Real Girl Lifestyle

Know your BMR

Posted on: April 21, 2010

A starting tool in your weight-loss journey.

In order to lose weight, you must know how many calories your body burns. Eat more than that, you gain. Eat less, you lose. And it’s actually just that simple–the concept, that is, not the execution. But that’s why I’m here to help. Adapting to this basic concept has become so second nature to me now that I almost never have to worry about gaining significant weight. And it all started with knowing my Base Metabolic Rate, or BMR.

Your BMR tells you how many calories you burn just by living. And yes, I love that sleeping burns calories. Your rate depends on your gender, weight, height, and age. To calculate it, you’ll first have to convert pounds and inches to kilograms and centimeters, which you can do using a handy converter, like this one or this one. Once you’ve got your metric height and weight, the equation looks like this:

For Women: 655 + (9.6 x weight in kg) + (1.8 x height in centimeters) – (4.7 x age in years)

So the BMR of a 30 year old woman, who’s 5’4″ (or 64 inches) and 125 pounds would look like this:

655 + (9.6 x 56.7 kg) + (1.8 x 162.6 cm) – (4.7 x 30) = 1351 calories per day.

If this woman is largely sedentary, doesn’t walk much or go to the gym, just heads into her car, sits at a desk, comes home, sits on a couch, then multiply her BMR by 1.2–for 1621 calories–and that is what she should eat to maintain her current weight. To lose, she will either need to eat less than that number or work out more.

For men, the equation is: 66 + (13.7 x weight in kg) + (5 x height in centimeters) – (6.8 x age in years)

Real Girl’s BMR is 1243.7, and on sedentary days, my calorie intake to maintain my current weight is 1492.4. And indeed, on most days I aim for about 1,300-1,400 calories a day. That leaves me wiggle room for those days I want to eat a bigger meal or go out for dinner.

We’ll get to tips for eating fewer calories in the future, and we’ll talk about how many calories certain exercises burn. Because if you’re serious about weight loss, whatever diet you choose, these are numbers you need to know. Start with your BMR. See how many calories your body naturally burns.

And then we can move forward together.


2 Responses to "Know your BMR"

[…] already gone over calculating your Base Metabolic Rate, so you’ll know given your gender, age, and size how many calories you burn per day at rest. […]

This was great to know, thank you!

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