How To Use BMR For Weight Loss

You might be wondering, what is BMR all about? Well, it’s definitely a term that’s thrown around a lot but not often explained in detail. Your BMR number tells you how many calories your body needs to survive.  

Up next we’re going to tell you how to calculate BMR and also answer questions like what does BMR stand for and how do I improve my BMR? Once you learn about your BMR, you’re going to be able to get a much better handle on your calorie needs and weight goals.

What Is BMR?

When we break down the the BMR meaning from its acronym we learn it means Basal Metabolic Rate. That is the number of calories your body burns making basic functions in your body happen while you are at rest.

These basic functions include things like breathing, blinking and cell regeneration. Regardless of what the function is, it requires energy to happen, however the amount of energy each function requires is based on your age, height, weight, and sex.

The Difference Between BMR And TDEE

Your BMR is a vital component of Total Daily Energy Expenditure (TDEE). Your BMR represents the number of calories your body needs to live. Your TDEE number represents the number of calories you use for activities added to your BMR.

Knowing what your TDEE number is can help you lose weight. That’s because you’ll learn how many calories you burn each day on average and then you can reduce your consumption or increase your activity to get the weight you want.

Basal Metabolic Rate Vs Resting Metabolic Rate

There is not a huge difference between your BMR and your Resting Metabolic Rate (RMR), which is why the two terms are often used interchangeably. However, we can point to a slight technical difference.

Both numbers represent the calories your body uses at rest, however, RMR also includes the number of calories you need for activities at rest like getting up to go to the bathroom and eating.

Body composition affects BMR.

Factors That Impact BMR

There are a few things that affect your BMR, some of them are things you can control, and others not so much. The things out of your control are your age, hormones, gender, genetics, and certain environmental factors like how hot or cold it is where you live.

Things that you can control are the type of diet you consume, exercise and how much muscle mass you have (to a point). However, when trying to lose weight, you don’t need to worry about whether or not you’ve got your BMR number down to the exact calorie. Instead, once you know your BMR, add your activity level to it to get your TDEE. After that, create a calorie deficit and monitor to determine if you’re losing weight.

You should consume around 500 fewer calories than your TDEE for a week to lose around a pound. Once you implement your new eating plan, you can monitor your weight to see if the trend is toward losing weight. The formula to achieving weight loss is not overly complicated, however, a weight loss coach can always help make it easier to implement. They can help you plan out your eating schedule and give you tips and tricks to make the whole thing easier.

Body Composition

The more lean mass you have, the higher your BMR is. That’s because the more muscle mass you have, the more calories you burn at rest. That’s why incorporating some resistance training into your life is a good idea. Building some muscle can be as simple as doing squats and push-ups a few times a week. That training over time will increase muscle size over time and help you burn more calories even when you’re not training.  

Gender

While gender affects your BMR, it’s not for the reasons that you think. Men and women have the same metabolism inherently but their physicality is different. The larger your body size and the more muscle mass you have, the more calories your body uses at rest.

On average, men are larger and have more muscle mass than women, which ends up meaning that men tend to have a higher BMR than women do. Of course, if a woman is larger and has more muscle than a man, she will have a greater BMR than her male counterpart.

Activity Levels

Your activity levels affect your BMR indirectly. As we know, your BMR is how many calories your body needs at rest to carry out basic functions. However, if you have more muscle mass then your body needs more calories to carry out basic functions. If you do activities that increase your lean muscle, then your BMR will also increase.

Age

Most people tend to do exercise less and do fewer activities as they age and this affects BMR. The decrease in activity also reduces muscle mass, and when muscle mass is reduced, you burn fewer calories at rest. Additionally, as we age,  metabolism can naturally slow down due to aging organs.

However, the important thing to remember is that the biggest age-related factor affecting your BMR is your change in activity. That is something you can control so you can reduce the effects of age-related BMR reduction by upping how much you move daily.

Hormone Levels

A hormone imbalance can cause your metabolism to slow down, however when their working well they can help you burn calories. The only way you can figure out if you have a hormonal balance is by speaking to a medical professional.

