BMR Calculator for Weight Loss

BMR Calculator for Weight Loss – How to Use, Concept and Drawbacks

BMR calculator for weight loss is an effective method to improve your quality and quantity of life. It is an effective weight loss technique to shed excess pounds. You just have to listen to your body to shed the excess pounds. By understanding your body, you can improve the effectiveness of your weight loss program. So, read ahead to know more about the calculator that helps you reach your goal and improve your life.

Understand The Concept Of BMR Calculator

Your body needs the energy to complete regular activities. How do you get the energy? The food you eat and the drinks you consume is converted into energy by your body. Every food item and beverages contains calories that combine with oxygen to release the energy required for your body to function. The most basic functions also known as basal functions are performed with the energy. The basal functions include breathing and cell production. You may think your body requires no energy while resting. But, it is not true. You need the energy to perform the hidden functions like breathing, growing cells, repairing cells, adjust hormone levels, and circulate blood. These functions occur even when you are resting. Therefore, the number of calories required to complete such basal function is referred to as the basal metabolic rate (BMR).

Basal Metabolic Rate

The basal metabolic rate (BMR) calculation can offer information about the amount of energy you expend at rest. The BMR calculator helps detect the basal metabolic rate with the information provided. So, you know the amount of energy expended when you are at rest or in a post-absorptive state. Post-absorptive state refers to the inactive state of your digestive system (12 hours of fasting).

Basal Metabolic Rate (BMR) Vs Resting Metabolic Rate (RMR)

Basal Metabolic Rate (BMR) Vs Resting Metabolic Rate (RMR)

Most of the time BMR is used interchangeably with RMR. RMR also is known as resting energy expenditure (RME) is the total number of calories your body burns when you are resting. BMR is the minimum number of calories required for your basal function while you rest. BMR and RMR slightly differ from one another. But, RMR offers an accurate estimation of the BMR.

Total Daily Energy Expenditure (TDEE)

Total Daily Energy Expenditure

While using the BMR calculator for weight loss, you have to calculate the total daily energy expenditure. It is the estimate of the number of calories you burn each day by taking the exercise into account. It is estimated by first figuring out your basal metabolic rate and then multiply the value with an activity multiplier. Since the BMR refers to the calories you burn while resting, you need to adjust the numbers upward to consider the calories burned during the day time. Now you may think about how a person burns calories while leading a sedentary lifestyle. Even inactive people can burn calories when they perform basic functions. So, you can calculate the TDEE for people who do not have an active lifestyle. The value to derive is important for getting an idea about developing the right plan for weight loss.

Reasons Why People Want To Lose Weight

Why people opt for different methods to lose weight can vary from one person to another. The stigma associated with excess weight prompts people to take the weight loss route in the majority of the cases. Obese people tend to become the topic of ridicule among others. So, they wish to shed some pounds to make them look good. People who are not obese also tend to lose weight due to medical reasons. The lifestyle changes are chosen by people for many reasons like:

Enhance Health

When you are overweight, it does not mean you are unhealthy. But, the excess pounds increase your risk of developing several diseases. It can make you vulnerable to health issues like:

To avoid developing such issues, you need to lose weight. Adopting an effective weight loss plan and following a healthy lifestyle can keep you away from such diseases.

Pregnancy And Medical Procedures

Getting pregnant and having kids are the dream of every couple. But, overweight women find it difficult to conceive. Excess body fat also increases the complications in pregnancy. So, the doctor suggests weight loss overcome temporary infertility and improve the chances of conception. You also need to undergo weight loss to undergo certain medical procedures like kidney transplant to avoid any complications.

To Improve Quality And Quantity Of Life

You need to lose weight to live for a long time without health complications. Obesity reduces lifespan by increasing your risk of developing diseases. Doctors advise obese patients to lose weight to manage several problems. So, to avoid health complications, you need to shed excess weight.

Improve Self-Image And Confidence

Excess body weight can make you conscious about how you look. The visual appeal can have a direct impact on your self-confidence. When you look good, you feel confident to face the challenges. But, obesity can cause low self-esteem that will make you depressed. It will hurt your personal and professional lives. Weight loss can make you motivated and get a physical figure that will enhance your confidence levels. So, you can experience a positive turn of events in your life.

