Written by Frank Tucker

The Basal Metabolic Rate or BMR is the minimum amount of energy expended while at rest in a neutrally temperate environment. While the body is at rest, you require minimum energy to maintain the bodily functions; in simple words, it is your metabolic rate while at total rest, like sleeping, breathing and digesting food.  I really don’t use this as much as I could though I believe this can certainly help tailor treatment plans.  I do normally educate using healthy weight practices from the CDC more often which is a great resource.

Most people may be surprised to know that even sleep requires a constant supply of energy for basic bodily functions. In some people, this may be 50 to 75 percent of their energy. BMR is calculated with the help of BMR calculators, which use weight, height, gender and age to calculate an approximate caloric need per day, which you can use to stay on track with a healthy diet. The average BMR for adults ranges between 1200 to 1800 calories.

Revised Harris-Benedict Equation

Revised Harris Benedict Equation is a tool to determine the values of BMR. Also known as the Harris Benedict Principle, the Harris Benedict Equation was first published in 1918 and 1919. This equation was revised by Roza and Shizgal in 1984, and named as Revised Harris-Benedict Equation.

BMR is calculated using your weight in kg, your height in cm, and your age in years. The BMR formula calculation using the Revised Harris Benedict Equation

Metric for men

BMR- 88.362 + ( 13.397 x weight in kg ) + ( 4.799 x height in cm ) – ( 5.677 x age in years )

Metric for women

BMR- 447.593 + ( 9.247 x weight in kg ) + ( 3.098 x height in cm ) – (4.330 x age in years )

Standard for men

BMR = 66 + (6.23 X weight in pounds) + (12.7 X height in inches) – (6.8 X age)

Standard for women

BMR = 655 + (4.35 X weight in pounds) + (4.7 X height in inches) – (4.7 X age)

BMR is measured under basal conditions- 12 hours after eating, after a night’s sleep, no exercise or activity preceding test, without emotional stress and at a comfortable temperature. In certain conditions like hypothyroidism, the basal metabolic rate is decreased; whereas, in hyperthyroidism, it is increased.  This does not factor a number of conditions that can influence BMR.  Once the BMR is calculated, we then factor in physical activity using this formula below to determine estimated daily caloric needs.

  1. Sedentary (little or no exercise) : Calorie-Calculation = BMR x 1.2
  2. Light activity (light exercise/sports 1-3 days/week) : Calorie-Calculation = BMR x 1.375
  3. Moderate activity (moderate exercise/sports 3-5 days/week) : Calorie-Calculation = BMR x 1.55
  4. Very Active (hard exercise/sports 6-7 days a week) : Calorie-Calculation = BMR x 1.725
  5. Extremely Active (very hard exercise/sports & physical job or 2x training) : Calorie-Calculation = BMR x 1.9


BMR can be a good indicator of your constant calorie consumption. Since BMR is responsible for approximately 60 to 70 percent of the calories you would burn in a day, it can be a good way to estimate the number of calories you need to achieve or maintain a healthy weight.  Increase in BMR offers a number of health benefits, such as reduced risk of developing heart diseases, stroke, heart attacks and diabetes.  There are several genetic and environmental factors that can impact basal metabolic rate. This includes age, weight, height, gender, diet as well as exercise. Genetics can also play a major role.  The BMR is not perfect and there are a number of ways to calculate BMR.  We have found the Harris Benedict equation to be the closest to accuracy as it factors activity.  There are many factors that may result in your caloric needs for maintaining a healthy weight different.  Therefore, we highly advise that you see a health professional before starting any program to be sure its tailored for you.  Learn more about maintaining healthy weight from the CDC. 

This blog is not intended to diagnose, treat, cure or prevent any disease. This blog is for information purpose only.  As always, please consult your healthcare provider if you have any health concerns and certainly before starting a treatment program.