If you think you’re doing all of the right things when it comes to weight loss and can’t seem to lose that weight, then it might be a good time to get your hormone levels checked.

How to calculate BMR

How To Calculate Your BMR

To calculate your BMR, you will need your age, weight, height, and sex. You can then use the Mifflin - St. Jeor Formula to calculate your BMR by using an online calculator.

The Harris-Benedict Formula

Published in 1919, the Harris-Benedict Formula was the go-to equation for calculating your BMR until the 1980s. If you want to try your hand at the formula, try the following calculation.

BMR For Women

655 + ( 9.563 × weight in kg ) + ( 1.850 × height in cm ) – ( 4.676 × age in years ) = BMR

BMR For Men

66.5 + ( 13.76 × weight in kg ) + ( 5.003 × height in cm ) – ( 6.755 × age in years ) = BMR

Mifflin - St. Jeor Formula

In 1984, the Harris-Benedict equation was revised and renamed the Mifflin-St. Jeor Equation.

BMR Formula For Men

(9.99 × weight in kg) + (6.25 × height in cm) - (4.92 × age in years) + 5 = BMR

BMR Formula For Women

(9.99 × weight in kg) + (6.25 × height in cm) - (4.92 × age in years) - 161 = BMR

Can You Change Your BMR?

Yes, you can change your BMR. When you add resistance exercises to your routine, you will increase lean muscle mass. When you increase your muscle mass, your BMR changes as you are burning more calories at rest.

As we noted above, your BMR also depends on a few factors like your weight so it’s important to recalculate your BMR as your weight drops. Additionally, as you eat filling foods with fiber and protein and your weight drops, your body becomes more efficient at burning calories so how quickly you metabolize them will change.

How To Use Your BMR

Learning your BMR is your starting point to figuring out how many calories you need every day. The BMR number tells you the calories you need at rest, to that number you need to add exercise/activity to figure out how many calories you need daily (your TDEE).

Once you have figured that final number out, you then need to create a calorie deficit to lose weight. A calorie deficit is created by consuming fewer calories than your TDEE. To lose around a pound you need to reduce your calorie intake by 500 calories every day for a week. A weight loss coach can help you figure out where you can reduce calories in your eating and drinking to get that deficit.

BMR For Weight Loss

Learning about your BMR number brings you one step closer to getting the weight that you want. When you don’t know how many calories your body uses every day, it can be a little difficult to figure out how many fewer calories you need to eat to lose weight. However, once you know what your BMR is, you can use it to calculate your TDEE and then figure out where you can cut down on calories.

Calculating Your Recommended Calorie Intake

To calculate your recommended calorie intake, we need to figure out your TDEE. To figure out your TDEE, we take your BMR number and add it to your activity level number.

So BMR x activity number gives you your TDEE, which is your recommended calorie intake per day. Remember that you can play around with this number slightly based upon the trends you see once you start consuming your daily recommended number.

Improving Activity Levels

The amount of activity you include  in your day can affect your BMR. The more active you are, the more calories you burn and the more calories you burn, the more efficient your body gets at doing that. Additionally, the type of activities you participate in can further impact your BMR. More specifically,  strength training activities  have the greatest affect. Strength training builds muscle and muscle burns more calories even when you are at rest.

Can You Change Your BMR?

Yes, you can change your BMR. When you add resistance exercises to your routine, you will increase lean muscle mass. When you increase your muscle mass, your BMR changes as you are burning more calories at rest.

As we noted above, your BMR also depends on a few factors like your weight so it’s important to recalculate your BMR as your weight drops. Additionally, as you eat filling foods with fiber and protein and your weight drops, your body becomes more efficient at burning calories so how quickly you metabolize them will change.

Protein and fiber keep you full for weight loss.

Eat At A Calorie Deficit

To create a calorie deficit, you need to consume fewer calories than you expend. Filling foods have fiber and protein in them which means your body digests them more slowly than carb-heavy meals. When you eat more filling foods, you feel satiated so you don’t get hungry again quickly, nor do you have food cravings.