Formula Behind BMR Calculator For Estimation

You can find different calculators offering you the BMR estimate. So, how do you get the value and what is the formula? In the majority of the cases, BMR is estimated using the Harris-Benedict formula. For deriving the value, the BMR calculator takes your age, height, weight, and gender into account. The formula behind the estimation is:

For Women

Basal Metabolic Rate = 655 + (9.6 × your weight in kg) + (1.8 × your height in cm) – (4.7 × your age in years)

For Men

Basal Metabolic Rate = 66 + (13.7 × your weight in kg) + (5 × your height in cm) – (6.8 × your age in years)

You also have the revised Harris-Benedict Equation that has the following formula to derive the BMR value:


BMR = 447.593 + (9.247 x weight in kg) + (3.098 x height in cm) – (4.330 x age in years)


BMR= 88.362 + (13.397 x your weight in kg) + (4.799 x your height in cm) – (5.677 x your age in years)

Other Formulae To Calculate BMR

Apart from the Harris-Benedict equation, you also have other formulae to calculate the BMR levels. Here are some of the examples:

The Mifflin St Jeor Equation

Women BMR = (10 x your weight in kg) + (6.25 x your height in cm) – (5 x your age in years) – 161 (Kcal/day)

Men BMR = (10 x weight in kg) + (6.25 x height in cm) – (5 x age in years) + 5 (Kcal/day)

The Katch-McArdle Formula

The formula calculates the value of RDEE (Resting Daily Energy Expenditure)

BMR = 370 + (21.6 x LBM) – LBM

LBM is your lean body mass in Kg

The Cunningham Formula (RMR)

BMR = 500 + (22 x LBM) – LBM

Here LBM refers to your lean body mass in Kg.

Importance Of Using BMR Calculator

Once you use the BMR calculation, the next step is to derive the total daily energy expenditure. You can use any of the formulae to derive BMR. But, the majority of people use the Harris-Benedict formula to get the BMR. Based on the calories you burn during your regular daily activities, you can calculate TDEE. It depends on the lifestyle. The formula for it is:

TDEE= BMR x Activity level value

The activity level value for different lifestyles are:

Sedentary Lifestyle

It is the group of people who get minimal or no exercise in their daily life. In such cases, the total calorie expenditure daily is calculated as:

TDEE= BMR x 1.2

Lightly Active

People who include light forms of physical workout at least one to three days a week come under the category. The total calorie expenditure for such people is:

TDEE = BMR x 1.375

Moderately Active

If you include moderate physical activities three to five days a week, then you come under the moderately active category. The formula to calculate TDEE is:

TDEE= BMR X 1.55

Very Active

People who engage in active sports or engage in hard exercise for six to seven days a week can calculate TDEE with the following formula:

TDEE= BMR X 1.725.

Extra Active

If you are a sports person or engage in hard exercise six to seven days of a week or have a physically demanding job (like working in construction), then you need to calculate TDEE with the following:


The final number offers you an idea about the number of calories required for you each day to maintain your weight. Remember, the number you obtain is just an estimate. The formula is not accurate due to the difference in the body composition and weight history of each person. Several other factors can also affect BMR. But, you get an idea about the BMR, which will help you gain or lose weight. The BMR calculator is helpful for people struggling to lose weight. You get an idea about how your body works. So, based on the results you can develop a goal. It is helpful in the following:

  • People who wish to maintain their weight (after weight loss or for sporting activities) need to consume the same number of calories they burn.
  • If you wish to lose weight, then you need to consume fewer calories than you burn.
  • To gain weight, you have to consume more calories than you burn daily.

How To Use The BMR Calculator?

You can search online for the BMR calculator. Several platforms offer you the online calculator to determine BMR levels. Here is the instruction to know how to enter details and interpret the results.

Fields To Enter

The calculator has gender, height, weight, and age fields. You need to enter the correct information. Ensure you select the right measurements while filling the weight and height fields. For example, specify pounds or kg for weight and inches or cm for your height. In some calculators, you need to specify which formula to use to calculate BMR (Harris-Benedict or Mifflin St Jeor).

Select Activity Level

The next step is to select the activity level. In some calculators, the activity level description is provided alongside.

After entering all details, you need to click the calculate button to get the results.

Interpreting BMR Calculator Results

Using the BMR calculator, you can get the calories you burn in a resting state. The BMR is responsible for burning 60% to 70% of the total calories in a day. Getting an idea about the BMR can help you develop a calorie deficit, which can aid in weight loss. When you enter all the fields as suggested above in the calculator, you get two results. Let’s see in detail what the two results mean.

BMR Result

The first result you get from the calculator is the calorie you burn without doing anything (when you are inactive). So, it refers to the calorie burned by your body when you breathe, sleep, pump blood, digest, and maintain your body temperature. To complete these body functions, you need energy. So, the calories give you an idea about the total calories to complete the regular body functions.

