Resting Metabolic Rate

cartoon man waking up with alarm clock

The Resting Metabolic Rate, also known as RMR, is a measurement of energy (calorie) usage when your body is at rest. It is a similar measurement to the Basal Metabolic Rate(BMR), but with less stringent requirements of sleep and food intake. It will be slightly higher than the BMR, but is easier to measure.

Basal Metabolism

To understand the concept of RMR, you need to know that Basal Metabolism is the energy your body needs to do basic bodily functions, such as breathing, keeping your heart beating, filtering blood, making blood cells, maintaining body temperature and acid-base balance, and all of the other processes that go on inside you, even when you are sleeping.

Factors affecting metabolic rate

The RMR is different for each person and changes as various factors change. The rate that you use calories for basal metabolism can be affected by the following :  age, the amount of muscle you have in your body, the temperature in the room, if you are ill, if you smoke and even how tall you are.

Why would you want to know your rate?

The value of knowing your RMR is that it helps to determine how many calories you need to maintain weight or, if necessary, to losing weight.

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. Knowing this, you can adjust your calorie intake to more closely meet your requirements. 

BMR requires more precise conditions

Basal Metabolic Rate, although similar to Resting Metabolic Rate, describes your rate of calorie expenditure under specific conditions, as follows:

(1) After a 12-hour fast (no digestion going on)

(2) After a restful sleep

(3) With no physical exertion, and

(4) No emotional upheaval

Both BMR and RMR are generally expressed in calories per kilogram of body weight per hour.

Click here to go from Resting Metabolic Rate page to BMI page.

There are three main ways your body uses calories: basal metabolism, physical activity and eating.

Basal Metabolism


-Organ function



-Maintaining body temp

-All bodily functions

Physical Activity






-Any physical movement




-Stomach contractions