Basal Metabolic Rate (BMR): Frequently Asked Questions
What is BMR?
BMR stands for Basal Metabolic Rate, the minimum calorific requirement needed to sustain life in your body when you are resting. It is also called Resting Metabolic Rate (RMR). Even if you are in bed asleep all day, your body still needs energy to pump blood around the body, maintain body temperature, etc. Please note that BMR is not your recommended calorie intake.
The indirect calorimetry is the best method to measure your energy expenditure (BMR). Unfortunately, most of the time it is not possible to measure your BMR, which is why prediction equations to estimate BMR are used. Most BMR equations are originated from samples of North American and European populations and may provide high BMR estimations for those who live in different environments (for example in tropics).
It is considered that the equation of Harris and Benedict, which is used in BMR Calculator, estimates the resting energy expenditure with accuracy of about 10% in about 80-90% of healthy people.
According to the study “Are basal metabolic rate prediction equations appropriate for overweight and obese adolescents?”, “The Harris and Benedict equation was the only one [of four] showing no differences between measured and predicted BMR” (Rev Bras Med Esporte vol.11 no.3 Niteroi May/June 2005).
Does BMR formula include my activity level?
No, it does not. Basal Metabolic Rate is estimated using your weight, height and age (see BMR formulas below). BMR is gender specific. BMR Calculator prompts you to enter your activity level in order to calculate the number of calories you need daily to maintain your current weight.
What is BMR formula?
English BMR Formula:
Women: BMR = 655 + ( 4.35 x weight in pounds ) + ( 4.7 x height in inches ) – ( 4.7 x age in years )
Men: BMR = 66 + ( 6.23 x weight in pounds ) + ( 12.7 x height in inches ) – ( 6.8 x age in years )
Metric BMR Formula:
Women: BMR = 655 + ( 9.6 x weight in kilos ) + ( 1.8 x height in cm ) – ( 4.7 x age in years )
Men: BMR = 66 + ( 13.7 x weight in kilos ) + ( 5 x height in cm ) – ( 6.8 x age in years )
Is it possible to raise your Basal Matabolic Rate?
Yes, it is. For details, please see “How to increase metabolism?”.