Basal Metabolic Rate (BMR)

Your basal metabolic rate (BMR) is the number of calories (energy) that your body burns in a resting position.

Your BMR decreases as you age. Food deprivation also decreases your BMR.

On the other hand, a regular routine of cardiovascular exercise increases your BMR.

Both genetic and environmental factors determine BMR.

Factors Affecting Basal Metabolic Rate

  • Gender: Men have a greater muscle mass and a lower body fat percentage. Men therefore have a higher BMR.

  • Genes: Some individuals are born with a fast metabolism others with a slower metabolism.

  • Age: BMR reduces, as one gets older. After 20 years, it drops by 2 per cent per decade.

  • Exercise: Exercise helps raise your BMR by building extra lean tissue. Lean tissue is more metabolically demanding than fat tissue.

  • Weight: The heavier you are, the higher your BMR.

  • Body Surface Area: A tall thin person will have a higher BMR than a shorter, fatter person. BMR also increases in pregnant women.

  • Body Fat Percentage: The more lean tissue on the body, the higher the BMR, the more fatty body tissue, the lower the BMR. Men generally have a 10-15% faster BMR than women.

  • Diet: Starvation or serious abrupt calorie-reduction can dramatically reduce BMR by up to 30 percent. Restrictive low-calorie weight loss diets can cause your BMR to drop as much as 20%.

    Temporary factors affecting BMR include:

  • Fever: Fevers raises the BMR.
  • Stress: Stress hormones also raise the BMR.
  • Temperature: Both the heat and cold raise the BMR.