Eating this way will help you create a calorie deficit more easily. Additionally, your body will reprogram with your new eating style and will send messages to your brain to let you know when it’s full. That way you won’t have to count calories as you’ll automatically know when your body has had enough.

While there are so many diets for weight loss from vegan to vegetarian to low-glycemic diet, the important thing is to consume fewer calories than your body burns.,

Increase Your Calories Burned

You can increase your calories burned by upping your exercise and activity level. This will increase the number of calories you burn in two ways. One of the ways is the calories that you will burn as you are exercising or participating in an activity. The second way is that if you include activities and exercise that include resistance, you will increase your muscle mass. By increasing your muscle mass, you will burn more calories at rest.

BMR For Muscle Gain

Gains in muscle mean gains in BMR. That’s because when you increase your muscle mass you burn more calories at rest. Why is that? While muscles at rest require more energy than other things at rest like fat.

When you learn how your BMR works, you can make more informed choices about the activities you participate in. If you know that your BMR is naturally slow, then you can emphasize strength training to help it work more efficiently.

Take the Fitmate quiz to find out how a weight loss coach can help you create a plan to use BMR for weight loss.

Author Alon Laniado is the founder of Fitmate Coach and certified in Nutrition with Stanford University School of Medicine and with Precision Nutrition. He is a certified Health & Wellness Coach and Personal Trainer with the American Council on Exercise. Alon has helped thousands of clients lose weight and is on a mission to help more people benefit from weight-loss coaches by making the service more affordable and accessible using technology.

FAQs

What is a good BMR rate?

There is no such thing as a good BMR rate but most BMR rates fall between 1000 - 2000. While a 1500 BMR for women and 2000 for men is believed to be fairly standard, it doesn’t mean that is a good BMR number.

That’s because your BMR number is based upon your weight, height, sex, and age, the combination of those factors are unique to you alone. If you are a woman who is on the taller side and is more muscular, your BMR could be 2000, while a man who is shorter and slimmer could be 1500.

So your BMR is not a good indicator of your health, it is simply a tool that tells you how many calories your body burns at rest. You can use that information to make healthy lifestyle choices and take control of your weight.

Do you eat your BMR to lose weight?

If you eat the same number of calories as your BMR and you are not active, you will maintain your weight, not lose it. You should never eat less than your BMR as this is the basic number of calories your body needs to perform basic functions like breathing and digestion.

Use your BMR to calculate your TDEE, and then you can eat less than your TDEE to lose weight. You need to consume 500 fewer calories than your TDEE each day to lose about a pound in a week.

How does age affect BMR?

One of the biggest ways age affects BMR is through the loss of muscle. The more muscle you have, the higher your BMR, but with age the amount of muscle you have declines. That’s often because people become less active with age. Being less active includes not socializing, not participating in physical activities like gardening, and of course not exercising.

Some natural processes occur with age that causes our organs to perform less efficiently which affects BMR. However, a large part of the effect of age on BMR you can control by being more active and consuming a protein-rich diet.

How do I raise my BMR?

You can raise your BMR by improving your nutrition intake, activity levels, and lifestyle choices.

You should eat foods that are rich in protein because it has a high thermic effect. The Thermic Effect of Food (TEF) refers to the number of calories it takes to burn and process nutrients from a kind of food. Protein has a high thermic effect, which means it takes a lot of calories to burn and process protein. Additionally, consuming complex carbs also gets your metabolism working and when you eat protein and complex carbs you stay fuller longer and prevent overeating.

Get active if you want to raise your BMR. In particular, focus on resistance training which will build your muscles. The more lean muscle mass you have, the more calories you burn while at rest.

If you want your metabolism to work well, you need to try and eliminate stress from your life. That’s because when you’re stressed your body releases a hormone called cortisol which puts your body into fight or flight mode. When your body is in this stress mode, your body’s regular functions slow down, including your metabolism. Try to get a good 7-8 hours of sleep every night and give yourself time to unwind by listening to music, doing yoga, dancing, anything that keeps you happy and keeps stress at bay.

