What is BMR? (Basal Metabolic Rate)
You might have heard Mikey at the gym reference Basal Metabolic Rate (BMR) but do you know what it is and how can you use it to your advantage?
We do. And we’re sharerers.
What is the Basal Metabolic Rate (BMR) Basics
First, a calorie is a unit of energy. When we reference calories it is the energy we get from foods. It’s like a bank of energy. You deposit calories into your energy bank, your body withdraws from that bank as needed—and excess calories get stored in ‘savings’, otherwise known as the Muffintop Vault.
Your body uses calories to function—from breathing to using your beautiful brain—you’re spending calories to function.
The basic amount of calories you need to function while resting—doing nothing else but existing—is your basal metabolic rate or BMR.
How to Calculate BMR
You can either go down High School memory lane and do some serious math like this most accurate equation for BMR:
|Mifflin St. Jeor Equation|
Or you can go here and just input your information to get it.
Once you get that number, you can then add in your activity level to get a more accurate idea of your basic burn. This is done with the Harris Benedict Formula which includes Total Daily Energy Expenditure or TDEE.
Again, you can use basic math like below:
|Harris Benedict Formula|
|Multiply your BMR as follows:
· Sedentary (little or no exercise) : Calorie-Calculation = BMR x 1.2
· Lightly active (light exercise/sports 1-3 days/week) : Calorie-Calculation = BMR x 1.375
· Moderately active (moderate exercise/sports 3-5 days/week) : Calorie-Calculation = BMR x 1.55
· Very active (hard exercise/sports 6-7 days a week) : Calorie-Calculation = BMR x 1.725
· Extra active (very hard exercise/sports & physical job or two a day training) : Calorie-Calculation = BMR x 1.9
Or you can use our calculator here which combines your BMR and your TDEE to get your total daily calories burned.
The above results provided a guide on the number of calories you need to maintain your weight and then sample calories to lose targeted pounds.
It combines your BMR and TDEE to give the most accurate estimate of your targeted caloric intake.
Please understand this calorie calculator cannot include your respiration, medical conditions or any other unique circumstance that may impact your weight loss goals.
If you think you have a condition, talk to your doctor before beginning your weight loss plan.
Now that you have that number, what exactly does it take into consideration and mean?
What is BMR: Your Basic Energy Needs
First and foremost, for both calculations above we do not include respiration data, obviously.
If you want truly accurate results, you have to measure your CO2 in your breath after sleeping for at least 8 hours and fasting for 12.
But if you have this result from Mifflin-St. Jeor, you’re as close as you’ll be without going to a clinic.
What is BMR: Weight and Height
Your weight and height impact your BMR because the more mass you have the more energy you need to make it work. As your mass and weight decrease, so will your BMR since you need less energy to run.
But if you gain more muscle, your BMR will increase because it is denser and needs more energy to run. If your BMR increases due to muscle, your metabolism is increasing—that’s a good thing.
What is BMR: Age
Age matters in the calculations because you lose muscle as you age. You can mitigate that loss by strength training, but generally, you can lose 5-10 percent of your muscle mass every decade after 30.
What is BMR: Gender
Men and women have a different body composition and as such, a different BMR. With less muscle and more fat, women have a five to ten percent lower BMR than men.
What is BMR: TDEE
Total daily energy expenditure is the total number of calories your body burns to simply exist AND during your activity. This way you have a more accurate idea of the total number of calories you need a day to simply maintain your weight and from that—you can set weight loss or weight gain goals.
Learn more about setting diet goals with our Calorie Calculator.
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