Why Use a BMR Calculator
If you are interested in managing your weight or manipulating your body fat, then it really helps to know both your BMR and your TDEE. These are metrics that will help you understand calorie burn, so you know how much you should be eating, and how active you should aim to be, so that you can improve your body composition. Use our BMR calculator here.
What is BMR?
BMR is your basal metabolic rate. That is the amount of energy your body burns simply by existing. Your BMR is how much you would burn simply by lying in bed all day. Even a sedentary office worker burns more than their BMR on a day to day basis, even if not by much.
Your TDEE is the number of calories you burn in total for your day to day activities, including general living and also exercise. What a lot of people don’t understand is that exercise has to be very intense to burn a lot of calories. Most of your daily burn, unless you really are a professional athlete, will come from your BMR.
What is My BMR
You can calculate your BMR based on your age, weight, height and gender and get a pretty accurate idea of the number of calories you burn while completely sedentary.
Our BMR calculator offers a good idea of your basal metabolic rate. There are variances. Someone with a lot of muscle and low body fat percentage will burn more calories per day than someone who is the same height, weight, age and gender but who has less muscle and more fat. These differences are minor, though, so you can still get a good idea of your BMR just from those small bits of information.
What Does it Tell You
Your BMR gives you an idea of how much you can eat each day. You can multiply your BMR by a modifier based on your activity level to get an idea of how many calories you should eat to lose, gain or maintain your weight. A sedentary woman could multiply their BMR by 1.2 to find out their approximate TDEE. A moderately active person would multiply their BMR by 1.6 to learn how much to eat to maintain their weight.
How do You Use a BMR Calculator
To use a BMR calculator, all you need to provide is your height, weight, and for more accuracy age and gender so that the calculator can make educated guesses about how much lean mass and fat mass you are carrying. Both fat and muscle are metabolically active, but to different degrees, so it’s useful to have an idea of what your build might be.
It’s frustrating for some people, but on average men can eat more calories than women because they have more lean mass even when they are the same height and weight.
Knowing your BMR can help you though because it gives you a baseline and lets you work out what your macros should be. Eating a bit more protein might keep you full for longer, so you don’t feel deprived even while you are trying to manipulate your body fat composition.
It also helps you to understand how much exercise you might need, so that you can understand what you are doing with your nutrition. For example, if you want to build muscle, you need to get enough protein and you need to be eating enough calories to support the repair of your muscles. Building muscle while on a calorie deficit is very hard.
If you are trying to lose weight then you need to be in a calorie deficit, but the deficit might be hard to maintain if it is too aggressive. Some people find that it’s better to eat a tiny bit more then exercise more to make up for that. Note that the key here is ‘a tiny bit’. You can’t treat yourself to a takeout after a 60 minute gym session, but you might be able to have a small extra snack during the day.
You Can Change Your BMR
The good news is that you can change your BMR. Building muscle helps you to burn more calories while you are at rest. Conversely, if you were obese and had a lot of weight to lose, then you might find that when you get closer to your goal weight your BMR actually decreases because your body is smaller. You have less fat and potentially a bit less muscle as well so you need fewer calories to maintain your weight.
Contrary to popular belief, that does not mean your metabolism is broken. Smaller bodies need fewer calories. That’s just how energy works. Embrace that and enjoy having a smaller shopping bill! Learn to make good use of your calorie allowance by consuming nutritious foods that are high in protein and high in micronutrients.
Planning Your Diet
Your BMR is a useful tool for planning your diet. Depending on what sort of diet you were, or were not, following before you might get quite a shock when you learn what your baseline is. That’s OK. Give it a few days so that you can adjust to taking in the right number of calories before you start worrying about long term lifestyle changes and sustainability. It will be tough to adjust at first, but you can get there.
Choose fiber-rich foods so that your digestive system is working optimally, protein for your muscles, and fats for fat-soluble vitamins and to keep your hormone system working properly. These will all help to keep you feeling satisfied, and that will make it easier for you to stay within your desired calorie range, whether that’s for fat loss or muscle gain.
It takes a long time to see results, but with patience you can build your dream figure. Knowing about macros and not just calories means that you can use the knowledge of your BMR to plan out a diet in much greater detail, and as they say, knowledge really is power.