BMR: basal metabolic rate

The first thing to do before starting to lose weight is to calculate your BMR.

Your BMR (Basal Metabolic Rate) is a number. This number that represents the amount of energy that your own body needs to stay alive and to function at rest.

Basically, this number tells you how many calories you need to take in in order for your heart, lungs, kidneys, liver, intestine, sex organs, muscles, and skin to keep functioning. These are the vital organs so you cannot mess with the BMR!


Let’s see how to calculate the BMR:

For both men and women there’s a formula used to calculate the BMR.

For women, the formula is:

  • 655 + 9.56*(Weight) + 1.85*(Height) – 4.68*(Age)

where the Weight is measured in Kilograms, the Height in centimeters and the age in years.
To transform these we have:

1 pound = 0.453 kilos
1 inch = 2.54 cm.

For men, we have:

  • 66.5 + 13.75*(Weight) + 5*(Height) – 6.78*(Age)

where Age, Height and Weight are also in years, kilos and centimeters.

There you have it, once you put in the numbers (Weight, Height and Age) you’ll know how many calories you need to eat in order NOT to change you weight.

The BMR, the number you obtained from the formulas above, is you BASAL metabolic rate. That means the number applies for when you are at rest, doing nothing, maybe sleeping or sitting on a chair.

The next step is easy though: 

In order to lose weight, you have to exercise, right?
Well, based on the amount of exercise you choose, you have to multiply your BMR by a coefficient, like this:

  • Little to no exercise:
    Daily kilocalories needed = BMR x 1.2
  • Light exercise (1–3 days per week):
    Daily kilocalories needed = BMR x 1.375
  • Moderate exercise (3–5 days per week):
    Daily kilocalories needed = BMR x 1.55
  • Heavy exercise (6–7 days per week):
    Daily kilocalories needed = BMR x 1.725
  • Very heavy exercise (twice per day, extra heavy workouts):
    Daily kilocalories needed = BMR x 1.9

There you have it, this is the total number of calories you need to take in when you add exercising to your new lifestyle.

Last but not least, remember to always consult a doctor before making any important changes to your diet and lifestyle in general. The daily calorie intake is important but every individual has different needs. 


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