Basal Metabolic Rate and Caloric Needs

One of the most important aspects of health and fitness is nutrition. As a person gets older their metabolism slows down and weight gain is inevitable. By eating the proper foods and calories we can increase our metabolism and maximize our bodies efficiency.
The BMR formula uses variables of height, weight, age and gender to calculate the Basal Metabolic Rate (BMR). This is more accurate than calculating calorie needs based on body weight alone and takes into account all of the above factors. The only factor it omits is lean body mass and thus the ratio of muscle-to-fat a body has. Leaner bodies need more calories than less leaner ones because muscle burns more calories than fat. Therefore, this equation will be very accurate in all but the very muscular (will underestimate calorie needs) and the very fat (will over-estimate calorie needs). The other important factor to consider for overall health is the types of calories put in your body. Obviously a food that derives more calories from fat are not going to be as good for you and will be a detriment to overall health. All foods are not created equal.

English BMR Formula
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 )

Metric BMR Formula
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 )

Taking into account this formula I will use myself as an example.
BMR=66 + (6.23 x 205) + (12.7 x 76) – (6.8 x 44)

My Basal Metabolic Rate is 2009.15 which is the number of calories I must intake with no exercise or activity to maintain my weight.

Once the BMR has been calculated, this is then added to the Harris Benedict Formula, which calculates your calorie intake required to maintain your current weight. this is as follows:

Little/no exercise: BMR *1.2 = Total Calorie Need
Light exercise: BMR * 1.375 = Total Calorie Need
Moderate exercise (3-5 days/wk): BMR *1.55 = Total Calorie Need
Very Active (6-7 days/wk): BMR *1.725 = Total Calorie Need
Extra active (very active & Physical job): BMR *1.9 = Total Calorie Need

Based upon this formula with a very active lifestyle and extreme exercises my caloric intake to simply maintain my weight is 3465.78. Also taking into account that there are times where I won’t work out as hard or take days off for recovery the numbers will change but basically I need to eat a lot of clean, healthy food. Another factor I have is that doing certain exercises such as an extreme cardio program such as Insanity, I will burn more calories. On top of that, I have tracked up to 48 hours afterward and my rate of calorie burn is increased, even at rest, meaning I need to eat even more food to maintain the same weight. The other side of the equation is eating less to lose weight. There is a point of diminishing return where eating too little will cause weight gain. This is due to the fact that the body does need fuel(calories) to survive. Once it determines it’s not getting enough fuel it will store fat for future energy and sustenance just like a bear hibernating.

Eating right and moderate exercise will improve your quality of life in so many ways it’s amazing. The body is an incredible machine and if treated right will do exactly what it is supposed to do.

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Author:Michael McDonald

Fitness nut who golfs and rides motorcycles. Diagnosed with COPD in 2009 which got me started on a healthier path in my life. Now I share my experience to help give people hope.

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