Gymondo Magazine

Basal metabolic rate, active metabolic rate, and total metabolic rate – what are they actually?

If you want to eat fewer calories, you should first know how many calories you can eat in a day. This can be easily calculated with the following definitions.

Your weight loss success lies between the basal metabolic rate and active metabolic rate

Basal metabolic rate

The basal metabolic rate is the amount of energy your body needs per day to maintain your bodily functions (e.g. when you are sleeping in bed). A well-known formula for calculating this is the Harris Benedict equation. For the calculation, you need your weight, your age, your gender, and your height. An example of this would be:

A woman about 163 cm tall, 73 kg, 29 years old. The basal metabolic rate for this person would be around 1513 calories. The basal metabolic rate can be increased by building more muscle and burning more calories. Because the largest proportions of the basal metabolic rate in the human body are as follows:

  • Liver and skeletal muscle, each about 26%
  • Brain: 18%
  • Heart: 9%
  • Kidneys: 7%
  • The remaining 14% is made up of the remaining organs

Active metabolic rate

The active metabolic rate is the energy that your body uses in addition to the basal metabolic rate for physical activities.

So if you add the active metabolic rate (calorie consumption while exercising/playing sports) to your basal metabolic rate, add the burned calories from the after-burn effect and if that sum is greater than the calories you take in daily, then you will lose weight! 

Basal metabolic rate + active metabolic rate > calorie intake → weight loss
Basal metabolic rate + active metabolic rate increases
Basal metabolic rate + active metabolic rate = calorie intake → maintenance (total metabolic rate) 

Total metabolic rate

The total metabolic rate is the amount of energy you need per day to maintain your weight. An additional factor here is the degree of activity (active metabolic rate). You are often asked if you work in a more sedentary setting, like in an office, or standing at a sales booth or are more active like a construction worker, for example. Stick to the following rules to lose weight healthily and successfully!

Important rules

  1. If you don’t eat enough, your body will stop functioning, which then makes losing weight impossible. So, make sure that you don’t eat less than your basal metabolic rate!
  2. Eat more than your basal metabolic rate every day, but less than your total metabolic rate. This way, you can achieve a good calorie deficit and lose weight successfully and healthily.
  3. Save no more than 500 kcal a day. Otherwise, there is a big risk that you will go into the starvation response and fail your weight loss attempts. The possible result: the yo-yo effect!

Stick to the rules and calculate your rates. Good luck with losing weight!

Achieve your goals with Gymondo

In Gymondo programs, you combine intensive exercises in compact workouts to get fit and more defined in just 5 weeks. A professional nutrition plan with healthy, natural foods ensures that you reach your goals even faster! The active community and effective training ensure that you stay on the ball, stay motivated, and progress quickly!


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