Is it possible to lose weight if you stay in bed all the time and do nothing? Sure, as long as you eat just enough to stay alive. The energy needed for our body to function at rest, while doing nothing, is called basal metabolic rate or BMR. It is the energy needed for our heart, brain, kidneys and other organs to operate and keep us alive. Why is it important to know our basal metabolic rate? We are all different and we spend different amount of food to provide energy for our basic functions. Once we know our basal metabolic rate, we can also calculate how much we need to eat in order to keep healthy weight. Basal metabolic rate is calculated while we are at rest, when we do not spend energy for any activity except for the basic functions for our survival. Basal metabolic rate depends on our sex, age, weight and height. Once we know how much energy (food) we need to survive, we can also calculate how much calories from food we need per day, depending on our lifestyle, kind of work we do and the amount of physical exercise. Formula for calculating BMR There are many automatic calculators of basal metabolic rate available online, but if you want to know how it is calculated, here is the formula, different for women and men: Women: BMR = 655 + (4.35x weight in pounds) + (4.7 x height in inches) – (4.7 x age in years) Men: BMR = 66 + (6.23x weight in pounds) + (12.7 x height in inches) – (6.8 x age in years) Of course, this formula works for most people but not all. One variable that is not taken into consideration is lean body mass. Muscles spend more energy for survival than fat tissue, so people with lean, mean bodies need more energy to survive. That also means that obese people, who have much more fat tissues than muscle mass, need less energy to live, and have lower basal metabolic rate. So, now you understand why some of your friends can eat anything and stay lean. Not only that they spend a lot of calories while exercising and building all those muscles, but muscles themselves burn calories even while doing nothing. If you ever needed a reminder why exercising is so important, this is just another one of many. Basal metabolic rate can be calculated using the formula based on sex, age, weight and height, and the obtained result is fairly accurate. But, if you need more exact information, you can get your doctor to do a proper test. BMR is normally measured in a clinical environment in ideal conditions, because it can be affected by the environment temperature, by previously consumed food and the level of stress a person is under.
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