Defining BMR

Basal metabolic rate is the number of calories that you need each day to stay alive. In other words it is a calculation of the number of calories required to keep the body functioning at rest. Depending on your activity level you will need additional calories daily to maintain bodily functions. BMR affects the rate that calories are burned and whether you maintain, lose, or gain weight.

Basal metabolic rate can be a very helpful tool in achieving your weight loss goals

Why it is important?

BMR is affected by age, genetics, gender, body fat percentage, and current activity level. More active people will have a higher rate and it decreases by 5% every 10 years after age 20. It is important to know your body's metabolism rate because in order to lose weight you have to consume calories lower than your overall needs. Believe it or not, muscle burns three times more energy than fat, so when your goal is to lose weight, you do not want to lose muscle.

How to use calories number score?


One pound is equal to 3500 calories so in order to lose a pound a week you must reduce your daily caloric intake by 500 calories. You can also lose weight by burning more calories per day through increased activity. People who are interested in body building wish to add lean muscle mass. A pound per week can be added by increasing daily caloric intake by 500 calories. Speak to your healthcare provider for advice about health and wellness strategies.

Basal metabolic rate can be a very helpful tool in achieving your weight loss goals, maintaining a healthy weight, and for body builders lean weight gain goals. Activity level will affect the rate of a basal metabolism, so the more active you are, the higher your rate will be. (Figure 1)

Activity level Total daily energy expenditure
Sedentary (little or no exercise) 1.2 x BMR
Lightly active (exercise 1-3 days per week) 1.375 x
Moderately active (exercise 3-5 days per week) 1.55 x 
Very active (exercise 6-7 days per week) 1.725 x 

Fig 1 – Effect of activity on BMR