The scientifically based concept that is at the foundation of the CUPS

diet® is the resting Basal Metabolic Rate. It helps to determine the

amount of food that can be eaten on a daily basis. This recommended

amount is called the Adjusted Individual Measurement - AIM. It

helps to achieve optimum weight loss and successfully maintain your

program of weight management (losing, gaining, or maintaining).


BMR represents the minimum amount of calories necessary to sustain

many bodily functions such as respiration, cardiovascular systemics, and

maintenance of body temperature. It is lowest at rest after sleep and

after a 12-hr. fast. It accounts for about 60% of total daily energy 

expenditure and is the one greatest single component used in 

determining the “daily” resting metabolic rate.


A number of factors influence your BMR. Many interact with each other.

Some of these can be controlled and some are natural processes which

we can do little to alter. However, by following the CUPS diet® and its

guidelines for consistent weight loss, you will help keep your BMR at a

level that will promote that weight loss.  Four of these factors (age,

height, weight, and gender) are used in the BMR calculation itself. BMR

can be determined by using a number of different mathematical formulas,

equations, and procedures.


The Revised Harris-Benedict Equation is used by the CUPS diet®


BMR (kcal/day) for men

88.362 + (13.397 x W) + (4.799 x H) - (5.677 x A)



BMR (kcal/day) for women

447.593 + (9.247 x W) + (3.098 x H) - (4.33 x A)

W = weight (kg), H = height (cm), A = age (yrs.)


*SPECIAL NOTE: When using the CUPS diet® it will never be

necessary for you to calculate your Basal Metabolic Rate, as this will be

done for you automatically with every update in your weight.


Below is a partial list of some of the factors that influence the BMR.


1. Age


Our Basal Metabolic Rate decreases as we age. This is due to loss in

muscle tissue, as well as hormonal and neurological changes. Adults

have less demand for caloric requirements per pound than children as

adults need less energy to help support growth needs. BMR will lower

by about 0.2-0.3% every year after the age of about thirty. This BMR

reduction will inevitably lead to weight gain unless food intake is reduced

or physical activity (especially strength training) is increased. In other

words, even if you were to remain at the same activity level for your

entire life, and you were to eat exactly the same amount of food every

day, you would still be prone to weight gain as you age. 


the CUPS diet® helps manage the effects of aging as it is related to

the gaining of body weight. An appropriate amount of food intake, AIM,

that is, your Adjusted Individual Measurement, is recommended based

on your own current BMR, year in and year out, with the CUPS diet®.


2. Body Composition


Lean muscle tissue burns calories at a quicker rate than that of adipose

(fat) tissue. the CUPS diet® helps by reducing fat and increasing the

ratio of lean muscle mass, in turn increasing your BMR with the resultant

continued weight loss.


3. Dietary Restrictions


Excessive weight loss occurs through Starvation, Extreme Dieting (crash),

Malnutrition, and even Very Low Calorie Diets (VLCD), and the result is

often times a large volume of fluid loss. A significant loss of muscle tissue

may also be seen with VLCDs. As muscle mass drops, so does Basal

Metabolic Rate. The body then responds by trying to replace the lost

fluids, and weight loss can slow, stop, or even reverse, while metabolism

reduces and the body compensates. The body will respond to caloric

deprivation within about two days, with up to a 45% reduction in the

BMR. Extreme dieting (crash) lowers the BMR as much as 15-30%. Diets

low in iodine may reduce thyroid function which will also lower the BMR. 


“the CUPS diet® is a Low to Moderate Calorie Diet and does not promote extreme

fluid loss or significant muscle tissue loss such as can be seen with Very Low Calorie

Diets (VLCDs). The National Heart, Lung, and Blood Institute (NHLBI) have defined

VLCDs as diets providing fewer than 800 calories per day”.


4. External Temperature


Extremes of hot or cold external temperatures tend to produce changes

in the BMR. These changes can be about 5- 20% higher than those

found in moderate temperatures. In tropical settings, (but not extremes

of temperatures) BMR can actually decrease by as much as 20%.

Extreme external temperatures can also increase the internal body 

temperature. An increase of 1 degree in body temperature (in Centigrade)   

can raise the BMR as much as 13%. In arctic conditions, the Basal

Metabolic Rate can increase by as much as 20%.


5. Gender


Females usually have a lower BMR (by 5-10%) than males, due to the

fact that females usually have a lower percentage of lean body mass

than males. This is not always the case, however, as women can have

a higher percentage (especially female athletes), and thus a higher BMR.


6. Height


Total body surface area exposure is partially determined by height and

thus, height is a factor in calculating an individual’s Basal Metabolic Rate.

This is due to the fact that a tall individual has a larger exposure of skin

surface and thus will experience a higher rate of heat loss from the body.

This must be compensated for by a higher Basal Metabolic Rate.


7. Hormones


Thyroid hormones, thyroxin (T4) in particular, as well as triiodothyronine

(T3) can affect Basal Metabolic Rate. In hypothyroidism (underactive

thyroid) weight gain can occur due to a reduction in the BMR. There is

also an increased risk in women for Hypothyroidism, near or after 

menopause. Stress related hormones, such as epinephrine (adrenaline),

norepinephrine and cortisol can also influence an individual’s BMR.

Testosterone levels can affect the BMR and, because women have

only about 5-10% of the levels as men, they are more likely to

experience weight gain due to having less muscle mass.


8. Menstruation


About two weeks before menstruation begins, it is not unusual to see

an increase in food intake due to an increased appetite. During

menstruation, BMR increases by about 10%, but this increase does not

offset the increased food consumption. Food intake must be controlled

or weight gain will occur.


9. Overall Health Status


Fevers and illnesses, can increase body temperature. As noted previously

in “External Temperature” an increase of 1 degree of body temperature

can raise BMR up to 13%.


10. Physical Activity


Caloric restrictions alone reduce the Basal Metabolic Rate. However when

physical activity is added, this lower BMR will begin to increase again.

Metabolism increases for up to twenty four hours after physical activity,

and is dependent upon the level of that activity. Therefore it is not

uncommon to experience a period of slower weight loss as fat is lost and 

replaced by muscle tissue, which weighs more. As muscle becomes more

prominent with lean body mass, an increase in BMR occurs because lean

body mass burns calories at a higher rate than non-lean tissues.


To assist with weight loss, try 30 minutes of moderate physical activity

(beyond your normal routine) most days of the week. Appropriate

activities include; walking, jogging, running, weight lifting, swimming,

or biking. These recommendations are from the 1996 Surgeon General’s

report on Physical Activity and Health and are stressed in the Dietary

Guidelines for Americans 2005, from the Department of Health & Human

Services and the Department of Agriculture. It is also recommended

that, whatever type of exercise you choose, a diary be kept of your



11. Weight


As body weight increases, cardiovascular and respiratory systems must

work harder to support more mass. This results in the need for additional

caloric intake and an increase in BMR. The converse is also true in that as

weight is lost, BMR will decrease. With the CUPS diet® the food intake

recommended will adjust based on this new BMR so as to assist with

further weight loss.



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