We all know that our body needs the energy to perform various functions. The food which we eat or the beverages that we take, have calories present in it. With the help of the combination of calories and oxygen, our body gets energy. That energy is then utilized to perform different types of functions. And by functions we not just mean the physical activities like walking, running, or typing, or playing any sports, or driving, etc. But we also mean the functions like production of cells, breathing, sleeping, etc. Most of us think that when our body is on rest, we are not using any energy. But that is not true, as during the rest also our body needs energy for different internal functions that our body and body organs perform. Be it the digestion, blood circulation, breathing, or growing of body cells, or healing. So, this means that the calories are also being utilized when our body is on rest for performing these functions. The number of calories required by our body for performing all these functions and activities is called BMR (Basal Metabolic Rate).
There are different ways in which we burn calories, like doing exercises, dancing, swimming, etc. And one of the ways to burn calories is the BMR also. When you are trying to lose weight or when you are trying not to gain extra weight, it is very important to keep an eye on your BMR as well. You need to limit your calories and you should check in how much calories you are consuming.
How to measure BMR?
Now, as you know what BMR is and we have also mentioned that you should measure your BMR to keep an eye on your weight, you should also know how to measure it. For measuring BMR, the Harris-Benedict Principle or Equation is being used. Not just your BMR, but you can also check how much kilocalories your body requires every day. To know your daily kilocalories requirement, your BMR number is being multiplied with a number according to your physical activities. And that helps in knowing how many kilocalories you need in a day. There are many things that are required in calculating the BMR. Like your height, your weight, and your age too.
Why it is important to know BMR?
Many of you might take BMR casually only, but knowing your BMR can help. As when you will be able to determine your BMR, you will be able to follow a healthy diet. Those who check their BMR, do know how much calories they need to take in a day.
Like if you are trying to lose weight, then knowing your BMR helps in limiting your calories. You can limit your calorie intake and can see how much minimum calories your body requires according to your weight, your physical activities, and your age. When you will lose weight, your BMR will also reduce. You also need to understand that when you do physical activities, then also you burn calories. And you also reduce your calorie intake from your diet depending on the BMR, so this will help in losing weight properly. There are many types of exercises that can help in losing weight. Similarly, when you plan to gain weight or maintain weight, then also BMR helps. So, we suggest everyone measure their BMR, for a healthy living.
Factors that affect BMR
There are many factors that affect the Basal Metabolic Rate. Below, we have mentioned some of them.
Age – We know we often say that age is just a number. But you need to understand that in the context of health, age is not just a number. If you are beyond 30, and still gulping that chilled beer every day along with the cheesy pizza, then you need to look at your health seriously. It may lead to many health issues including the loss of lean muscles. In order to keep your BMR fine, you need to start eating healthy and working out more after 30.
Gender – Believe it or not, but BMR does differ from male to female. Male usually have high BMR in comparison to women. No matter what your age is, but depending on the body structure of both male and female, their BMR varies. It has been noticed and some researches have also been done on this that male has less fat and more muscle mass, and this is also one of the reasons why their BMR is higher. Whereas Females have more fat than males, and that is why their BMR is lower than male’s BMR.
Activities – We have already mentioned above also that your physical activities will affect your BMR. We have also mentioned that doing aerobic exercise helps in boosting BMR. If you do a lot of physical activities in a day, it means you are burning more calories. This will not just help in boosting your BMR, but it will also help in boosting your metabolism.
Calories Consumption – The calorie consumption is also responsible for increasing or decreasing your BMR. When losing weight, you should try to burn a greater number of calories, in comparison to the number of calories you consume. But that doesn’t mean that you stop consuming the required number of calories. Because, if you will not consume the required number of calories, it will decrease your BMR. So, make sure that you take proper calories and a balanced diet.
There are many other factors also that affects the BMR, like muscle mass, body composition, genetics, etc.
Now, you would have understood the concept of the Basal Metabolic Rate. So, start keeping a check on your BMR, and follow a balanced diet, in order to increase your BMR. You can also ask your health instructor or your dietician about the same. As they will help you in measuring your BMR in a proper way, and will also let you know how many calories you need to take and how many you need to burn.