I recently had a lecture from exercise physiologist and ACE Faculty member Fabio Comana who gave these interesting pieces of information on daily energy usage.
Resting Metabolic Rate (RMR) (doing nothing) is 60 -75% of your Total Daily Energy Expenditure(TDEE). Thermic effect of food represents 10%. Thermic effect (activity) equals 15 to 30%. Essentially, most of your daily metabolic expenditure is done while doing nothing at all.
Obviously there are two things that should concern most people who are trying to burn body fat. The first thing is maximizing your calorie expenditure during exercise and the second thing is increasing your body’s resting metabolic rate.
When you look at the percentages of calorie expenditure it’s clear that by increasing RMR is a big factor in your body’s overall calorie usage as it accounts for 60 to 75% of your daily expenditure, but we must start with an increase in activity in order to maximize its thermic effect.
The goal should be to get your metabolic cost and calorie expenditure during activity up as high as possible. Increasing metabolic cost of exercise can be done in numerous ways. Working with full body exercises is the first thing that contributes to overall calorie expenditure during exercise. Squat and press would be a great example of a full body movement. Another thing that contributes is the addition of added challenges.
A squat on the floor is going to cost the body less than a squat on a bosu half dome for instance because the bosu provides instability and the body is required to utilize more stabilizers, different motor units and neurologically recruit muscle that typically would not be activated during a regular squat. Challenging the nervous system to a higher degree also increases metabolic cost.
Increasing metabolic cost of exercise and at the same time creating small high intensity interval circuits during training sessions can ramp up the total calorie expenditure. Not only that, the high intensity intervals by nature help increase what we all know as the “after burn” affect. This is the period of time 24 to 36 hours after exercise where the body has an increase in metabolic rate.
So the combination allows for maximizing thermic effect of activity as well as your body’s RMR. In essence you’ve killed two birds with one stone in your workouts, maximizing the two major contributors to fat loss.