Your BMR and how it works

You may of heard of BMR before. In this article I will go over what it is. What contributes to it increasing or decreasing. And why you shouldn’t just focus on your BMR for weight loss.

So what is BMR?

BMR is an acronym which stands for Basal Metabolic Rate. In the simplest of terms it is the amount of energy your body burns each day just to function at rest. Everything from regulating hormones to digesting food requires energy for those functions.

What contributes to your BMR increasing or decreasing

Your BMR is mainly influenced by your current activity level. Let’s say your BMR is 1600 per day. If your activity level is sedentary you can multiply your BMR by 1.2 which would equal 1920. If your activity level increased to lightly active you would multiply your BMR by 1.375 which would equal 2200. So from this you can see how increasing your activity level means you need more energy for those tasks.

It’s important to understand how your activity level influences your BMR as if you go down e.g. lightly active to sedentary. Then you will have a small calorie deficit as in the example above you would go from 2200 to 1920.

How to calculate your BMR

Its important to understand that the calculation below is just an estimate as there are many things it does not and cannot take into account.

To estimate your BMR we will use the popular Harris-Benedict formula. Its different for Men and Women and takes into account a few things like age, weight and height.

For Men:

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

For Women:

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

Why you should not focus on BMR as the be all end all

Your BMR is a great starting point for finding out how much energy you need at rest. But there are a lot of factors that go into a successful weight loss plan. The amount of hours you sleep, exercise and what types of food you eat all play a big role. Finding out your own BMR is a great place to start because that alongside the activity multiplier you can work out your Total Daily Energy Expenditure (or TDEE for short).

Once you have your TDEE you can then plan your new diet around those numbers. Ensuring you stay in a slight calorie deficit is the path to long term weight loss.

I hope you found this article into your BMR was useful. Remember that you don’t need to worry about getting an exact number for your BMR. An estimate is fine and will guide you along the right path. You can course correct later if the BMR estimate from the calculation was a bit high or low. Comment below if you have any questions.

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