Basal Metabolic Rate

A Number given to basic calorie usage

BMR stands for Basal Metabolic Rate and is a number value given to the rate of calorie usage while you are in a comfortable setting, after a restful sleep, a 12-hour fast, and with no physical exertion or emotional upheaval.

It is generally shown in kilocalories per kilogram of body weight per hour.

CALORIES / KILOGRAMS(of body weight) / HOUR

Making it simple

Another way of saying this is that your Basal Metabolic Rate tells you how much energy you need just to stay alive.

Basal Metabolism defined

Basal Metabolism is the energy your body needs to do things like breathing, keep your heart beating, filtering blood, making blood cells, maintaining body temperature and acid-base balance, and all of the other processes that go on, even when you are sleeping.

It is estimated that 50-60% of the calories you use each day are to support your basal metabolism.

Factors affecting Basal Metabolic Rate

The BMR is different for each person and changes as various factors change. The rate that you use calories for basal metabolism can be affected by age, the amount of muscle you have, the temperature in the room, if you are ill, if you smoke and even how tall you are. (See graphic at the top of this page.)

What's average?

In general, men have a Basal Metabolic Rate of a little more than one calorie per kg of body weight per minute, or about 24 calories per kg of body weight per day.

Women use a little less than one calorie per kg of body weight per minute, or 23 calories per kg of body weight per day.

Why do we care?

The value of Basal Metabolic Rate is that it helps to determine how many calories you need to maintain weight or, if necessary, to lose weight. Of course, calorie usage goes up as soon as you start walking around, or if you are upset or stimulated in some way. Even the process of digesting food will raise your metabolic rate. If you do vigorous activity, your calorie usage rate will increase even more, at least for a period of time.


Some health experts prefer using the RMR or Resting Metabolic Rate, which is a similar measurement but with less stringent standards of sleep and food intake than the BMR. It will be slightly higher than the BMR, but is easier to measure.

Is there a secret?

Most people are interested in Basal Metabolic Rate in relation to losing weight. If there is a universal secret to losing weight and keeping it off that works for everyone, I do not know what it is. We are all individuals with varying genetics, BMR, body chemistries, taste buds, lifestyles, access to the food supply, psychological profiles, etc. etc. etc. Another way of saying this is that what may work for one person, will not necessarily work for everyone.

Even scientists and health experts can’t agree, and are often diametrically opposed about the best way to lose weight. If you throw a few charlatans and some well-meaning-but-misguided gurus into the mix, the result is at best,confusing and expensive, and, at worst, dangerous to your health.

Don’t give up.

My purpose here is not to discourage you, but to provide some solid, useful information. You do not have to be a victim of the latest weight loss scheme or scam. Armed with some knowledge and common sense, I hope it will become easier for you to decide what is the best way for you to achieve your eat healthier goals. Click here for more information about Healthy Weight Loss.

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