Boxing Blog

    Diet Planning and Base Metabolic Rate

    So (everyone knows) we had Megan from Hardy Nutrition) in to talk to us a few weeks back about ‘creating an eating plan’ – it was an awesome session – and she (gently) stepped us through creating a daily plan based on the recommended serves of grains/cereals, veggies, starchy veggies, lean meat, fruit and dairy per day.  Now all of the quantities that Megan supplied us with were based on ‘age’ (details will follow) but there is (of course) another key element in determining the appropriate food quantity.

    She also gave us some cool hand-outs to assist in doing our own planning exercise during the session and I have included some of the info (high level) below:

    Age based food quantities:


    1x serve = ½ cup cooked green or orange

      19-50 Years 51-70 years
    Men 6 Serves 5 ½ Serves
    Women 5 Serves 5 Serves
      Lean Meat/Poultry/Tofu/Nuts/Seeds

    1x serve = 65g cooked red meat / 80g cooked fish

      19-50 Years 51-70 years
    Men 3 Serves 2 ½ Serves
    Women 2 ½ Serves 2 Serves

    1x serve = 1x medium apple/orange/pear

      19-50 Years 51-70 years
    Men 2 Serves 2 Serves
    Women 2 Serves 2 Serves
      Cereals/Grains/Starchy Vegetables

    1x serve = ½ cup cooked (rice/pasta etc) or 1x slice of bread

      19-50 Years 51-70 years
    Men 6 Serves 6 Serves
    Women 6 4 Serves

    1x serve = ½ cup cooked/

      19-50 Years 51-70 years
    Men 2 ½ Serves 2 ½ Serves
    Women 4 Serves 4 Serves


    Now, as Megan walked us all through it (and best solution to really ‘get into it’ is to make an appointment to see Megan and work out something specific for YOU – Hardy Nutrition can be contacted at you can quite easily create a daily meal plan by allocating ‘serves’ of carbs, lean meat, veggies, fruit and dairy for each of the meals you plan eating for that day (be it 3 meals, 4x meals, whatever…the total number of serves will remain unchanged.  What you will find is what most people found – we are all UNDER-eating in terms of veggies and OVER-eating lean meat and carbs…but I’ll leave that for you to figure out for yourself!

    There are of course ‘other’ things that impact how much you need to eat and one thing is everyones favorite word – METABOLISM!  In simple terms, your metabolism is the rate at which your body uses energy – and like petrol (or diesel) is the ‘fuel’ for your car, calories are the fuel for your metabolism.

    You will be using calories ‘just to live’ – powering blood circulation, breathing, digestion…and more calories if you want to move.  If you take on excess calories, well, your body will (simply, again) store those as fat.  From here it is hard to keep it simple but I am going to try and play with a ‘straight bat’ and say that for most of us having a ‘FAST’ metabolism (burning a lot of calories) would be preferable to a ‘SLOW’ metabolism.

    And the ‘speed’ of your metabolism (such as it is) would be best defined as your ‘BASE Metabolic Rate’ (which is displayed on your Body Scan output down towards the lower right of the page as ‘Base Metabolic Rate’) and this is primarily determined by the amount of muscle you have in your body.

    Because of this, the real way to burn calories for the ‘long-term’ is to increase your muscle mass. That means lifting weights, adding muscle and becoming stronger.  If – like me – you have a BMR of 2200 calories, well, you need to eat 2200 calories of food per day.  The problem is of course, that I probably eat 2500 calories of food per day…but I do a boxing class most days…so let’s give me 500 calories per class in terms of ‘movement’.  So on a given day, it might look like this:

    Calories eaten (2500) – Calories required (2200) – Exercise (500) = -200.

    Hoorah – I am in the right ‘zone’ to be losing weight.

    (Here’s my Body Scan – BMR is down the bottom right):

    Umm – except for the slight issue where right at the moment on Friday, Saturday and Sunday I have work/footy commitments and can’t do a class…plus my weekend eating isn’t quite as ‘on point’ – so the weekly synopsis probably looks more like this:

    Calories eaten Mon-Fri = 12500

    Calories eaten Sat-Sun = 6000

    Exercise Mon-Fri = 2000

    Exercise Sat-Sun = 500 (I do a few things)

    All of that adds up to 16000.

    But the allowance I *SHOULD* have for the week is just 15400.  So I am OVER MY WEEKLY ALLOWANCE BY 600 CALORIES.

    I’m pretty sure that’s BAD!  BAD!!  BAD!!!

    So there are a couple of ways to address this.  The first one is (clearly) to stick a little close to the food quantities outlined by Megan – particularly on the weekends.

    The second is to boost my BMR by increasing my muscle mass.  Unfortunately for me – unfortunately for all of us – there is nothing I can do to cheat this process…no magic tablet (though I understand from the Essendon Footy Club that those can help!), no super-food, no fancy regimen…I need to lift some heavy things, cause my muscle fibres to tear, eat some good food, get some sleep and allow my body to re-build itself stronger than it was before.  BUT – if I am able to do that, then my BMR will increase (slowly but surely) and I will be able to burn a few more calories whilst walking around…I will even burn a few more calories just sitting in my chair whilst writing this blog.

    Exercise 100% helps you burn fat.  It does.  But if you can increase your BMR, you will burn more fat everyday…you increase your BMR by adding muscle to your body and you add muscle to your body by doing some strength training.

    If you want some help with creating your personalised eating plan – contact Megan.  She is awesome (and she doesn’t even know this post is going up).  If you want some help in adding muscle, contact us.  Not only do we integrate strength work in each of our boxing sessions, but you may have noticed we have an entire new gym called the ‘STRENGTH GYM’ with classes focussed on getting people STRONG.

    That’s it.  See you all in the gym.



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