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What's a Basic Metabolic Rate (BMR)?
So you've heard that certain foods, drinks and workouts can all increase your "metabolism" but have you stoped to think what your metabolic rate is or how it works? No two people will have the same metabolism. This is because everyone in unique and a person's metabolic rate will depend on the body's size, composition, age, genetics, hormones, and health.
Metabolism is the name more the whole process of converting food into energy. It determines how many calories you burn daily and how many calories are being stored. Your Basic Metabolic Rate is one component of your metabolism; it is the base number of calories you every day to survive (amount of energy your body needs to preform it's basic functions).
How to Calculate Your Basic Metabolic Rate (BMR)
Believe it of not but these basic functions like breathing, digesting, and just living account for 60 - 70% of the calories you burn every day! BMR is the biggest contributing factor in calculating your metabolism. Remember that it does not include other daily activities like moving and exercise.
There is a simple formula that women can use to calculate our BMR.
Your Basic Metabolic Rate Formula:
655 + (4.35 x weight (lbs.)) + (4.7 x height (inches)) - (4.7 x age (years))
Here is an example that I did using my own measurements. My Example: 655 + (4.35 x 135lbs) + (4.7 x 69in) - (4.7 x 24) = 655 + 587.25 + 324.3 - 112.8 = 1,453
Things That Effect Your Metabolism
Your overall health will effect the speed of your metabolism. Generally speaking your metabolic rate is higher when you are sick. It speeds up when you are sick or injured because your body needs to use energy to fight of the infection or heal your wound.
Your metabolic rate is also dependent on your age. Your BMR is higher when you are younger because your body is growing. This is why teenage boys eat like they have a bottomless stomach, they are constantly burning calories while their body develops. This is also why it is easier to gain weight as you age. As you age your body requires less and less calories to function, storing what it doesn't use as fat.
The bigger/taller you are the more you need to sustain yourself. Larger individuals need for energy to support their basic daily bodily functions. Their body's require more upkeep.
Don't you envy those people that seem to eat whatever they want and still remain as thin as a twig? Some people are simply born with a higher or lower metabolic rate than others! This is completely normal.
Body composition refers to what your body is made up of. How much of your body is fat and how much is muscle? Muscle is more metabolic than fat. This is why exercise and especially strength training is important for women. As you build these lean muscles your body will start to burn more calories 24/7 to maintain them!
Hormones have a direct impact on your metabolism. There are two main hormones (thyroxine and triiodothyronine) that are responsible for increasings your BMR. They both come from your thyroid gland.
Because there are so many factors that go into determine your BMR is is hard to calculate even with the formula I provided above. If you are thinking about going on a diet for weight loss purposes than you will need to eat less calories than you burn.