We hear a lot about metabolism and ways to speed it up. So, what is your basal metabolic rate and what does that mean? Your basal metabolic rate, or BMR, is the amount of energy measured in calories your body needs to complete all necessary functions of life while at rest. This includes breathing, circulation, and keeping your heart beating. Everything above and beyond this, including activities of daily living and exercise, add to this number to increase your total caloric expenditure.
Caffeine, spicy foods, drinking cold water and even certain diets claim to increase metabolism (and may temporarily) but the reality is, the greatest influencer of your metabolism is your total lean mass or muscle mass. Two people that are the same height and weight will have different BMR’s based on their body composition. To change the amount of energy you burn at rest, you will have to increase your lean mass through consistent and diligent resistance training.
So how do you calculate your BMR?
You can use the Harris-Benedict equation listed below or there are plenty of online calculators that will do the work for you. It’s important to note that even this equation is not a perfect science and that these calculators often do not factor in body composition.
Beyond your BMR, you can determine your total energy expenditure, or TEE, by using the equations below based on your lifestyle. If you’re attempting to count calories for weight loss or management, it’s worth noting that most fitness trackers tend to exaggerate caloric burn during workouts, so remember, it’s just an estimate.
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Harris–Benedict equation. (2018, March 20). Retrieved from https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Harris–Benedict_equation
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