Select Page

How to Calculate Basal Metabolic Rate for Men and Women

If you’re trying to lose weight (body fat), gain weight (lean muscle) or just to keep it off (maintain your current weight), it’s a good idea for you to understand and learn how to calculate Basal Metabolic Rate (BMR). By understanding your basal metabolic rate, you will know how much calories you need to consume a day in order to keep your body moving.

However, most people (including me) are told that in order to lose weight, we just need to burn more calories than we consume.

It might sounds like good advice on the surface; it is actually wrong because it fails to take our BMR into account.

And that’s why simplistic solutions like “eat less and exercise more” almost always end up in frustration and diet failure. In this blog post, you will learn how to calculate Basal Metabolic Rate (BMR) for your weight loss journey.

Why Is It Important to Know Your Basal Metabolic Rate (BMR)?

Your BMR is how much calories your body burns in a day at rest without you doing anything.  So that’s really to keep your heart pumping, to keep your brain going, basically to just keep your whole body moving.

These BMR calories that are needed and used by your body every single day of your life can come from the food you eat…from your own body fat… or through a combination of the two.

Your BMR is responsible for approximately 60 to 70% of the total number of calories you burn in a day. Obviously, you want your body to use fat for its energy needs because that’s what makes you thinner.

You should aim for higher basal metabolic rate (BMR) if you’re really wanted to lose weight. So, that’s why it is important to know your BMR and how to calculate it.

What are the factors that affect your Basal Metabolic Rate

Your BMR is affected by a large number of variables. It varies from person to person. Here are some factors that affect your Basal Metabolic Rate.

Your Age

For adults, BMR declines about 1 to 2 percent per decade after the early adult years, but it increases by 15 percent during pregnancy. For children, BMR increases during times of rapid growth such as infancy and adolescence.

Gender

Women have less lean body mass, and typically have a higher percentage of body fat than men. These results in women having up to a 10 percent lower BMR. Women also tend to have a smaller body size.

Lean body mass

Lean body mass, which is mostly muscle mass, is more metabolically active than fat tissue, so more calories are needed to maintain it. Athletes who have a large percentage of lean body mass due to their increased muscle mass will have a higher BMR than individuals who aren’t athletic.

Body size

Larger individuals will have a higher BMR due to increased surface area compared with smaller individuals. More surface area means more heat lost from the body, which causes the metabolism rate to increase to maintain the body’s temperature.

Genes

Research suggests that genes may affect BMR, as individuals within families have similar metabolic rates. Ethnicity African-Americans have BMRs that are about 10 percent lower than that of Caucasians.

Stress

Hormones such as epinephrine, which are released during emotional stress, increase BMR. Physiological stress on the body caused by injury, fever, burns, and infections also causes the release of hormones that raise BMR. Heat lost from the body through wounds, as well as the response of the immune system during infection, increase BMR.

Hormones

An increase in thyroid hormone increases BMR, whereas too little of this hormone lowers BMR. Hormone fluctuations during a woman’s menstrual cycle lower BMR during the phase before ovulation. Starvation Both starvation and fasting for more than about 48 hours lower BMR.

Drugs

Nicotine may increase BMR. Drugs such as amphetamines and ephedrine increase BMR.

Now It’s Time to Calculate Your BMR

Before you continue to calculate your BMR below, I would like to tell you that these calculations may not 100% accurate. The result that you’ll get is not going to be 100% exact… but it will give you a rough estimation that you can effectively work with to lose weight.

In order to get a 100% accurate BMR, it requires you a trip to the lab, being hooked up to some crazy-looking gizmos, and running a gas analysis on your body.

Determining your BMR is fairly easy. I have provided calculations in U.S. measurements and in metric form. There are also separate calculations for men and women.

Let’s get started…

How to Calculate BMR for Men (U.S. Measurement)

Here is the step by step of how to calculate basal metabolic rate in U.S. measurement for men:

A. Multiply your current weight by 6.23.

B. Multiply your height in inches by 12.7.

C. Multiply your age in years by 6.8.

The formula is, 66 + A +B – C = _________ → this number is your unique BMR

For my case in 3 week diet system review, my unique BMR was 1660.15 calories. Using the above steps, here is how I calculate it:

I’m a 40 years old, 5’ 6 male weighing 165 lbs. 66 + (6.23 x 165 pounds) + (12.7 x 66 inches) – (6.8 x 40 years old). Thus my BMR is, 66 + 1027.95 + 838.2 – 272 = 1660.15

How to Calculate BMR for Women (U.S. Measurement)

Here is the step by step of how to calculate basal metabolic rate in U.S. measurement for women:

A. Multiply your current weight by 4.35.

B. Multiply your height in inches by 4.7.

C. Multiply your age in years by 4.7.

The formula is, 655 + A +B – C = _________

For example, you’re a 40 years old, 5’ 6 female weighing 165 lbs. 655 + (4.35 x 165 pounds) + (4.7 x 66 inches) – (4.7 x 40 years old).

Thus your BMR is, 655 + 717.75 + 310.2 – 188 = 1494.95

How to Calculate BMR for Men (Metric Measurement)

Here is the step by step of how to calculate basal metabolic rate in metric measurement for men:

A. Multiply your current weight in kilos by 13.7.

B. Multiply your height in centimeters by 5.

C. Multiply your age in years by 6.8.

The formula is, 66 + A +B – C = _________ → this number is your unique BMR

For example, you’re a 40 years old, 167cm male weighing 90 kilos. 66 + (13.7 x 90 kg) + (5 x 167cm) – (6.8 x 40 years old).

Thus your BMR is, 66 + 717.75 + 310.2 – 188 = 1862

How to Calculate BMR for Women (Metric Measurement)

Here is the step by step of how to calculate basal metabolic rate in metric measurement for women:

A. Multiply your current weight in kilos by 9.6.

B. Multiply your height in centimeters by 1.8.

C. Multiply your age in years by 4.7.

The formula is, 655 + A +B – C = _________

For example, you’re a 40 years old, 167cm female weighing 90 kilos. 655 + (9.6 x 90 kg) + (1.8 x 167cm) – (4.7 x 40 years old).

Thus your BMR is, 655 + 864 + 300.6 – 188 = 1631.6

Note:

If these manual calculations isn’t for you or just too much work, you can check out this online BMR calculator.

Now It’s Your Turn to Calculate Basal Metabolic Rate

Now you know how to calculate your Basal Metabolic Rate for your weight loss journey. If you understand your basal metabolic rate, you will know how much calories you need to consume a day to create a calorie deficit. I’d like to hear from you. Drop me a note in the comments.

Pin It on Pinterest

Shares
Share This