What is a BMR?
Your BMR or Basal Metabolic Rate is the number of calories your body burns while at rest. This doesn’t mean the calories you burn on a rest day lightly doing yoga or chores around the house. This means the number of calories your body would burn if you were laying in bed all day or if you were in a coma.
Why can’t I cut calories from my BMR?
Cutting calories from your BMR deprives your body of essential nutrients it needs to perform everyday functions. You will not be able to perform on a level you want to and your body will suffer from this in the long run.
How can I find my BMR?
You can find your BMR by using this formula based on height, weight, and age:
Women: BMR = 655 + ( 4.35 x weight in pounds ) + ( 4.7 x height in inches ) – ( 4.7 x age in years )
Men: BMR = 66 + ( 6.23 x weight in pounds ) + ( 12.7 x height in inches ) – ( 6.8 x age in year )
Women: BMR = 655 + ( 9.6 x weight in kilos ) + ( 1.8 x height in cm ) – ( 4.7 x age in years )
Men: BMR = 66 + ( 13.7 x weight in kilos ) + ( 5 x height in cm ) – ( 6.8 x age in years )
How do I find my Daily Calorie Needs from my BMR?
There are different methods of finding your Daily Calorie Needs but a very simple and useful one is the Harris Benedict Equation:
If you are sedentary (little or no exercise)
- BMR x 1.2
If you are lightly active (light exercise/sports 1-3 days/week)
- BMR x 1.375
If you are moderatetely active (moderate exercise/sports 3-5 days/week)
- BMR x 1.55
If you are very active (hard exercise/sports 6-7 days a week)
- BMR x 1.725
If you are extra active (very hard exercise/sports & physical job or 2x training)
- BMR x 1.9
How many calories do I need to lose/maintain/gain weight?
To maintain you need to consume your Daily Calorie Needs but going slightly over or slightly under some days won’t affect you much. In order to lose weight, the generally accepted number to subtract from your Daily Calorie Needs is 500 or 250 for a 1lb or 1/2lb weight loss per week. Your body doesn’t need you to cut calories to be healthy and get to the right weight/place it needs to be. Being healthy is your ultimate goal so never cut too much because this is your body’s essential needs and energy you are taking away from. To gain weight you can do the opposite of losing and add 500 or 250 to you Daily Calorie Needs.
My absolute worst pet peeve is when fitblrs and posts tell people to cut calories from their BMR to lose weight. You should never cut calories from your BMR. Ever.