In this article, I will cover everything there is to know about your basal metabolic rate and how many calories you should be eating if your BMR is 1400.
If My BMR is 1400 how many calories should I eat?
In general, if your BMR is 1400 and you want to reduce excess weight, you should be eating between 1300 – 1500 calories. Eating around your basal metabolic rate will put you into a negative energy balance where your body starts to utilize fat as the energy source and cause weight loss.
However, in the biggest meta-analysis of multiple scientific long-term weight loss studies, over 80% of people who lost weight regained it back within five years.
My BMR is 1400, How Do I Lose Weight?
As a general rule, if your BMR is 1400, you can lose weight by eating a number of calories close to your metabolic rate. The basal metabolic rate takes up around 70% of your total daily energy expenditure, which means if you go around this number you will create a calorie deficit of 30%.
To illustrate how the process of fat loss works I will use the analogy that we’re all familiar with.
If your expenses are $100 per day, and you earn $120, you will be in profit. You will save $20 per day. Over 100 days you can save $2000.
That’s your savings (money surplus). In terms of calories, it’s the calorie surplus.
But if your expenses are $100 per day, and now you earn $70, you will start to lose money. This means you will need to use some of your savings (stored money in the bank).
You create a money deficit.
The same with calories.
Eating around your BMR is like earning $70 with $100 expenses. You create a calorie deficit. Your body has no option but to use extra calories from the stored energy source (body fat) because the daily expenses (total daily energy expenditure) cannot be changed.
What Is Total Daily Energy Expenditure?
Your total daily energy expenditure is the sum of calories that your body will use, regardless if you eat consume enough food or not. That includes breathing, blood circulation, digestion, gastrointestinal motility, protein synthesis, enzyme production, and nutrient transportation.
Your body has to spend calories on those processes every day. That’s the expense.
So if your BMR is 1400, when you lower your food to match your BMR, it will create a calorie deficit. But the longer you stay in the calorie deficit, your body will start metabolic adaptations. More on that later.
Is Eating 1400 Calories A Day Safe?
In general, eating 1400 calories a day is safe. Calorie restriction that maintains balanced nutrition improves insulin sensitivity and reduces fasting glucose and insulin concentration. However, long-term eating of 1400 calories per day can lower energy expenditure and cause a weight loss plateau.
In other words, it all depends on how much weight you have to lose and for how long you want to diet.
In a fascinating study done by Roy Lee Walford, M. D. from the University of California, he recruited 8 participants to be closed inside Biosphere 2 for two years.
The Biosphere included a 3.15-acre ecological laboratory with seven ecosystems like a rainforest, savannah, ocean, marsh, desert, and agriculture near Tucson, AZ (source).
All the participants eat a low-calorie diet around 1700 for women and 2100 calories for men.
On average, all of the participants:
- BMI decreased by 13-19%
- Systolic blood pressure decreased 25%
- Diastolic blood pressure decreased 22%
- Insulin decreased 42%
- Blood sugar decreased 21%
- Cholesterol decreased 30%
As the Roy Lee Walford, M. D. said
“With regard to the health of humans on such a diet, we observed that despite the selective restriction in calories and marked weight loss, all crew members remained in excellent health and sustained a high level of physical and mental activity throughout the entire 2 years.” (source)
So being in a calorie restriction diet has many health benefits. The only problem is that
- Calorie restriction is uncomfortable (because of hunger feeling)
- Too few calories can have detrimental effect and make benefits irrelevant
So if your BMR is 1400, reducing your calorie intake down to this number is safe and sustainable.
To read more on how to be in a calorie deficit without being hungry check out my article.
Is 1400 Calories Enough To Lose Weight?
In general, eating 1400 calories is enough to lose weight. As long as you’re in a negative energy balance, meaning your energy expenditure is greater than your energy intake, you will create a calorie deficit that leads to increased fat oxidation and weight loss.
The one caveat is that you need to pay extra attention to the quality of your food. High-quality nutrient-dense foods will provide you with enough vitamins, minerals, fatty acids, and amino acids. This means you need to prioritize your nutrition with:
- High-quality lean proteins (meats, fish, eggs, dairy)
- Fiber-rich foods (fruits, veggies, legumes)
- High-satiety foods (potatoes, whole grains)
I call those calorie deficit foods. They give you all the basic nutrients and are high in the satiety index score. This means you will feel fuller for longer.
NOTE: Potatoes have the highest satiety score of all foods Replacing your current carbs with baked or grilled potatoes will lower your hunger and suppress your appetite (source).
1400 Calories A Day And Not Losing Weight
1400 calories a day and not losing weight can happen because you’re overeating, you’re too early in the process and your body didn’t respond to a calorie deficit. Or you’ve already lost a significant amount of weight, and you reach the weight loss plateau.
Let’s break this down:
- Not losing weight because of overeating
Overeating can happen for multiple reasons. Mindless eating, stress, miscalculation of the calorie intake, or miscalculation of your BMR.
- Too early in the process
Weight loss takes time and the rate of results isn’t created equal. Depending on the macros and physical activity level, some people may experience faster results than others.
People who do strength training may notice that they lose inches but not lose weight.
People who cut carbs may notice they lost a lot of weight in the first 7-10 days because of the water loss.
- Already lost a significant amount of weight
People who already lost weight will often hit the weight loss plateau. This happens because of the metabolic adaptation as we lose weight. With lower body weight, we use less energy. We tend to eat less, so we lower our thermogenic effect of food (calories needed to digest food).
Eating 1400 Calories A Day And Gaining Weight
In general, if you’re eating 1400 calories a day and gaining weight this means you’ve miscalculated your calorie intake and you consume more calories than you think you’re. Or you’ve already lost weight and lowered your energy expenditure to the point of creating a calorie surplus.
To find out more about why you may be gaining weight in the calorie deficit, hop on to my article here.
How Can I Increase My BMR After Dieting?
The best way to increase BMR after dieting is to eat high-quality protein-dense foods, perform regular resistance and strength training with progressive overload, and incorporate more advanced diet techniques like calorie cycling or carb cycling, where you alternate your calorie intake.
Typically when we lose weight, our BMR goes down. So the results are not as fast anymore. Sometimes even we can easily regain the weight.
The easiest way to increase BMR after dieting is to maintain your lean body mass (strength training and protein intake) and alternate your low-calorie days with high-calorie days (calorie cycling).
Calorie cycling is a way to trick the metabolism and continue to get the results. You follow a diet model where you are on a calorie deficit for a few days followed by higher calorie days.
- If your BMR is 1400 then to lose weight you can eat around 1400 calories. This will create a calorie deficit and with a properly balanced diet that contains protein, veggies, fruit starches, and fats, you can maintain calorie restriction until you reach your desired weight.
- The prolonged and extreme calorie deficit can lead to metabolic adaptations and cause a weight loss plateau. In that case, strategies like calorie cycling and carb cycling can be used to trick the metabolism to continue the results, without hitting the plateau.