Basic Metabolic Rate

Eat and lose weight. Don't diet.

What is Basal Metabolic Rate, And Why Does It Matter In Weight Loss?

Shaklee 180 weight lossMost diet and exercise programs will tend to focus on what kinds of food to eat, the exercises which are best for weight loss and toning, etc. That makes sense since both diet and exercise are the two partners that have to be adjusted to maintain a preferred weight range and a healthy body.

A Standard of Measurement

However good a weight loss plan it is, adjusting calories and daily exercise types and times only makes sense when measured using some sort of standard. Part of that standard or measurement is something called the basal metabolic rate, or sometimes basic metabolic rate. The BMR is the base rate at which the body consumes calories for basic metabolic functions such as the maintenance of internal temperature, the repair of cells, pumping blood, powering muscles at rest, etc.

What you eat and how you exercise are both topics that are important to the effective achievement of health and the type of physique you want. But, the basic equation remains the number of calories taken in minus the number of calories consumed equals what's left over to be stored in adipose tissues as fat.

Each of us, a unique entity by nature, has a slightly different rate, the average being about 70 calories per hour. This will normally be slightly more when we're awake, and slightly less when we are sleeping.

Factors other than sleep can influence the rate as well.

Internal body temperature is one big influence. For every 1/2 degree (Celsius) rise in body temperature, the BMR increases about 7%. This is easily seen in more extreme cases where someone has a fever. If your internal temperature is about 4C (7F) above normal, the metabolic rate increases by about 50%. However, this is not the preferred method of increasing calorie consumption.

By the way, many people are turning to tea, and, especially, organic fair trade tea to help boost metabolism and improve health.

Certain medications, anti-depressants, for example, can modify the BMR, leading to weight gain. As a result, anyone on a weight loss diet or exercise program should consult a physician about the potential impact of any prescribed medications. Taking the prescription is generally best for health, but the added knowledge can help reduce any guilt from weight gain or a slower than expected weight loss.

A certain amount of fat in the diet serves a purpose. EFAs (essential fatty acids) are needed for hormone regulation, electrical functions (which take place in the muscles, heart, brain and elsewhere) and other tasks.

After an injury, BMR can change, usually only temporarily, while the body uses EFAs and proteins to rebuild damaged structures and create new tissue. Just like the part about having a fever, you obviously wouldn't want to injure yourself for the purpose of increasing it, but it's good to factor this in when monitoring calorie intake and consumption.

High-fat foods and refined sugars can reduce BMR since they are lower in fiber and bulk. That slows down intestinal activity and the body will generally absorb more calories from them before passing through the digestive system. Getting the proper amount of vitamins and minerals can help regulate BMR to keep that process efficient.

In most cases, our BMR is determined chiefly by genetics and general physiological factors. A proper diet and regular, age-appropriate exercise will help you achieve your fitness and body goals.

When striving to reach those goals it's good to know what the BMR is. That way you'll know how much you need to be above it to achieve your desired results.

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Page Updated 3:49 PM Sunday, December 24, 2023
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