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Thread: Basal Metabolic Rate 101

  1. #1
    Onerepmaximum's Avatar
    Join Date
    Mar 2003
    Witness Protection Program

    Post Basal Metabolic Rate 101

    Basal Metabolic Rate 101
    by onerepmaximum

    Have you ever heard the saying, “Work smarter, not harder.”? The purpose of this article is to help you do just that. In these next few paragraphs I will discuss what a basal metabolic rate (BMR) is, how you find out what your BMR is and how you can use it as a road map to successful fat loss.

    Basal metabolic rate, or BMR, is the minimum caloric requirement needed to sustain life in a resting individual. It can be looked at as being the amount of energy (measured in calories) expended by the body to remain in bed asleep all day. Calories are burned by bodily processes such as respiration, the pumping of blood around the body and maintenance of body temperature. Obviously, most of us don’t spend all day asleep in bed, so you will burn calories in addition to your BMR by going about your daily business.

    There are factors that will affect your BMR. Age will affect how many calories your body burns at rest, the older you are, your BMR will steadily decrease. The more lean tissue in the body, the higher the BMR, the more fatty body tissue, the lower the BMR. (The more lean body mass or LBM a person has, the more efficient their body is at burning calories).

    Fasting, starving or malnutrition all result in a lowering of BMR. This lowering of BMR can be one side effect of following a diet and nothing else. Solely dieting, i.e. reducing the amount of calories the body takes in, will not be as effective as dieting along with increased exercise. The negative effect of dieting on BMR can be offset with a positive effect from increased exercise. This means that just “not eating” will cause you to retain fat. Your body will go into a sort of self-preservation mode. It will try to stay alive as long as possible with what it is being given, and that means storing as much fat as possible.

    There should be extra emphasis on the statement:

    “Your BMR increases in response to increased physical activity”

    Not only do we use up calories doing exercise, metabolism is raised by physical activity and the BMR spike it causes continues even after we have done our exercise, often for several hours. The amount of increase varies from person to person but even a modest increase should counteract the body's tendency to decrease BMR when we cut calories. The exact reason why physical exercise leads to an increased BMR is not known. The present consensus is that exercise preserves more of our lean body tissue. Remember, the higher our proportion of lean body tissue the higher our metabolic rate will be.

    What else can be done to increase your BMR? Your body also burns calories by digesting food. The amount of food and the time it is eaten can be conducive to burning fat with less effort. Once your BMR has been computed (which you learn to do later in this article), you should divide your total allowance of calories into five or six smaller “meals”. You should eat one of these meals every 2 ½ to 3 hours. This will cause a thermogenic effect because your body will expend energy during the digestion process. In addition to the thermogenic condition that is created, the increased number of smaller meals will make your body less likely to store fat as a means to prevent starving, even though your total number of calories may be reduced.

    One more key thing that can be done to increase your BMR is to increase your water intake. This is a pretty easy thing to do that can make a big difference in the rate at which your body will lose fat. If your body is lacking in water, your BMR will be slowed because your liver will have to spend more of it’s energy storing water and less energy burning fat.

    Now that you know what a BMR is and why it is a good thing to know for dieting purposes, how can we find out what our BMR is? The mathematical equation for calculating BMR is a two part process and is as follows:

    Calorie requirement

    BMR= (Weight in kilograms) x 24 kcal/day

    Activity requirement

    Heavy Activity -----Ã BMR x 50%

    Moderate Activity -----Ã BMR x 40%

    Light Activity -----Ã BMR x 30%

    If you are reading this, you obviously have the ability to use the internet (thank you Al Gore). You can also go to your favorite search engine and type in the words “basal metabolic rate calculator”. A plethora of links will be returned what will allow you just to type in your stats and activity level and the computation will be done for you.

    Going on a diet without knowing what your body’s calorie requirements are, is a “best guess” scenario. Once you know exactly how many calories your body needs to sustain its current form, you can begin to reduce or add (depending on your goals) to your calorie intake to help you achieve the physique you desire. Knowing is a big part of the battle. You can use this knowledge as another tool in your toolbox that will help you on your way to your well being.

  2. #2


    rock on bro, excellent article, thanks for the info.


  3. #3
    Join Date
    Dec 2003
    The Bull Pin


    Great post, ORM!!! A little special K coming your way.

  4. #4
    Twistdenigma Guest


    Great article bro. Someone's going to get a little musical instrument for that one!!!!

  5. #5
    Join Date
    Apr 2003


    a smart person once told me to simply use your bodyweight x 12 to come up with how many clas you should be taking in a day then adjust according to your goals
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  6. #6
    Join Date
    Jan 2003


    My BMR is on the low side because there's no way I could eat what other people my weight eat and not wake up fused to my couch.

  7. #7


    Dial_tone, I am in the same boat. You know what's weird though, I can eat 18+ x my bodyweight if I eat minimal carbs and not gain any weight. But I can easily gain weight at 12-14 x my bodyweight on moderate carbs.

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