How to calculate your basal metabolic rate – BMR

by Hara Hagikalfa

What is the basal metabolic rate – BMR?

The Basal Metabolic Rate or commonly known as BMR,  is the amount of energy (calories) required by the human body to carry out bodily functions such as blood circulation, breathing and digestion. In simple words it’s the number of calories your body needs per day in order for the body organs to function properly. Factors affecting BMR include the gender, age, weight, height and activity levels.

How to calculate my BMR?

BMR differs for men and women. To calculate your BMR you can use the formula below . Note that the result of the BMR calculation is in calories.

English BMR Formula
Women: BMR = 655 + ( 4.35 x weight in pounds ) + ( 4.7 x height in inches ) – ( 4.7 x age in years )
Men: BMR = 66 + ( 6.23 x weight in pounds ) + ( 12.7 x height in inches ) – ( 6.8 x age in year )

Metric BMR Formula
Women: BMR = 655 + ( 9.6 x weight in kilos ) + ( 1.8 x height in cm ) – ( 4.7 x age in years )
Men: BMR = 66 + ( 13.7 x weight in kilos ) + ( 5 x height in cm ) – ( 6.8 x age in years )

Why should I care about my BMR?

Knowing your BMR is important especially if you are trying to lose weight. Since BMR is the minimum amount of calories you need to consume on a daily basis in order for your body to function properly, following a diet that goes beyond this number is not healthy and may cause other more serious health problems.

Once you have calculated your Basal Metabolic Rate and depending on your activity levels, you can calculate your daily calorie requirements

BMR for men and women

The table below shows an estimate of the Basal Metabolic Rate of men and women based on their height (in feet)

Basic Metabolic Rate (Calories) for men and women
Height (feet) MEN – BMR (calories) WOMEN – BMR (calories)
5’1” 1120-1350
5’2” 1135-1370
5’3” 1155-1390
5’4” 1200-1600 1195-1430
5’5” 1275-1685 1235-1470
5’6” 1340-1750 1270-1500
5’7” 1410-1820 1310-1550
5’8” 1480-1890 1350-1585
5’9” 1550-1960 1370-1600
5’10” 1615-2030 1410-1650
5’11” 1685-2095 1450-1685
6’0 1750-2165
6’1 1820-2235
6’2 1890-2300
6’3 1960-2370
6’4 2030-2440

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Hara Hagikalfa
About the author

Hara Hagikalfa completed her BSc(Hons) in Health and Exercise Science, Sports Science and Medicine. She is a certified Personal Trainer and Pilates instructor. You can learn more about Hara and connect with her on Facebook