Go back

How To Use BMR For Weight Loss

You might be wondering, what is BMR all about? Well, it’s definitely a term that’s thrown around a lot but not often explained in detail. Your BMR number tells you how many calories your body needs to survive.

You might be wondering, what is BMR all about? Well, it’s definitely a term that’s thrown around a lot but not often explained in detail. Your BMR number tells you how many calories your body needs to survive.  

Up next we’re going to tell you how to calculate BMR and also answer questions like what does BMR stand for and how do I improve my BMR? Once you learn about your BMR, you’re going to be able to get a much better handle on your calorie needs and weight goals.

What Is BMR?

When we break down the the BMR meaning from its acronym we learn it means Basal Metabolic Rate. That is the number of calories your body burns making basic functions in your body happen while you are at rest.

These basic functions include things like breathing, blinking and cell regeneration. Regardless of what the function is, it requires energy to happen, however the amount of energy each function requires is based on your age, height, weight, and sex.

The Difference Between BMR And TDEE

Your BMR is a vital component of Total Daily Energy Expenditure (TDEE). Your BMR represents the number of calories your body needs to live. Your TDEE number represents the number of calories you use for activities added to your BMR.

Knowing what your TDEE number is can help you lose weight. That’s because you’ll learn how many calories you burn each day on average and then you can reduce your consumption or increase your activity to get the weight you want.

Basal Metabolic Rate Vs Resting Metabolic Rate

There is not a huge difference between your BMR and your Resting Metabolic Rate (RMR), which is why the two terms are often used interchangeably. However, we can point to a slight technical difference.

Both numbers represent the calories your body uses at rest, however, RMR also includes the number of calories you need for activities at rest like getting up to go to the bathroom and eating.

Body composition affects BMR.

Factors That Impact BMR

There are a few things that affect your BMR, some of them are things you can control, and others not so much. The things out of your control are your age, hormones, gender, genetics, and certain environmental factors like how hot or cold it is where you live.

Things that you can control are the type of diet you consume, exercise and how much muscle mass you have (to a point). However, when trying to lose weight, you don’t need to worry about whether or not you’ve got your BMR number down to the exact calorie. Instead, once you know your BMR, add your activity level to it to get your TDEE. After that, create a calorie deficit and monitor to determine if you’re losing weight.

You should consume around 500 fewer calories than your TDEE for a week to lose around a pound. Once you implement your new eating plan, you can monitor your weight to see if the trend is toward losing weight. The formula to achieving weight loss is not overly complicated, however, a weight loss coach can always help make it easier to implement. They can help you plan out your eating schedule and give you tips and tricks to make the whole thing easier.

Body Composition

The more lean mass you have, the higher your BMR is. That’s because the more muscle mass you have, the more calories you burn at rest. That’s why incorporating some resistance training into your life is a good idea. Building some muscle can be as simple as doing squats and push-ups a few times a week. That training over time will increase muscle size over time and help you burn more calories even when you’re not training.  

Gender

While gender affects your BMR, it’s not for the reasons that you think. Men and women have the same metabolism inherently but their physicality is different. The larger your body size and the more muscle mass you have, the more calories your body uses at rest.

On average, men are larger and have more muscle mass than women, which ends up meaning that men tend to have a higher BMR than women do. Of course, if a woman is larger and has more muscle than a man, she will have a greater BMR than her male counterpart.

Activity Levels

Your activity levels affect your BMR indirectly. As we know, your BMR is how many calories your body needs at rest to carry out basic functions. However, if you have more muscle mass then your body needs more calories to carry out basic functions. If you do activities that increase your lean muscle, then your BMR will also increase.

Age

Most people tend to do exercise less and do fewer activities as they age and this affects BMR. The decrease in activity also reduces muscle mass, and when muscle mass is reduced, you burn fewer calories at rest. Additionally, as we age,  metabolism can naturally slow down due to aging organs.

However, the important thing to remember is that the biggest age-related factor affecting your BMR is your change in activity. That is something you can control so you can reduce the effects of age-related BMR reduction by upping how much you move daily.

Hormone Levels

A hormone imbalance can cause your metabolism to slow down, however when their working well they can help you burn calories. The only way you can figure out if you have a hormonal balance is by speaking to a medical professional.

