Calculate Basal Metabolic Rate

 How to  calculate basal metabolic rate is not as important as what you do with the results. You now have another tool in your fitness arsenal, and that can go a long way in reaching your weight loss goals.

-What is Basal Metabolic Rate?

 Your Basal Metabolic Rate (BMR) is simply your "base metabolism", or the energy or calories you burn while at rest.

The energy you burn while at rest is sufficient only for the function of your vital organs.
(Liver, kidneys, heart, lungs, muscles, nervous system etc.)

-The calories you need to burn throughout your day are then calculated using  your  personal BMR (see the BMR calculator below), according to your own specific activity level.

  How to Calculate Basal Metabolic Rate and Obtain Your                Average Daily Calorie Needs

 The BMR calculator below uses the Basal Metabolic Rate (BMR) formula formulated by doctors at the University of Nevada Medical School, and then uses the Harris Benedict activity multiplier to determine your average daily calorie needs.

How many calories do you need  daily  to maintain your current weight? A better question might be how many  lose  weight? Obviously, this can vary according to the factors listed by the BMR calculator.

Basal Metabolic Rate Calculator

 To calculate basic metabolic rate for your weight and height, type your information into the corresponding fields in the form below, then simply click the submit button. (click the X after, to clear)

 * To calculate basal metabolic rate and use the result in the safest way possible, would reduce your daily caloric needs (what you eat) by 10-20% of your energy expended above. ( after  clicking submit button, according to your activity level) - Even better would be to  increase  your activity level while reducing your calorie intake as well!

-If you're looking to lose some weight,  increase  your  activity level  while  eating less  than your average daily calorie need by 500 calories, and you can lose a pound a week or more.

There are 3500 calories in a pound of body fat, so in order to lose 1 pound per week you must combine to eat and exercise off those 3500 calories, or 500 a day. (500x7 = 3500) When you calculate basal metabolic rate, you determine your particular BMR; There are also a number of additional factors that also have an effect:

      Basal Metabolic Rate Factors

       (The first 4 are the most important, 5-13 should also be considered) 

  • 1. Sex  Women have a lower muscle mass and higher body fat in general than men (sorry girls), resulting in a lower basal metabolism as well.
  • 2. Body Size.  Regardless of body weight, a large boned or taller person will have a higher BMR than that of a smaller or shorter person.
  • 3. Your Age.  Calculate basal metabolism as you age and you'll find it decreases. No wonder it gets harder to lose weight as we get older. After the age of 20, your BMR drops nearly 2% for every 10 years.
  • 4. Body Weight.  The more you weigh, the higher your basal metabolic rate will be and the more calories you will burn during exercise too. You burn more calories if you are heavier because your body uses a lot more energy moving the extra weight.

  • _______________

  • 5. Your Genetic makeup . We are not all created equal; Some people just naturally have a higher BMR, and just burn more calories than others.

  • 6.  Body Mass Index  Or BMI, the estimated amount of body fat based on a person's height and weight. To calculate basal metabolic rate, the lower your body fat or body mass index is, the higher your basal metabolism will be. Unfortunately, for the ladies this most often means a slower basal metabolic rate than for a man.
  • 7. Extreme Dieting or Food Deprivation . Restricting food intake in an attempt at weight loss actually results in  lower  basal metabolism and can be extremely dangerous to your health. (see  eating  below  BMR )

  • 8. Thyroid Hormones . Thyroxin is produced by the Thyroid gland and is released in smaller amounts during extreme dieting. Levels are best kept at normal levels for optimum health.Low amounts of can cause health problems; higher amounts increase basal metabolic rate


  • 9. Eating  Eating increases your basal metabolism rate, just don't overdo it. 4 - 6 small meals throughout the day keeps your metabolism high.
  • 10. Body Temperature . Such as with a fever, would increase a person's basal metabolic rate.
  • 11. Outside Temperature . When you calculate BMR the outside conditions have an affect as well. Extended high outside temperatures can raise BMR, but cold temperatures have more effect on increasing BMR, as the body needs to create more heat to maintain core temperature.
  • 12. Nicotine and Caffeine . Smokers and heavy coffee drinkers have a higher metabolic rate, although this type of an increase in metabolism is definitely not recommended for any weight loss plans.
  • 13 Exercise  Ever notice how it always seems to come back to exercise? Lean muscle mass increases BMR, and is one of the few factors that is in our control.