Total Calories Needed To Maintain Current Weight

The second result is the total number of calories needed by a person to maintain their current weight. It is based on the activity level offered by you. So, more active people require increased calories to maintain their weight. It is because you have already burned calories while performing the function required to sustain life. So, the added physical activity increases calorie burning. You need to eat additional calories to maintain your weight.

Both values can help you develop an effective weight loss plan. You need to reduce your calorie consumption by eating a low-calorie diet or increase your activity level to burn more calories. You can also combine both to develop a perfect plan. Wondering how? Here is an example:

  • You can reduce the calories you eat. So, include a 500 calorie deficit diet in your routine.
  • Another choice is to increase your activity level to burn 500 calories. It will result in a 1 pound weight loss for the week.
  • If you want to increase the weight loss, then combine both to reduce 1000 calories.

It is better to lose one to two pounds a week to ensure you never gain back the weight. The quick weight loss is not healthier or sustainable. So, lose weight slowly. It ensures you develop lasting lifestyle changes and keep the extra weight off.

Using BMR Calculator For Weight Loss

The BMR calculator can offer you details about the number of calories you need to burn per day. The calorie burn decided based on your activity level can help your weight loss goals. So, you can set a daily calorie intake that is less than the normal limit. The customized plan with increased physical activity will help you achieve weight loss. Are you wondering how? Here is how it can offer you positive results:

Set Calorie Limit For A Day

To shed the excess fat accumulated in your body, you need to reduce the caloric intake below your regular daily calorie needed. The calorie requirement you need daily is indicated by BMR. Combining it with the activity level will offer positive results. So, when you put yourself in a 500 calorie deficit diet each day, you can achieve a loss of one pound at the end of the week.

Adjust Your Physical Activity Output

When you calculate BMR, it asks you to enter the physical activity level. It is for a good reason as it has a direct link to your BMR levels. When you exercise it spurs your body to burn more calories. So, you influence the BMR calculation with physical activity even when you are just lounging. The different types of exercise have a different effect on your body and the BMR calculation.

  • When you perform aerobic exercises like cycling, walking, jogging or swimming, it can offer a temporary boost to your BMR. The temporary boost offered by aerobic exercise is referred to as the after-burn. It occurs due to post-exercise oxygen consumption. The boost drops after the aerobic workout. So, your BMR returns to normal after you complete the aerobic workout. So, BMR returns after fifteen to forty-eight hours.
  • Strength training offers a more effective boost compared to aerobic exercises. So, strength training can boost the BMR by changing the composition of your body. Muscles at rest have the potential to burn more calories compared to the fat at rest. It is the reason why BMR is higher in men compared to women. Men tend to have higher muscle mass compared to women.

Increase Calorie Deficit

For the weight loss plan to work properly, you need to increase the calorie deficit. You can increase the deficit by adding more exercise. Along with the calorie deficit, you can increase the calorie you burn. So, when you burn 250 calories more, it will help you lose half a pound more. Increasing the intensity of your workout can help you burn more calories. It will increase the calorie deficit and help with your weight loss goals.

Drawbacks Of BMR Calculator For Weight Loss

Calculating BMR can help you track your body’s response and ensure effective weight loss. But the BMR calculator for weight loss is not right for everyone. Studies indicate that more than 25% of people see no weight loss due to unknown variables. What you eat and your diet can help you come up with the BMR values, some unknown factors can influence the results. So, you find it difficult to calculate BMR precisely even after using methods suggested by specialists. The BMR results are marred by inaccuracies. It is because all the body functions are not understood completely by scientists. So, calculating the precise daily expenditure of energy (total daily expenditure) becomes impossible. The TDEE (Total Daily Energy Expenditure) is only estimated not determined conclusively.
Therefore, while working on a diet loss or fitness goal, the BMR calculation can only lay the foundation. You have to determine the right path to reach your ultimate goal. As the TDEE offers only a rough estimate, you cannot rely entirely on it. But, you can maintain a food diary, exercise details, etc. can help track different factors that work well for you. You can also use the journal to improve the weight loss program to get the desired results. Track the journal properly and make the desired adjustment over time to progress towards your goal.


The BMR calculator helps learn about your body and the total number of calories to burn each day to reach your weight loss goal. It is a positive step towards reaching or maintaining a healthy weight. The more you understand about basal metabolic rate can help you make changes that will offer real results. Using the calculator, a weight loss journal, and the support of your friends as well as family members, you can develop a proper plan to achieve weight loss. Shedding the extra pounds can enhance your overall weight and the quality of life.

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