About Basal Metabolic Rate (BMR)
Basal Metabolic Rate (BMR) is a measure of the body's resting energy expenditure, representing the minimum amount of energy required to sustain the body's vital functions, including the heart, lungs and temperature regulation. A similar term is the Resting Metabolic Rate (RMR).
Even while you are not doing any activity, just sitting around, your body is burning energy for a whole range of essential bodily functions. This energy makes up the majority of the energy our body uses.
BMR or RMR?
Although the terms BMR and RMR are sometimes used interchangeably, they are measured under different conditions and have slightly different interpretations. The BMR is the minimum energy required for essential physiological function, while RMR is the minimum energy required for normal daily activity, and is slightly higher. As they are practically the same thing, we will use the term BMR on this website.
Why BMR is Important
Knowing your BMR is important whether you want to maintain your weight, lose weight, or even gain weight. Knowing your BMR can help with determining how much you should be eating in order to meet your weight goals.
Factors Affecting BMR
- Fat Mass - the more fat mass, the lower the BMR.
- Body Surface Area - the higher the body surface area, the higher the BMR.
- Age - BMR gradually decreases with age.
- Body Temperature - BMR increases with increasing body temperature.
- Stress - the more stress, the higher the BMR.
- Hormones - higher levels of thyroxine and epinephrine, the higher the BMR.
The most common method for measuring basal metabolic rate is to determine the body's oxygen consumption at rest. A less common method is to use direct calorimetry which measures the heat generated by the body in an enclosed space. If you are unable to access the equipment for directly measuring BMR, a value can be estimated using calculations based on your weight, height and age.
Articles About BMR
- Follow the Path of MOST Resistance! — another article on using resistance exercise to increase your metabolism and there lose weight.
- Direct measurement of BMR and RMR
- About Energy Expenditure — methods, formula and calculators.
- BMR calculations
- Power output and energy expenditure for running and walking
- Calories Burned Running — determines how many calories you have burned based on your weight and distance run.
- Daily Calorie Counter — determines how many calories you need each day.
- Nutrition calculators