    Exercise increases lean body mass as well as burns calories to aid in weight loss. Simple really, the more muscle, the faster your basal metabolism, and the more calories burned.

    -Athletes and runners can eat more with little or no gain for a reason.


 As you can see, there are many factors contributing to our body's basal metabolic rate and most of them are completely out of our control.

-However, there are 2 factors that we  can  control, and that's the amount of  exercise  we get, and the quantity and  type of foods  we eat.

  Eating Below BMR

 Eating below your BMR to speed up your weight loss is not a good idea. Doing so for 2 or 3 days may not be a problem, and is even used in some diet programs. But the potential for significant health problems arises when there is an  extreme  lack of food over a  prolonged  time.

-Your basic metabolic rate is the  minimum  amount of calories your body needs to function properly. If this amount is not maintained you may lose weight, you may also lose your good health in the process.

 The American College of Sports Medicine recommends a daily amount  not less than 1200 calories for women, 1800 calories for men. Any dramatic reduction should only be done with a doctor's supervision.

 What follows are some of the dangers of eating below BMR:
(In the case of extreme dieting or fasting)

  • Eating below your basal metabolic rate for any length of time will actually  lower  your BMR, which may cancel out any perceived weight loss benefit you might receive.
  • 2. Have less energy, become tired more easily. (less likely to workout)
  • 3. Fainting
  • 4. More likely to sleep more often for longer periods.
  • 5. Muscle atrophy (weakening or degeneration)
  • 6. Increased risk of osteoporosis.
  • 7. Reduced sex drive.
  • 8. Women may experience changes in menstrual cycle or even the complete lack of one for a time.
  • May experience mood swings and even depression or dementia.
  • 10. Immune system may be compromised, more likely to get a more serious illness.
  • 11. Problems with the Gallbladder (organ that aids in fat digestion)
  • 12. Constipation, from a lack of food intake.
  • 13.  Dehydration due to lack of fluid intake.
  • 14. Extreme irritability
  • 15. Rashes
  • 16. Halitosis (noticeably bad breath)
  • 17. Acidosis (an increased acidity in the blood)
  • 18. Bloodshot eyes (red eye)
  • 19. Malnutrition leading to a serious eating disorder, such as  Anorexia  or  Bulimia , or possibly even leading to death.

  • _______________

     Again, the list above is under  extreme  food restrictive diets and not the norm by any means.

    -If weight loss is your ultimate goal, using your BMR as a tool can help.

    It is best to  maintain  your basal metabolic rate, and if you are too close to your BMR to reduce your  food  intake by 500 calories per day, you can still meet this goal through daily exercise.

    -But 500 calories a day is a lofty goal, and it's definitely best to meet that goal through exercise as well as the food you eat. (or don't eat)

     Try 250 calories from exercise, 250 from diet. You'll reap the added benefits of exercise, without sacrificing as much on the foods you eat. 

     more on BMR from wikipedia 

     back up to BMR calculator


    Back to  BMI Chart Page

    -Additional Information on Fitness and Your Health...

    Fat Grams or Calories? - 14 Low Fat Ideas - Positive Self Talk - Reducing Belly

    10 Healthiest Foods - Chart for Balanced Diet - Flat Ab Tips - Running for Weight Loss

    Health Benefits of Water - Chart for Calories Burned in 15 Minutes

    Calorie Content of Foods - Balanced Diet Chart For Kids

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