Know Your Basal Metabolic Rate[BMR]
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Knowing your Basal Metabolic Rate or BMR can help you boost your health in many ways.
So far I have discussed with you facts regarding Obesity which includes methods to know if you are overweight, obese, or having an ideal body weight.
Today, we are going to find out how you come to this conclusion.
What is Basal Metabolic Rate or BMR?
Our body weight depends upon how much we eat and how much we exercise [accept if you are genetically predisposed]. This leads us to a calculation called Basal Metabolic Rate or simply BMR. What is this BMR?
BMR is the minimum energy to keep us alive while we are resting. It is in fact the number of calories your body needs to spend during resting or sleeping. It depends on factors such as age, body weight, types of activity, and gender of a person.
To understand this, first, you need to know what is metabolism. Metabolism is the chemical activity going on in our body to keep us alive. This starts with eating, exercising[ can be anything from sitting to jogging], and resting. So, if our metabolism comes to a standstill, it means we are no longer alive. Metabolism slows down with age so does our BMR. Basal metabolic rate is also termed by some as the Resting Metabolic Rate.
The table below shows the basal metabolic rate or the resting metabolic rate in men and women depending on their height.
The above picture shows how much energy we spend while sleeping. The calories you spend while you are awake, exercising, moving about is not included in the BMR. Think of it as the number of calories needed to keep you alive if you were always sleeping!
Does age affect the BMR?
Our BMR reduces by 2% every 10 years after the age of 20. As we age and if we follow the same pattern of eating and lifestyle, at age of 20,30,40, with the lowered BMR, we tend to accumulate more calories which get converted to fats at different places in our body giving it the overweight/obese look.
Ideal BMR for different heights is as given above. By exercising, you tend to increase muscle mass, thereby increasing it.
As mentioned earlier, aging slows down the metabolism of our body. But regular exercise like walking, weight training, swimming etc., improves our muscle mass and reduces fats.
Now calculate accordingly for your age. A formula to arrive at your present BMR is given below:-
Using this calculation you can keep your body weight in check by increasing your activities that burn calories and reduce the intake of calories by consuming a healthy diet.
How can knowing your BMR help?
Knowing your BMR can help you to-
- Maintain ideal body weight-eat and burn an equal amount of calories
- Gain weight if you are underweight- increase your calory intake
- Reduce weight if you are obese or overweight- your BMR is likely to be high here. Accordingly, reduce calories and burn more calories by exercising.
To know more about metabolism and its effect you can refer to these sites-
As we go ahead I will show you methods to keep your body weight in the ideal range. If you are are having any other co-morbid conditions like High B.P., hypothyroidism, diabetes, arthritis it is better to consult your family physician. In my next blog, I will be discussing the above mentioned co-morbid conditions one by one and natural ways to tackle them other than medications.