when it comes to weight maintenance, how many calories do you need?

Maintaining the lost excess weight is an issue not often discussed in detail by diets and experts alike, because we all know how many calories we need to eat. But do we?

This is a question regarding YOUR own metabolism.

Maintenance is very important.

Regain excess weight and many of the associated health benefits are lost. Needing to lose weight again, by repeating a diet, is therefore not ideal but is absolutely not the fault of the diet. It is critical to understand being overweight is a failure of weight maintenance.

Weight maintenance is arguably more difficult than weight loss itself. Maintenance is possible, but it requires your full attention.

Losing significant weight is easy to achieve with the correct choice of diet.

Unfortunately, the propensity for traditional diets to achieve little more than an initial glycogen and associated water loss becomes discouraging. Unless significant amounts of excess body fat are lost, the water, sugar and minimal body fat losses of the many unsuccessful traditional diets are easily regained.

The current fashion for intermittent fasting is not immune to this. Intermittent fasters and more traditional dieters are rarely afforded the necessary assistance to help maintain weight loss. It conflicts with the advertising claims of losing the weight for good.

The Lipotrim Pharmacy Weight Management Programme provides both the weight loss, at greater than 10% loss of initial weight, even for very overweight people, at a predictable rate of around a stone a month and a special maintenance programme. Lipotrim dieters do not want to regain their weight after achieving such success.

Keeping the weight off after any successful loss, irrespective of the diet chosen, is unfortunately more difficult than many expect. Promises to “lose weight for good” may make for impactful advertising but is rarely achieved in the real world.

What is your metabolism? How many calories do you use daily to prevent weight gain?


Consuming the correct number of calories per day for an individual is a major consideration for maintaining a stable weight.

We cannot break the laws of physics, no matter how much we desire or how hard we may try.

Metabolism obeys the first law of theremodynamics

Although weight changes associated with energy imbalances may depend on genetic differences associated with glycogen or fat, the adage that energy in must equal energy out for weight maintenance, still holds true and will remain infinitum.

Knowing your metabolic rate is obviously necessary, but how do you know what your target metabolic rate actually is?

Most people are not even clear what metabolic rate refers to. There are differences between Basal metabolic rate, Resting metabolic rate and for weight issues the critical one – Total Energy Expenditure.

Despite considerations of Basal Metabolic Rate (BMR) and Resting metabolic Rate (RMR), the definition of metabolism that we need to consider for weight maintenance is the Total Energy Expenditure (TEE). This depends on YOUR body and YOUR lifestyle.

For the record, the definitions of metabolism are:

  • Basal metabolic Rate (BMR) – a theoretical measure of the minimum number of calories we would use under strictly defined criteria. This is never achieved in real life. It is not a measure we can do at home. Since it doesn’t account for real-life it is irrelevant when shopping for food etc. and attempting weight maintenance.
  • Resting metabolic Rate (RMR) – the calories required at total rest. Again, this is not very useful for assessing weight maintenance, which is influenced by our lifestyle, exercise, etc. This can be measured in a lab, but few people stay at total rest for very long.
  • Total Energy Expenditure (TEE) – the total number of calories we really use, regardless of what we are doing. This is traditionally very expensive to measure and has been very difficult to know for individuals, we are often provided with population averages according to gender.

The definition of basal metabolic rate is often misinterpreted as THE way to calculate metabolism to get weight loss or maintenance. By changing the general misrepresentation of metabolism, we may then hold one of the keys to the door for weight loss and subsequently longer-term diet success.

The key to weight maintenance - metabolism explained

Do you know what your metabolic rate is?

Our metabolic rate is determined by a combination of genetics, health status, lifestyle and many other subtle aspects of our individuality. It is true that we burn more calories when we exercise or when the environment is colder. This is why our Total Energy Expenditure (TEE) is so critical and so varied.

We will now consider only TEE whenever we discuss our metabolic rate.

Females are told that 2000 calories per day is their metabolic rate. Males are likely to be told 2,500 calories a day. For any individual person, these calorie values are not much better than pure guesswork. They are only rough averages popularised by the well-known guidelines which can even be found on the side of our packets of food. Unfortunately, it is the basis of metabolic advice from many healthcare professionals, even the NHS.

