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What is your Basal Metabolic Rate?

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What is Basal Metabolic Rate (BMR)

Basal metabolic rate (BMR) is an estimate of the minimum amount required energy to maintain the function of each organ, for examples, breathing (lungs), heart beating (heart), glandular secretion (brains and other nervous systems), filtration excretion (kidneys), detoxification (liver) and muscular activities.

BMR defines the measurement taken under natural temperature environment, at a waking but fully inactive state including the digestive system and sympathetic nerve system. That means, it should be measured after around 8 hours of sleep and at least 2 hours fasting. However in practice, RMR (Resting metabolic rate) is much more popular which is measured as the similar way as BMR but not fasting. Being tested after 3-4hours eating food, the normal digestive system and nervous system are in active. RMR result is a little higher, approximately 10% than BMR.

Normally, BMR is determined by your age, weight and height. The BMR of infant is at the highest point and then going down while the age going up. The BMR is going down when your height or weight going down. Besides, usually the BMR of women is slightly lower than BMR of men. In the meantime, other factors including disease, taking food, environment temperature change and stress might also affect BMR. Comparing the average BMR in a group (with similar age, weight and same gender), almost 90% people have their BMR at the range of 15% deviation of the average BMR. BMR of the patients suffering hyperthyroidism is normally higher 20-80% than average BMR but lower 20-40% if in hypothyroidism. Usually when body temperature goes up 1 degree Celsius, the BMR will go up approximately 13%.

How the Basal Metabolic Rate (BMR) calculator works and formula

The unit of BMR is Kj/m2/h (Kilojoule per square meter per hour). We use the Harris-Benedict equation to calculate BMR.

BMR formula for men:

BMR = (13.75 *weight) + (5* height) - (6.76*age) + 66

BMR formula for women:

BMR = (9.56 *weight) + (1.85 *height) – (4.68 *age) + 655

RMR (Resting metabolic rate) is calculated by Mifflin equation.
We will discuss RMR formula in the chapter of RMR calculator.

How Basal Metabolic Rate (BMR) works on your daily energy

Knowing BMR, it is possible to estimate your daily required energy. Since BMR only represents the resting energy, by multiplying your BMR and an activity factor (McArdle et al 1996), eventually we can have an idea of how much calories food we are suggested to take in a day and then adjusting our weight loss/gain plan.

Active Factor (McArdle et al 1996)
Activity factor Category Definition Daily energy required (Kj/m2/h)
1.2 Sedentary Little or no exercises, desk job : =  1.2 *BMR
1.375 Lightly Active Light exercises, 1-3 days a week : =1.375 *BMR
1.55 Moderately Active Moderate exercises, 3-5 days a week : = 1.44 *BMR
1.725 Very Active Hard exercises, 6-7 days a week : =1.725 *BMR
1.9 Extremely Active Hard daily exercises, physical job : =1.9 * BMR

How to raise your Basal Metabolic Rate (BMR)

BMR is various between different individuals. Some people are easy to pack fat because they may have low BMR (Basal metabolic rate).

How to raise your BMR (Basal Metabolic Rate) (e.g. Rate of Metabolism)?
9 ways to increase BMR Benefits and suggestions
Eat nutritional breakfast before work
  1. Do not skip breakfast. After a long-night sleeping, Breakfast can recovery and activate the rate of metabolism. Otherwise your body will sense the starvation and slow down to conserve energy. Fasting is one of the causes of low metabolism.
  2. Eat more high-protein breakfast, for example, milk, eggs, whole grain bread, fresh fruit, cereal. Comparing with fatty food and carbohydrates, more energy is needed to digest high-protein food, eventually the rate of metabolism can be increased more.
Eat small but frequently during the day Eat smaller and more frequently healthy meals may active your body to burn more calories efficiently. Otherwise the body will hold to store fat while waiting for the long periods of meals. But keep in mind that not snacking throughout the day on high sugared foods such as candy, cakes.
Eat a little more spicy food Capsaicin in pepper can temporarily stimulate the body to release hormones such as epinephrine and accelerate the rate of metabolism. That will help burn more calories.
Drink more water Drinking water will speed up the rate of metabolism and our body will work more efficiently. Suggest drink 7-8 glasses (1500 cc ) water a day, better iced water. Our body need burn more energy to warm up the iced water.
Regular and sufficient sleep Ensure having a good sleep between 11:00 pm to 5:00 am since the organs are in detoxification during this period, such as liver, gallbladder, lung and skin. More regular and sufficient sleep can improve the organs metabolism ability.
Deep breath Breathing is to take the fresh oxygen into the lungs and then to excrete the wastes and carbon dioxide out from the body, which promote metabolism and blood purification effect. Breathing deeply could take more oxygen inside and accelerate the body metabolism.
Do more aerobic exercises
  1. Aerobic exercises is defined when heart rate remained at 150 times/ minute and then the blood can supply the cardiac muscle with sufficient oxygen. Oxygen can fully burn (oxidize) body sugar, consume body fat and improve heart and lungs function. Each Exercises time is better not less than 1 hour and 3 to 5 times a week.
  2. Suggesting aerobic exercises are jogging or riding a bicycle.
Do more plyometric moves
  1. Plyometric moves are also known as "jump training" to increase the running speed, the explosive force and softness, eventually increase the rate of metabolism.
  2. For example, when jogging, insert a 30 second sprint every 5 minutes or 1 minute tilting walking.
Do more resistance training 
  1. Resistance training increase epinephrine, dopamine and then burn more fat.
  2. For example, heavy lifting.

What is metabolic syndrome

The term of metabolism is the process to ensure the body’s normal functioning. Metabolic syndrome is the name of a group of risk factors which could increase the risk of developing health problems, such as diabetes and heart disease (e.g. heart attack, heart damage, or stroke). Heart disease involves the diseases of heart and blood.

Metabolic syndrome risk factors
Factors Risk numbers
BMI (Body Mass Index ) >25
Fasting blood-glucose > 6.1 mmol/L
Postprandial blood sugar >7.8 mmol/L
Blood pressure > 140/90 mm HG
Fasting plasma triglyceride  >1.7 mmol/L
Fasting plasma high density lipoprotein  >0.9mmol/L (men) or >1.0mmol /L (women)

Notes: mmol = millimol(e), (one-thousandth of a gram molecule)

People may be at high risks to have metabolic syndrome problem if having large waistlines (e.g. women beyond 88 cm, men beyond 94 cm) and having diseases such as angiocardiopathy, nonalcoholic fatty liver disease (NAFLD), arthrolithiasis, polycystic ovary syndrome, secondary diabetes, hypertension, dyslipidemia. Some people are at older age (e.g. more than 40 years old) and having a family history of genetics may also at risk of metabolic syndrome.

Through changing lifestyle such as eating healthy food and doing physical exercises could prevent or delay metabolic syndrome.