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How to Calculate Resting Metabolic Rate (RMR)

how to calculate resting metabolic rate (RMR)

Before we dive into the ways to calculate resting metabolic rate (RMR), let's make sure we understand what it means. Your resting metabolic rate is the rate at which your body burns calories when you're doing absolutely nothing! That's correct, your body burns calories just by being "on" even when you are resting. At rest, your body is performing functions such as breathing and circulations, which is why it still burns calories.

Metabolism & Metabolic Rate

Your body needs to convert the food you eat into energy so that it has the proper fuel to survive. The rate at which your body goes through these functions (metabolism) is called the metabolic rate. The reason why our bodies go through this process is to absorb nutrients from the food you're eating and create energy (or calories). What your body does with the calories depends on how much you eat and what you're eating. Extra calories are generally stored as fat.

What is Resting Metabolic Rate?

We just went over what your metabolic rate is, so let's dive further into what your RMR means. When you are completely at rest, your body is still performing functions like breathing, circulating blood, and basic brain functions. Your body still needs energy to perform these functions that keep you alive. Everybody's body is different and the only way to find out your resting metabolic rate is to calculate your personal number.

How to Calculate Resting Metabolic Rate

If you search this question on the internet, you will find a few options to calculate RMR, but I highly advise you stay away from the web formulas and use the most accurate method, hydrostatic testing. The absolute best way to calculate resting metabolic rate is a body fat test. The results you get not only give you your RMR, but also give you insight into how many calories YOUR body burns when performing a variety of physical activity. If you take 5 people, each one will burn a different amount of calories even if they run at the exact same pace for the exact same time.

Why is this Information Useful?

Knowing your body's RMR, as well as how many calories you burn when swimming, running, walking, etc. not only gives you knowledge, but also makes the process of planning goal-setting easier. Once you know how many calories you burn just by living, you can have a very clear understanding of how many calories you need to consume each day to achieve your goals. Whether you want to lose fat, gain muscle, maintain, or any other goal - you can't improve what you don't measure.

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