We are so accustomed to these values it is little wonder we incorrectly presume our metabolism to be this simple.

Another example of misinformation is the reported calories in our foods. These values are also only averages, leading to a potential misleading calorie estimation of our daily intake and metabolism calculations.

As an extreme example, a 4 ounce Kobe beef steak does not have the same calories as a 4 ounce normal supermarket “lean steak”. Even tomorrow’s steak may be different to todays.  

Such population averages are used throughout the weight loss industry but are rarely true in individual cases.

They are not helping us on an individual basis and could be a reason for our world’s escalating obesity problem.

metabolism - can the number of calories to maintain weight really be worked out using Schofield equations?

How can we measure our own metabolic rate?


There are machines that can measure our metabolic rate under rest and various conditions. This is not real-life and offers little in the way of true guidance after weight loss. The machines never measure TEE, even in the artificial environment of a metabolic ward in a research laboratory.

The World Health Organisation (WHO) instead uses the Schofield Equations (1985), which estimate our Basal metabolic Rate (BMR).

Requiring only an individual’s weight and gender they also do little to clarify the true metabolic rate which ultimately determines our chance for weight stability post weight loss.

Lipotrim has the best way to calculate YOUR real metabolic rate - YOUR metabolism can be explained

As mentioned previously, Lipotrim offers the chance for a predictable weight loss (subject to full diet compliance). This predictability is due to the fixed and measurable daily intake of calories only consumed from the Lipotrim formula foods and irrespective of age, starting weight etc.

The number of calories in the Lipotrim formulas are:

  •        417 Calories per day for females
  •        530 calories per day for males

The initial days on Lipotrim see a rapid utilisation of glycogen stores and an accompanied release of bound water. After this initial period, usually 3 to 4 days, the body then reverts to steadily utilising the body fat for energy under a state of mild dietary ketosis.

Weekly, or more frequent weight logs, allow for a graphical representation of the progress made by each dieter using the powerful Lipotrim Patient Tracker programme. With strict compliance, the weight loss produces a straight line (see red trend line on Graph 1 below). The interpretation of the line on the graph offers great insight into the dieter’s progress and produces the key value needed for long-term weight maintenance, the Total Energy Expenditure (TEE).

Graph 1: Female Lipotrim patient 50 yrs started 110kg weight loss for 35 weeks losing 43kg then maintenance for 54 weeks with a 6kg gain at last contact using maintenance programme

Total Energy Expenditure (TEE) calculated from trend line of Lipotrim diet progress graph

Lipotrim’s unique Patient Tracker programme utilises the line of the graph to determine the individual’s use of calories routinely. Their TEE metabolic rate.

Although the same pattern is usually seen for Lipotrim dieters of around 5lb to 7lb weight loss in the first week, then 2lb to 4lb for subsequent weeks, these values show much individual variance for metabolic rate.

For example, we took the real-life weight loss data used in Graph 1. and manipulated it to show slightly different weight losses per the same time period on total food replacement to reach 75kg. We named this “Test Data”. Superficially these two patients are very similar (age, gender, height, initial weight, final weight) but they are not, as seen in the comparative graphs below:

Comparison graphs showing the Total Energy Expenditure of two similar individuals - metabolism explained

Metabolism explained using the comparative Lipotrim data:

  • You will notice the angle or slope of the trend lines differ.
  • Graph 1 shows a more initial rapid weight loss and then a stabilising of the rate of weight loss.
  • The Test Data shows a more uniformly rapid weight loss throughout.
  • The Test Data line is steeper which denotes a bigger loss of weight per unit of time, ie higher metabolic rate.

So, if you are truly wanting to prolong your weight loss it is critical to know your own metabolism. By leaving it to chance, using the population-derived average metabolism of 2000 calories for women and 2500 calories for men, you risk maintenance diet failure.

Our real-life patient (Graph 1.), if she were to follow the 2000 calorie intake post weight loss, would quite quickly gain weight. The same person, but showing a different metabolic rate (Test Data) could stabilise their weight by consuming 2000 calories per day.

You are not average. Your individuality is something to celebrate.

Luckily, Lipotrim has the metabolic tools available to enable you to step into the world of weight maintenance with courage:


Care is necessary throughout the dieting process, including weight maintenance. No one promised it would be easy.

Tagged , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , ,

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published.