What is Basal Metabolic Rate (BMR)?

What is Basal Metabolic Rate (BMR)?

BMR can be defined as the total number of calories the human body requires to optimally perform life-sustaining functions including processing consumed nutrients, blood circulation, protein synthesis, production of cells, transporting ions and even breathing.

What is the difference between BMR (Basal Metabolic Rate) and RMR (Resting Metabolic Rate)?

Although most exercise and weight loss guides use these two terms interchangeably, they is a slight difference. While BMR measures the amount of calories your body needs to perform basic functions, it is measured in restrictive lab conditions.

On the other hand RMR also measures the number of calories your body needs to perform basic life-sustaining functions when the body is completely at rest (typically measured before eating or exercising, ideally after a full night’s sleep)

How to calculate Basal Metabolic Rate

BMR can be calculated using a Mathematical formula known as the Harris Benedict Equation


BMR = 88.362 + (13.397 x weight in kg) + (4.799 x height in cm) – (5.677 x age in years)


BMR = 447.593 + (9.247 x weight in kg) + (3.098 x height in cm) – (4.330 x age in years)
Another easier alternative to calculating BMR is using an online Basal Metabolic Rate calculator which will ask you for information such as weight, height and age. An online calculator gives you BMR in addition to an estimate of the total number of calories burned in a day.

Factors that determine BMR

Basal Metabolic Rate is determined by a number of factors including gender, age, genetic factors and body composition. While you cannot alter your age or gender, you can definitely do something about your body composition and as result boost your metabolism rate substantially.

The most effective way to change your BMR is simply by building more muscle and cutting down on fats. This is because lean mass burns more calories as prepared to fats even when the human body is completely at rest.

Numerous reliable studies have ascertained that even a few weeks of resistance training can help you gain enough lean mass to boost resting metabolism rate by 7% to 8%.

How can Basal Metabolic Rate be used to lose weight?

Since Basal Metabolic Rate gives you an idea of how many calories you burn on a daily basis; you will be able to ascertain how many calories you need to consume so that your burn more than you consume every day.

Once you know what your Basal Metabolic Rate you can come up with a healthy diet plan that gives you the right amount of calories and still supplies you with the essential nutrients you require to remain healthy and fit.