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BMR Calculator

Basal metabolic rate (BMR) is the average amount of calories your body requires every day to fuel essential functions like breathing, pumping blood, producing hormones, and so forth (basically, it’s how many calories you’d burn resting for 24 hours). You can accurately estimate your BMR with your gender, weight, height, and age. Once you know your BMR, you can use it to create a meal plan that will help you lose, gain, or maintain your weight.

Calories based on activity level

No activity (sedentary) 2,053
A little activity(1 to 3 hours of exercise or sports per week) 2,321
Some activity(4 to 6 hours of exercise or sports per week) 2,679
A lot of activity(7 to 9 hours of exercise or sports per week) 3,036
A TON of activity(10+ hours of exercise or sports per week) 3,393

Frequently Asked Questions

What is a normal BMR?

It’s difficult to say what a “normal” BMR is because it’s influenced by many variables such as weight, muscle mass, height, sex, age, and lifestyle.

For example, children tend to have a higher BMR for their size compared to adults because of their relatively fast growth and development, and men tend to have a higher BMR than women because they normally have more muscle mass. What’s more, BMR tends to be lower in older adults compared to younger adults since muscle mass normally decreases with age.

That said, most healthy adult women will have a BMR of around 1,300 to 1,500 calories per day and adult men will have a BMR of around 1,600 to 1,800 calories per day.

Should you eat less than your BMR?

Doing so isn’t bad for you, but it’s also not necessary for most people to get the body they want.

Despite what many people say, eating below your BMR doesn’t damage your metabolism or make it harder to lose weight. Restricting your calorie intake typically causes a slight, temporary drop in metabolic rate whether you eat above or below your BMR—eating below your BMR isn’t inherently more “damaging” than eating above it.

Although there’s nothing inherently wrong with eating below your BMR, doing so requires restricting your calories to a degree that isn’t necessary and is often counterproductive for losing weight and keeping it off.

This kind of “crash dieting” often leads to extreme hunger and cravings, lethargy, irritability, poor performance in the gym, and subsequent overeating and weight gain. If you want to lose fat quickly without running headlong into these problems, aim to maintain a moderate calorie deficit of about 20 to 25% (75 to 80% of your TDEE).

What’s the best BMR equation?

If you don’t know your body fat percentage, the Mifflin-St Jeor equation tends to produce the most accurate results. If you know your body fat percentage, the Katch-McArdle equation is the most accurate BMR equation. The Harris-Benedict equation isn’t as accurate as the previous two, but we provided it because it’s a well-known and popular formula.

How do I increase my BMR to lose weight?

The most reliable way to increase your BMR is to increase your muscle mass. This is because muscle is more metabolically active than other types of tissue such as body fat. Thus, the more muscle you have the more calories you burn even at rest.

Research shows that every pound of muscle in your body burns between 6 and 7 calories per day. For your average 170-pound man with around 70 pounds of muscle, this will account for between 420 and 490 calories of his BMR per day.

If he were to gain an additional 20 pounds of muscle, he’d boost his BMR by about another 250 calories per day (630 calories per day to maintain his muscle). Over the course of a week, that’s almost 1,000 extra calories burned without having to lift a finger.

How do you use your BMR to lose weight?

The best way to use your BMR to lose weight is to use it to estimate your TDEE, which you can then use to create a weight loss meal plan.

If you’d prefer to skip the math, aim to eat 10 to 12 calories per pound of body weight per day to lose weight. This is enough to lose weight at an aggressive pace (about 1 to 2 pounds per week) without causing excessive hunger or cravings or disrupting your performance in the gym.

How do you use your BMR to gain weight?

The best way to use your BMR to gain weight is to use it to estimate your TDEE, which you can then use to create a meal plan for building muscle.

If you’d prefer to skip the math, aim to eat 16 to 18 calories per pound of body weight per day. This is enough to gain muscle mass and strength while gaining very little body fat.

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Enter your email address below to get the free Legion Meal Plan Tool. With it, you can estimate your BMR and create 100% custom meal plans for cutting, lean bulking, and maintaining your body weight in under five minutes flat.

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