If you think you’re doing all of the right things when it comes to weight loss and can’t seem to lose that weight, then it might be a good time to get your hormone levels checked.

How to calculate BMR

How To Calculate Your BMR

To calculate your BMR, you will need your age, weight, height, and sex. You can then use the Mifflin - St. Jeor Formula to calculate your BMR by using an online calculator.

The Harris-Benedict Formula

Published in 1919, the Harris-Benedict Formula was the go-to equation for calculating your BMR until the 1980s. If you want to try your hand at the formula, try the following calculation.

BMR For Women

655 + ( 9.563 × weight in kg ) + ( 1.850 × height in cm ) – ( 4.676 × age in years ) = BMR

BMR For Men

66.5 + ( 13.76 × weight in kg ) + ( 5.003 × height in cm ) – ( 6.755 × age in years ) = BMR

Mifflin - St. Jeor Formula

In 1984, the Harris-Benedict equation was revised and renamed the Mifflin-St. Jeor Equation.

BMR Formula For Men

(9.99 × weight in kg) + (6.25 × height in cm) - (4.92 × age in years) + 5 = BMR

BMR Formula For Women

(9.99 × weight in kg) + (6.25 × height in cm) - (4.92 × age in years) - 161 = BMR

Can You Change Your BMR?

Yes, you can change your BMR. When you add resistance exercises to your routine, you will increase lean muscle mass. When you increase your muscle mass, your BMR changes as you are burning more calories at rest.

As we noted above, your BMR also depends on a few factors like your weight so it’s important to recalculate your BMR as your weight drops. Additionally, as you eat filling foods with fiber and protein and your weight drops, your body becomes more efficient at burning calories so how quickly you metabolize them will change.

How To Use Your BMR

Learning your BMR is your starting point to figuring out how many calories you need every day. The BMR number tells you the calories you need at rest, to that number you need to add exercise/activity to figure out how many calories you need daily (your TDEE).

Once you have figured that final number out, you then need to create a calorie deficit to lose weight. A calorie deficit is created by consuming fewer calories than your TDEE. To lose around a pound you need to reduce your calorie intake by 500 calories every day for a week. A weight loss coach can help you figure out where you can reduce calories in your eating and drinking to get that deficit.

BMR For Weight Loss

Learning about your BMR number brings you one step closer to getting the weight that you want. When you don’t know how many calories your body uses every day, it can be a little difficult to figure out how many fewer calories you need to eat to lose weight. However, once you know what your BMR is, you can use it to calculate your TDEE and then figure out where you can cut down on calories.

Calculating Your Recommended Calorie Intake

To calculate your recommended calorie intake, we need to figure out your TDEE. To figure out your TDEE, we take your BMR number and add it to your activity level number.

So BMR x activity number gives you your TDEE, which is your recommended calorie intake per day. Remember that you can play around with this number slightly based upon the trends you see once you start consuming your daily recommended number.

Improving Activity Levels

The amount of activity you include  in your day can affect your BMR. The more active you are, the more calories you burn and the more calories you burn, the more efficient your body gets at doing that. Additionally, the type of activities you participate in can further impact your BMR. More specifically,  strength training activities  have the greatest affect. Strength training builds muscle and muscle burns more calories even when you are at rest.

Can You Change Your BMR?

Yes, you can change your BMR. When you add resistance exercises to your routine, you will increase lean muscle mass. When you increase your muscle mass, your BMR changes as you are burning more calories at rest.

As we noted above, your BMR also depends on a few factors like your weight so it’s important to recalculate your BMR as your weight drops. Additionally, as you eat filling foods with fiber and protein and your weight drops, your body becomes more efficient at burning calories so how quickly you metabolize them will change.

Protein and fiber keep you full for weight loss.

Eat At A Calorie Deficit

To create a calorie deficit, you need to consume fewer calories than you expend. Filling foods have fiber and protein in them which means your body digests them more slowly than carb-heavy meals. When you eat more filling foods, you feel satiated so you don’t get hungry again quickly, nor do you have food cravings.

