Metabolic Rate: How many daily calories does your body need?

Calculate your metabolic rate and activity allowance

Metabolic rate represents the number of calories needed to fuel ventilation, blood circulation and temperature regulation. Calories are also required to digest and absorb consumed food and fuel the activities of daily life. Or put another way, metabolic rate is an estimate of how many calories you would burn if you were to do nothing but rest for 24 hours. It represents the minimum amount of energy required to keep your body functioning.

Metabolic Rate decreases with age and with the loss of lean body mass. Increasing muscle mass increases BMR.

Basal metabolic rate (BMR) is the amount of energy expended while at rest in a neutrally temperate environment, in the post-absorptive state (meaning that the digestive system is inactive, which requires about twelve hours of fasting).

Resting Metabolic Rate (RMR) measurements are typically taken under less restricted conditions than BMR and do not require that you spend the night sleeping in a test facility prior to testing.

Below are some links to BMR calculators. You'll notice that each one provides a different reading. Average out the results to determine your BMR. 

Want a simple formula?  The most rudimentary formula is to take your weight and multiply it by 11 (women) or 12 (men). 

Want an exact RMR measurement? Our partner Composition ID offers a comprehensive Resting Metabolic Rate testing. This test takes approximately 10 minutes with pre-test prep requirements. 

activity allowance

While Metabolic Rate indicates the energy (calories, or kCal) your body requires at rest, you'll need to add your activity to determine your daily caloric requirement. 

BMR and Activity Allowance Calculator

Simple formula: 

  • Not very active — BMR x 1.25
  • Active — BMR x 1.5
  • Very Active — BMR x 1.75

Use these numbers as a gauge for calorie consumption. Eat more that your daily allowance and you could gain weight. Eat less and you might lose weight. 

Healthy Weight Loss

Nearly every study indicates that healthy, long-term weight loss equates to about 1-3 pounds per week. Based on your body composition results, you can determine how much non-essential body fat you have. (Contact us to undergo a standard or comprehensive test). 

One pound of fat equates to 3500 calories.

If you want to lose one pound of fat per week, you'll have to have a calorie difference of 500 calories per day (7 days x 500 calories). This can be done in combination of eating less and training more. So let's say you're already training 40-minutes per day. An average workout burns 50-100 calories every 10 minutes. This means if you increase your daily training by 20 minutes you'll burn an additional 100-200 calories. Then reduce your diet by 300-400 calories per day and you'll have your desired deficit. Keep this up for 8-12 weeks and you'll be down 8-12 pounds of fat.