Archive for Basal Metabolic Rate

Basal Metabolic Rate, Turbulence Training, and Weight Loss

As we all know, to lose weight, you must burn more calories than you consume. The number of calories you need can be determined by calculating your Basal Metabolic Rate (BMR), as shown on our Basal Metabolic Rate Calculator.


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Basal Metabolic Rate – What is The Importance of Calculating Your BMR?

It is important to calculate your Basal Metabolic Rate (or BMR) because to lose weight you must burn more calories than you consume. Your Basal Metabolic Rate is the amount of energy you burn while at rest. In simple terms, it’s the number of calories you burn while asleep. As you get older your BMR decreases. Lean body mass helps burn calories, so exercising, particularly resistance training, increases your muscle mass, which increases your BMR.

Why is your BMR important? Because when you attempt to lose weight, you will want to ensure that you are consuming fewer calories than you burn. However, you need to consume enough calories to keep your body functioning. That’s why your BMR is so important.

How does BMR work? Read more in our article on the math behind your Basal Metabolic Rate, and do the calculation yourself with our Basal Metabolic Rate Calculator.


Why Dieting Will Make You Fat

There are some obvious reasons why a diet where you deprive yourself of necessary calories and nutrients will make you fat.

First, as we discussed on Friday, reducing calories will reduce your metabolism. Less fuel means less fuel to burn, and you are not burning as many calories chewing and digesting your food (the thermic effect of eating). Also, your body reduces it’s metabolic rate to prepare for starvation, and starts to consume muscle for energy.

This reduced muscle mass is the second reason that dieting makes you fat. Your body conserves fat due to inadequate food intake, and instead burns muscle.

Third, the very concept of a diet is a temporary concept. I go on a diet to lose weight, which means that once I have lost weight, I can stop my diet. I can go back to eating as I did before.

And that’s the final reason why dieting will make you fat. You go on a reduced calorie diet, and your metabolism slows down. Then your diet finishes, your body is now used to it’s slower metabolic rate, so when you start eating more, your body doesn’t burn it, it simply stores it as fat.

If dieting makes us fat, does that mean counting calories is a waste of time?

Check back tomorrow for the answer.


What determines the rate of our metabolism?

There are four components to our metabolic rate.

First, between 60% and 75% of the calories we burn are calories we burn just to keep us alive. You can calculate your resting metabolic rate, also known as your Basal Metabolic Rate, using our Basal Metabolic Rate Calculator. These are the calories you burn to keep your heart pumping, your lungs breathing, and everything else necessary to sustain life.

Second, our physical activity is responsible for a further 15% to 30% of the calories we burn in a day. Obviously people who exercise burn more calories than people who do not exercise.

Third, we burn calories as we chew and digest food, and this component of our metabolism is called the thermic effect of feeding. After eating, your metabolism speeds up as your digestive juices go to work, and as food is pushed through your digestive system and converted to energy and waste products. This represents 5% to 15% of daily calories burned, depending on how often you eat.

Finally, our genes determine about 5% of the calories we burn each day.

From a weigh loss perspective, it’s easy to see how these metabolic factors determine whether or not we can lose weight. As our activity level increases, we burn more calories, and that boosts our metabolism, so tomorrow we will discuss activity and weight loss.


Basal Metabolic Rate and Weight Loss

As readers of this site will know, your Basal Metabolic Rate is the amount of energy you expend while at rest (basically the amount of energy you expend while asleep). For weight loss to occur, you must consume more calories than take in, which is why knowing your Basal Metabolic Rate (BMR) is so helpful.

We are pleased to announce two features on this site to make understanding your BMR easier. First, we have a category on this blog for Basal Metabolic Rate, so you can see all blog entries on the topic.

Also, we have added a Basal Metabolic Rate Calculator. It’s an Excel spreadsheet, so simply type in your weight, height, gender and age and you can calculate your own BMR.

We will also be starting a series of articles on boosting your metabolism as an aid to weight loss, so check back over the next few days for more information. Enjoy!


Basal Metabolic Rate (BMR) Calculator

As mentioned in my previous post about the Basal Metabolic Rate, here is the formula to calculate BMR:

Basal Metabolic Rate (BMR) Calculator:


Women: BMR = (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)


Take this result and multiply it by your activity level (known as the Harris-Benedict equation):

  • Sedentary: (little or no exercise): BMR x 1.2
  • Light activity: (moderate exercise or sports 1 to 3 days per week): BMR x 1.375
  • Moderate activity: (moderate exercise or sports 3 to 5 days per week): BMR x 1.55
  • Very active: (hard exercise or sports 6 to 7 days per week): BMR x 1.725
  • Extremely active: (very hard exercise or sports and a physical job, activity or training 2 times per day): BMR x 1.9

Note: If you are overweight, this equation may overestimate the calories you require, so you should use a weight that is halfway between your current weight and your goal weight.  For example, if you weigh 200 pounds and want to weigh 150 pounds, use 175 pounds in this formula, and then adjust it as you lose weight.



Basal Metabolic Rate (BMR)

To lose weight, you must burn more calories than you consume.  The number of calories you need can be determined by calculating your Basal Metabolic Rate (BMR).

Basal metabolic rate (BMR) is the amount of energy expended while at rest, meaning you are doing virtually nothing (no exercise, no eating, etc.). BMR decreases with age and with the loss of lean body mass. Exercising and increased muscle mass can increase the BMR.

To accurately calculate your Basal Metabolic Rate clinical studies are required.  However, a reasonably accurate estimate of your BMR can be calculated using a formula.  I will post the complete formula in a separate post (in case you want to try it for yourself), but there are many places you can go to have the math done for you.  My favorite is this  Basal Metabolic Rate calculator.  Using this BMR calculator a 40 year old, 150 pound 5 foot tall male has a BMR of 1,480 calories per day (with moderate activity).  A similar female has a BMR of 1,368 per day.

To lose weight, the female would need to consumer less than 1,368 calories per day, or increase her activity level, or both.

Tomorrow my thoughts on how many calories are burned during exercise.


How Many Calories?

As described in My Weight Loss Plan, the only way to lose weight is to reduce calories.  How many calories do I need to consume to lose weight?   A better question is “how many calories do I need to survive?”  The answer to the first question is obviously a lower number than the answer to the second question.

For example, my body will consume 1,500 calories per day, just by being alive, if I restrict my caloric intake to 1,300 calories per day, I will lose weight.

Tomorrow I will discuss a cool way to do the math: the Basal Metabolic Rate (BMR).