One of the first steps to an effective weight loss plan is knowing how to calculate your BMR. You may be asking, “What the heck is BMR and what does it have to do with weight loss anyway?” BMR stands for Basal Metabolic Rate. Your basal metabolic rate, or BMR, is the minimum number of calories per day a body requires just to maintain normal body functions not including daily activity. This is the number of calories needed to maintain your current weight if you did nothing but lay in bed 24 hours a day.

The most well known way to calculate your BMR is the Harris Benedict equation. This formula accounts for the factors of height, weight, age, and sex to calculate your basal metabolic rate (BMR). This calculation is more accurate Age calculator than determining calorie needs based only on total bodyweight. However, the Harris Benedict equation does not take lean body mass into consideration. Calculations will be accurate in all but the extremely muscular and the extremely obese.

Here is the formula for men: BMR = 66 + (13.7 X wt in kg) + (5 X ht in cm) – (6.8 X age in years) Here is the formula for women: BMR = 655 + (9.6 X wt in kg) + (1.8 X ht in cm) – (4.7 X age in years) Please keep in mind when calculating your BMR that 1 inch is equal to 2.54 cm and 1kg is equal to 2.2lbs. Using the metric equivalents are necessary to arrive at the right total calculation.

Now that you know how to calculate your BMR, you might be wondering how to use this information. Never allow your daily calorie intake to drop below your BMR calculation. If your daily calorie intake drops below your calculated BMR, you body will think it’s starving and slow your metabolism to conserve body fat. This is not the desired effect if you want to lose weight!

Now let’s calculate the number of calories your need to support your daily activities. Simply multiply your calculated BMR by 1.2 if you don’t exercise at all, 1.375 if you exercise lightly 1 to 3 times per week, 1.55 if you exercise moderately 3 to 5 times per week, 1.725 if you exercise hard 6 to 7 times per week, or 1.9 if you have a physically demanding job and exercise every day or are training for a sports competition such as a marathon.

Once you have the total number of calories you need for your daily activities, you can calculate the maximum number of calories you need to lose weight. All you need to do is subtract 500 from the total number of calories needed to support daily activities. You now have the calorie range for weight loss that is tailored just for you. You may adjust your calorie level to increase or decrease the rate of your results as long as you do not go below your BMR. Learning how to calculate your BMR can go a long way in helping your achieve the weight loss results you desire.