Understanding the inner workings of your body can be overwhelming. I got it. But even if you’re trying Boost your metabolismtrack your physical progress or focus on weight management plan, it is important to understand some: basal metabolic rate.
Simply put, basal metabolic rate (BMR) is the number of calories your body burns while performing basic life-sustaining functions such as breathing, hair growth, digesting food, and storing food. let your heart beat. Alyssa Lombardiexercise physiologist, running coach and founder Coach Alyssa RunFit. “BMR is the minimum amount of calories your body needs to maintain its current weight.”
Meet the experts: Alyssa Lombardi is an ACSM Certified Clinical Exercise Physiologist, Certified Personal Trainer, Certified Running Trainer, and Founder Coach Alyssa RunFit. Cara CarmichaelCPT, is a NASM certified personal trainer, OrangeTheory trainer, and certified PN nutrition coach.
It is important to know what it is not. BMR is not based on your activity level or how much you exercise. It is the rate at which your body burns calories just to perform essential bodily functions.
And, don’t confuse your basal metabolic rate with resting metabolic rate (RMR). “RMR is your BMR plus a very small daily activity level like walking to the bathroom, getting out of bed and eating, but essentially resting,” notes Lombardi.
There is no one-size-fits-all BMR. Numbers are based on height, weight, gender, age, muscle mass, and body fat. Knowing your BMR can help you regulate your weight and how your body responds to life’s activities. “As your activity level, exercise, and age change, your BMR will change,” says Lombardi. “Checking it regularly can be helpful to know, so you can adjust your lifestyle to maintain a healthy weight.”
It’s just a sneak peek at all that BMR can do. Read on for full details on how to calculate your basal metabolic rate, why knowing your BMR is important, and more from the experts.
How to determine your BMR
There are several different ways to calculate BMR. To get the exact and completely correct BMR required Scan DEXA, Lombardi said. “Basically, this is a photo of your body that tells you the composition of your body fat, muscle, and bone density,” she says. However, a DEXA scan uses low-dose X-rays, is done in a hospital, and requires an in-person visit with your doctor.
Since DEXA scans cannot be accessed accurately, Lombardi recommends an online calculator such as Omni computer for easier (and free!) measurement at home. Although less accurate, learn display online calculator using The Harris-Benedict . equation takes your height, weight, age, and sex into account to give you a rough estimate of your BMR.
Since The Harris-Benedict . equation without taking into account muscle mass or body fat, there are limitations to its accuracy. You can estimate it yourself with the equation for women below.
Calculate your BMR: 655 + (9.6 x weight in kg) + (1.8 x height in cm) – (4.7 x age in years)
It is important to note that men generally have a higher BMR than women. In general, men are taller and have more muscle than women, leading to a higher BMR, Lombardi explains. The more muscle you have, the higher your BMR will be.
You may be wondering… is my smartwatch giving the correct BMR? The short answer is no. Smart watch tracker uses your movement, heart rate, height, and weight to provide some calorie information, but has no effect on muscle mass or body fat, both of which contribute to your BMR. Cara Carmichael, CPT. “The number the watch is making is not necessarily based on the individual,” she said. “It’s a more basic formula and there’s a lot of room for error.”
While smartwatches aren’t 100% accurate, they can give you a good starting point, adds Lombardi. But remember not to focus on the numbers. Instead, capture this information to understand your body and the calories it needs.
Why BMR is a useful piece of health data
In addition to increasing your knowledge (and appreciation!) of how your body works, knowing your BMR can help you achieve your health and fitness goals. Here are some benefits of your BMR:
- Understand calorie needs. Knowing your BMR can help you determine your nutrition plan and realize your daily calorie needs, Carmichael explained. “A lot of us don’t really know how much food we need to consume to get through the day without breaking down, but your BMR can serve as a baseline,” she says. ” she said. By knowing how many calories your body naturally burns, you can gauge how much you need to eat to gain (eat more calories than you burn), decrease (eat fewer calories than you burn), or maintain your health. maintain weight (eat the same number of calories you burn).
- Weight management. Whether you’re looking to lose or gain weight, understanding your BMR can help speed the process by giving you the information you need to help. Set up a diet that fits your goals, Lombardi said. Once you know your BMR – or how many calories your body burns for baseline activity – you can use this as a basis for how many calories you need for the day. The higher your BMR, the more calories you can consume without gaining weight, she explains.
- Track fitness progress. Lombardi says: If your BMR goes up, that usually means you’re gaining muscle and getting stronger. Since gaining muscle is the most effective way to change your BMR, be consistent strength training and tracking your BMR over time can be a great way to measure your progress and # profits.
- Improve metabolism. High BMR is often associated with rapid metabolism and greater muscle mass, while a low BMR may indicate a slower metabolism, lower muscle mass and a higher percentage of body fat, Carmichael says. “A lot of people want to boost their metabolism, but you have to understand that to do that, you need to build more muscle and increase your BMR,” she says.
How to improve your BMR
Take a look at the stats in the BMR equation above, and you’ll get a rough idea of how you can move the BMR needle. Incorporate strength training into your workout And gaining muscle is the most effective way to change and increase your BMR, says Carmichael. “Muscle uses more energy than fat at rest, so at any weight, the more muscle in your body, the higher your BMR.”
Carmichael recommends incorporating strength training at least twice a week to build muscle and raise your BMR. But remember, consistency is key and change doesn’t happen overnight. “So a lot of people look for quick fixes, but in reality it’s about sustainability and sustainable habits.”
Changing your BMR can help boost your metabolism, lose weight, build strength, or establish an optimal meal plan, but there’s no magic number. “Each individual has a different BMR and is not comparable,” says Carmichael. What is considered “healthy” varies from person to person and their goals. The Average BMR for women is about 1400 kcal and about 1700 kcal for men, she said.
Key point: BMR is a personalized statistic that can’t be compared to anyone else’s, but taking your measurements and learning how your body is functioning can help you reach your health and fitness goals. me.
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