How to Calculate Your BMR and Why It’s Important

How to Calculate Your BMRYou are attempting to lose weight and are wondering how much you should eat.  In other words, you have tried the 2,000 calorie diet and maybe a 1,500 calorie diet and have found that both are hard to maintain over a long time.  So how much do you need to eat to lose weight?  How much would you need to eat in order to maintain your weight?  To gain muscle mass and lose fat?  Follow along below for some more insight into this topic.

This question has allowed researchers and exercise physiologists to look further into “how much” and have quantified an actual metabolism.  Because every individual has a differing metabolism, there is no one set limit for everyone to eat; rather it is subjective.  Your metabolism, or your basal metabolic rate (BMR), is the amount of calories needed to sustain life without any additional activity.  This metabolism is the very minimum needed to keep your body alive.  More accurately, your true metabolism is also referred to your resting metabolism, or your RMR.  For the sake of the information in this article, your BMR is what will be discussed.

Your metabolism is what determines how much you should eat.  If you are looking to lose weight, you should eat your BMR and no more.  There are ways to determine your metabolism and listed below are some common ways you can find out your metabolism to make your weight loss more effective.  Remember that everyone has a differing metabolism so depending on the results, your dietary habits may need a shifting in the near future.

How to Calculate your BMR and Why it’s Important

  1. Purchase an RMR (BMR) test from a local gym or fitness center. If you are interested in receiving a scientific and accurate test, consider searching for a local company which provides this service.  Many of the metabolic testing sites will run you $100 for an accurate test.  If you find a “deal” for metabolic testing that is free or is under $20, consider what they offer prior to testing because this may not be an accurate test.  True services will include you fasting for at least six hours and will require you to breathe into a tube for 20 minutes in a cold room to rest your body as much as possible.  The results are fascinating and will definitely add insight into how your body uses energy when at rest.
  2. Estimate your metabolism. This is actually a much more reasonable way to gather your metabolic rate and it is fairly simple to use.  Using an online calculator such as the Harris-Benedict equation [1], you will simply add in your height and weight, age, and gender.  This equation has been compared to actual objective tests and the accuracy is impeccable.  Following the entry into the calculator, you will be given a calorie amount, which states how much you need to eat in order to lose weight.

The key to losing weight when you eat your metabolism is to exercise more.  The more physical activity you have during the day, the more fat you burn off.  If you have not been very physically active, now is the time.  Calculate your BMR and start your plan to move more to lose weight.  Give it at least 90 days before examining your results.


If you are attempting to lose weight, give your goals a few months.  Visit the online calculator listed in this article and write down your metabolism.  For the next three months, give it your all to eat only that value and exercise every day.  Examine your results at the end and compare your notes on your energy levels and your hunger levels.  Did they change over the three month span or did you feel a certain way the entire time?  Just remember that eating is important for weight loss.  Without eating sufficient food, your metabolism will adjust and lower, meaning your weight loss goals will be much harder to reach [2]. Not consuming enough calories can also lead to metabolic damage.





About the Author

, Celebrity Personal Trainer and Fitness & Nutrition Expert headquartered in Scottsdale, AZ. He specializes in helping men and women achieve weight loss, muscle building, toning and other customized fitness & nutrition programs to create a Healthy Lifestyle. James offers private luxury personal training, 12-week custom workout plans, and personalized nutrition meal plans. Follow on Google+.

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