Everybody requires a minimum number of calories to live. This minimum number is called the basal metabolic rate (BMR). Your BMR is the number of calories your organs need to function while you perform no activity whatsoever—like if you stayed in bed all day.
If you're looking to lose weight, build muscle, or maintain your weight, this information can help you calculate the number of calories you need so you can make more informed decisions about your nutrition and exercise. Use this calculator to learn your BMR and the next steps to move toward your fitness goals!
Now that you know the approximate number of calories your body needs to survive, here are your next steps.
1. Pick a Workout Program
If you're trying to burn more calories or lose weight, a systematic training program is a must! Here are the most popular ones from BodyFit:
2. Calculate Your Calories
Unless you're stuck in bed, your BMR isn't how many calories you're burning. Bodybuilding.com's calorie calculator can help you get a more accurate picture of your calorie needs based on your lifestyle and fitness goals.
3. Learn About the Best Fat-Loss Supplements.
Supplements can help you accelerate your results once you have your calories and training in place. Krissy Kendall, Ph.D., shares her recommendations in the article, "5 Ways to Up Your Fat-Loss Supplement Game."
4. Join a fitness community.
For over 10 years, members of BodySpace have been helping each other build their best bodies. Join a fitness community that's over 2 million people strong!
How did we calculate your BMR?
Bodybuilding.com's calculator uses the Harris-Benedict equation, which is considered by many experts to be the most accurate BMR calculation for most types of people. Here's how it works:
For men: BMR = 66.5 + (13.75 x weight in kg) + (5.003 x height in cm) – (6.755 x age in years)
For women: BMR = 655.1 + (9.563 x weight in kg) + (1.850 x height in cm) – (4.676 x age in years)
Bear in mind that this doesn't take your activity level into account!
What Is a Healthy BMR?
This will vary person by person. Since your basal metabolic rate is based largely on involuntary functions like breathing and pumping blood, changes in your day-to-day activity don't do much to raise or lower this number. However, increasing muscle mass does increase BMR, because muscle is metabolically "hungry" and it takes more energy to maintain more muscle. This means that when you have a lot of muscle mass, you'll burn more calories at rest.
The overall number of calories your body uses on a daily basis is referred to as your "total daily energy expenditure" (TDEE). It's determined based on your BMR as well as your activity level throughout the day. This varies significantly based on your activity level, age, and sex.
You can use a TDEE calculator or calorie calculator to find this number to get a more specific result. Keep in mind, though, that it's impossible to know your exact TDEE, as your activity levels will change day to day, and the only way to get 100 percent accurate BMR numbers is through laboratory testing.
What's the Difference Between BMR and RMR?
The term BMR is sometimes used synonymously with RMR, which stands for "resting metabolic rate." The difference is that while BMR only measures basic processes of breathing, blood circulation, and temperature regulation in a completely resting state, RMR also includes energy expended by digestion and non-exercise daily movements, like getting dressed and lifting your fork to your mouth.
BMR and RMR numbers are typically close enough to be interchangeable, but if you're calculating your needs in order to gain or lose weight, pay attention to which number an equation calls for. If it's based on BMR, you can use the calculator above to get an estimate. If the equation uses RMR, use our RMR calculator, which will give you a slightly higher number.
How Can I Use My BMR to Lose Fat or Gain Muscle?
Once you use your BMR to determine your TDEE, you can make sure that the nutrition plan you follow is appropriate for your level of energy expenditure and that it isn't giving you too many or too few calories. Being armed with this knowledge, rather than guesstimating or blindly following a plan without scaling it to your individual needs, can make or break your muscle gains or fat loss.
Get Systematic About Your Results
Once you have your BMR, it's time to take the same kind of strategic approach to the rest of your training and nutrition. These popular calculators can help you dial in your plan!
- How Many Calories Should You Eat Per Day?
- Macro Calculator: Count Your Macros Like a Pro!
- Lean Body Mass Calculator