Basal Metabolic Rate

The Basal Metabolic Rate, or BMR as it is most often referred to, is the amount of calories in a day which a persons body (or any souls body) burns just to stay alive, like while sleeping or doing nothing all day long. It is the base of the calories needed just to exist with no exertion. 

There have been many formulas developed over the years. For simplicity sake, we use the Harris-Benedict formula:  

Women

BMR = 655 + (9.6 × weight in kg) + (1.8 × height in cm) – (4.7 × age in years)

Men

BMR = 66 + (13.7 × weight in kg) + (5 × height in cm) – (6.8 × age in years)

* Your BMR is meant to be more an approximation, individuals metabolisms can and do differ, similar to maximum heart rate and other body function estimations.

Depending on your lifestyle, you can use your BMR to calculate how many calories you can consume to maintain your weight on a daily basis. This is incredibly important if you are trying to monitor your weight for a purpose, such as gaining weight, losing weight, or just maintaining. 

Use the following guidelines to approximate the calories you can consume. 

  • Sedentary (little exercise):
    • Daily Calories Burned = BMR x 1.2
    • For someone with a BMR of 1,500, DCB = 1,500 x 1.2 = 1,800 cal
  • Lightly Active (walking, stretching, yoga a few days a week)
    • Daily Calories Burned = BMR x 1.375
    • For someone with a BMR of 1,500, DCB = 1,500 x 1.375 = 2,062 cal
  • Moderately Active (Gym or activities at a moderate level a few times a week)
    • Daily Calories Burned = BMR x 1.55
    • For someone with a BMR of 1,500, DCB = 1,500 x 1.55 = 2,325 cal
  • Very Active (hard exercise almost every day in a week, active jobs)
    • Daily Calories Burned = BMR x 1.725
    • For someone with a BMR of 1,500, DCB = 1,500 x 1.725 = 2,587 cal
  • Extra Active (Six to seven days a week strenuous exercise, physical labor)
    • Daily Calories Burned = BMR x 1.9
    • For someone with a BMR of 1,500, DCB = 1,500 x 1.9 = 2,850 cal

You can see how tracking accurate calorie burn on a regular basis can really influence the generic assumptions above. By measuring your true calorie burn with heart rate monitoring during exercise, and adding in the days “Daily Activity” steps burn, you can really see exactly where you stand in calories in and out. Incorporating real world feedback like weight (getting on the scale), you can hone in on where you need to be from a caloric consumption standpoint to hit your goals. Of course, we know some great apps that make it easy for you to do just that! 

References:

[1] Basal metabolic rate – Wikipedia – last access 4/21/2020

[2] What Is Basal Metabolic Rate? – Healthline – last access 4/21/2020

[3] Ability of the Harris Benedict formula to predict energy requirements differs with weight history and ethnicity US National Library of Medicine, National Institutes of Health, Nutr Res. 2007 Apr; 27(4): 194–199. – last access 4/21/2020

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