Eating this way will help you create a calorie deficit more easily. Additionally, your body will reprogram with your new eating style and will send messages to your brain to let you know when it’s full. That way you won’t have to count calories as you’ll automatically know when your body has had enough.

While there are so many diets for weight loss from vegan to vegetarian to low-glycemic diet, the important thing is to consume fewer calories than your body burns.,

Increase Your Calories Burned

You can increase your calories burned by upping your exercise and activity level. This will increase the number of calories you burn in two ways. One of the ways is the calories that you will burn as you are exercising or participating in an activity. The second way is that if you include activities and exercise that include resistance, you will increase your muscle mass. By increasing your muscle mass, you will burn more calories at rest.

BMR For Muscle Gain

Gains in muscle mean gains in BMR. That’s because when you increase your muscle mass you burn more calories at rest. Why is that? While muscles at rest require more energy than other things at rest like fat.

When you learn how your BMR works, you can make more informed choices about the activities you participate in. If you know that your BMR is naturally slow, then you can emphasize strength training to help it work more efficiently.

Take the Fitmate quiz to find out how a weight loss coach can help you create a plan to use BMR for weight loss.

Author Alon Laniado is the founder of Fitmate Coach and certified in Nutrition with Stanford University School of Medicine and with Precision Nutrition. He is a certified Health & Wellness Coach and Personal Trainer with the American Council on Exercise. Alon has helped thousands of clients lose weight and is on a mission to help more people benefit from weight-loss coaches by making the service more affordable and accessible using technology.

FAQs

What is a good BMR rate?

There is no such thing as a good BMR rate but most BMR rates fall between 1000 - 2000. While a 1500 BMR for women and 2000 for men is believed to be fairly standard, it doesn’t mean that is a good BMR number.

That’s because your BMR number is based upon your weight, height, sex, and age, the combination of those factors are unique to you alone. If you are a woman who is on the taller side and is more muscular, your BMR could be 2000, while a man who is shorter and slimmer could be 1500.

So your BMR is not a good indicator of your health, it is simply a tool that tells you how many calories your body burns at rest. You can use that information to make healthy lifestyle choices and take control of your weight.

Do you eat your BMR to lose weight?

If you eat the same number of calories as your BMR and you are not active, you will maintain your weight, not lose it. You should never eat less than your BMR as this is the basic number of calories your body needs to perform basic functions like breathing and digestion.

Use your BMR to calculate your TDEE, and then you can eat less than your TDEE to lose weight. You need to consume 500 fewer calories than your TDEE each day to lose about a pound in a week.

How does age affect BMR?

One of the biggest ways age affects BMR is through the loss of muscle. The more muscle you have, the higher your BMR, but with age the amount of muscle you have declines. That’s often because people become less active with age. Being less active includes not socializing, not participating in physical activities like gardening, and of course not exercising.

Some natural processes occur with age that causes our organs to perform less efficiently which affects BMR. However, a large part of the effect of age on BMR you can control by being more active and consuming a protein-rich diet.

How do I raise my BMR?

You can raise your BMR by improving your nutrition intake, activity levels, and lifestyle choices.

You should eat foods that are rich in protein because it has a high thermic effect. The Thermic Effect of Food (TEF) refers to the number of calories it takes to burn and process nutrients from a kind of food. Protein has a high thermic effect, which means it takes a lot of calories to burn and process protein. Additionally, consuming complex carbs also gets your metabolism working and when you eat protein and complex carbs you stay fuller longer and prevent overeating.

Get active if you want to raise your BMR. In particular, focus on resistance training which will build your muscles. The more lean muscle mass you have, the more calories you burn while at rest.

If you want your metabolism to work well, you need to try and eliminate stress from your life. That’s because when you’re stressed your body releases a hormone called cortisol which puts your body into fight or flight mode. When your body is in this stress mode, your body’s regular functions slow down, including your metabolism. Try to get a good 7-8 hours of sleep every night and give yourself time to unwind by listening to music, doing yoga, dancing, anything that keeps you happy and keeps stress at bay.

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wherever you are.

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