Using our free online BMR Calculator is extremely easy but you may be wondering, “What is BMR?” You may have heard the term BMR in conjunction with the term BMI in discussions about a healthy body but had no idea what it meant. Simply put, BMR is your basal (a fancy way of saying base) metabolic rate. Your BMR is the amount of energy expended by the body when it is at rest in a comfortable position and environment. This means that your BMR cannot be established when you are all hot and sweaty after a run, after a stressful day of work or after chasing the kids around; you need to be completely at rest.
In addition, your insides have to be at rest as well. Your heart rate can’t be elevated, you shouldn’t need to have to use the bathroom and even your digestive system has to be at rest. The ideal time to check your BMR is after a good night’s sleep and at least 12 hours after your last meal or drink. A calorimeter is needed to precisely check your BMR (when all of the prior conditions are met), which most people don’t have access to. That is why the average person uses the MD Miffin and ST St Jeor calculator to determine BMR.
The Miffin-Jeor calculator works from this equation:
BMR = (9.99 x weight + 6.25 x height + 4.92 x age + s ) kcal/day
Some people prefer the Harris-Benedict calculator instead of the Miffin-Jeor calculator because it has separate calculations for men and women. There is some debate over which one is more accurate; but as complete accuracy can only be achieved with a calorimeter, either of these BMR calculations will give you an excellent base for your start towards better health. Some experts claim that the Harris-Benedict calculator is best for those individuals who are already in good shape with a high BMR.
If you are interested in getting a more accurate picture of your BMR, you need to take into consideration your activity levels. If you use the free calculator to determine your BMR, you will be shown a chart that lets you see how to determine your BMR based on your activity level as well.
The Importance of Your BMR
Your BMR is directly related to your metabolism. You know what that is, right? Your metabolism is the mechanism that determines how much exercise you need in order to lose weight and how much food affects your weight loss and weight gain. In fact, your BMR is the biggest contributor to the function of your metabolism. As you can guess, the higher your BMR the easier it is for you to achieve weight loss goals or maintain a healthy body.
Using a calculator allows you to easily determine what your BMR is and gives you an idea of what you need to do in order to lose weight and increase your BMR. While your BMR doesn’t impact your heart as much as your BMI (body mass index) does, increasing your BMR helps to reduce your BMI, which equals a healthier heart.
Things that Affect Your BMR
Genes: There are a lot of factors that affect your BMR and a major one is genetics. There are many things that you get from your parents and that includes your body’s chemistry and your ability to lose weight and stay healthy. While it might be easy to blame your ancestors, the truth is that even with bad genes you can still achieve a high BMR; it is just going to take more work on your part. Yes, it kind of stinks that you have to work harder than someone whose genetics predisposition them to have an easier time health wise, but when you start feeling better you will be glad that you did.
Gender: Another thing that affects your rate is your gender. Women, this is one more thing that you have to worker harder at to be as good as men. Technically this falls under the genetics category as genetically speaking men simply have higher muscle mass than women which equates to a higher BMR.
Age: The older you are the lower your BMR is and the harder you have to work to stay in shape. On average, after the age of 20, your basal metabolic rate will drop by 2% every ten years.
Weight: Your weight will determine your BMR as well. This may surprise you but the bigger you are the higher your rate will be. This, however, doesn’t mean you are healthy, just that your body expends more energy moving around a heavy body than a lighter one. What this means is that you can lose weight faster if you actually exercise and eat well (at least initially).
Body Mass Index: Your BMI will also determine your BMR; these two elements work in conjunction with each other. The lower your BMI the higher your BMR, the higher your BMI the lower your BMR.
One thing that many people do wrong when trying to increase their BMR is they reduce their calorie intake drastically. This does exactly opposite of what you would expect. Instead of increasing your BMR, you body goes into starvation mode (thinks that there isn’t enough food) and your metabolism slows down. In turn, this decreases your BMR.
You have seen BMI mentioned in this article several times now in conjunction with BMR. In order to reduce your BMI and increase your BMR, you need to exercise. There is some debate about which is better for BMR, aerobic exercise or anaerobic exercise. Some experts claim that cardio exercise is the key to a high BMR; however, new studies are showing results that suggest that anaerobic exercise is the better choice.
The reason for this is that aerobic exercise, such as running, is about burning calories while anaerobic exercise, such as weight lifting, is about increasing muscle mass. Muscle mass increases BMR. Anaerobic exercise reduces fat and changes it to muscle, while aerobic exercise encourages fat loss.
Perhaps the best method is to do a combination of exercises to ensure a full body workout and the best health possible.
Your Ideal Basal Metabolic Rate
There is no set number on what your BMR should be; however, ideally your BMR should be about 74.4%. This means that 74.4% of your body is burning energy at rest.
The Benefits of Using Our Free BMR Calculator
Our BMR calculator takes the guesswork out of your estimation. In addition, a BMR calculator gives you the opportunity to determine your rate more accurately and allows you to make adjustments to your caloric intake based on your activity level (not to mention it’s free).
The BMR calculator is very easy to use. Select male or female from the options, put in your age, height and weight (yes, it is all anonymous) and we will show you your BMR. Click on the link that says “how is this calculated?” and you will be taken to our more detailed calculator that allows you to see your BMR for different activity levels (shown in calories burned per day).
Using our free calculator is fast and easy and will get your started on your path to wellness. Why not use the BMR calculator at no charge, today?