Basal Metabolic Rate (BMR)

  • BMR: {{ result.bmr }} Kcal/Day

Using a BMR Calculator to measure the required calorie intake is necessary for not only athletes and fitness enthusiasts, but for normal people. It helps in identifying the energy requirement of the body to ensure its proper functioning.

A BMR Calculator for men is different from a BMR calculator for women. This is mainly due to the height and weight differences among other factors. While everyone is aware of the BMI calculator, very few are aware of what a BMR calculator really is.

Everyone requires energy to do their normal work, not feeling tired, sleep well, and perform a host of other human activities. A BMR calculator is useful not only for voluntary activities. Several involuntary functions of the body like pumping blood, healing wounds, and others also require the burning of energy through calorie intake.

In this article, we look at the basics of this health tool. We also discuss the history of the innovation and see why it is necessary for most of us to be aware of our BMR index.

BMR Calculator: Who Invented the Formula?

James Arthur Harris was an American Botanist and Biometrician who was the Botany Department’s Head at the University of Minnesota.

Francis Gano Benedict was a renowned Chemist, Nutritionist who completed his Ph.D. from Heidelberg University and taught at Wesleyan University.

The basis of the BMR Calculator is the Harris-Benedict Equation or the Benedict-Harris Principle. This innovation was the result of a study published by the Carnegie Institution in Washington in 1919.

It takes into account a person’s height, weight, age and gender to calculate the calorie count required for the body’s normal functioning. The idea is that a person who has a particular weight requires a specific quantity of calories for him or her to perform.

How does the BMR Calculator for Men and BMR Calculator for Women work?

It has to be pointed out right at the outset that the BMR calculator for men is different from the BMR calculator for women.

The Harris-Benedict Formula uses the BMR to identify the actual amount of calorie intake of your body. It uses the BMR Index to point out calorie intake.

However, it would be right to spell out what a BMR does in the first place.

A BMR calculator uses height, weight, age, and gender to calculate the minimum amount of energy your body requires at rest. For example, the BMR calculates your energy requirement during sleep, performing involuntary activities like pumping blood and so on.

If an individual is aware of their BMR, they can then use the same to lose or gain weight, increase muscle mass, plan exercise regimens and workouts.

A human body requires a certain set percentage of energy through calorie intake every day. This is often referred to as the ‘total daily energy expenditure’ or TDEE. This is determined based on the BMR along with measuring all the activity levels that a person has throughout the day.

Why should you be aware of the BMR Calculator?

Many people start engaging with heavy exercises or go on a serious weight loss challenge. They do not take into account their BMR before proceeding with any fitness or health-related standard. This should be avoided at all costs.

It is necessary to know about your body in detail before proceeding to take up an active sport or fitness exercise. For example, if you are exercising your BMR will go up automatically. Moreover, you will need to increase your calorie intake to burn the required amount of energy during workouts.

If you stick to your diet and start doing the same, your body will start compensating by burning fat leading to a weight loss. While the same can be good for people looking to lose weight, the same cannot be said for people who are doing it to gain weight or build muscles.

We need to think of BMR as the amount of fuel required in a car to keep it running at idle. Once we have this base sorted out, we can calculate how much fuel would be required to burn activity related calories.

Being directly related to health and the overall upkeep of your body, BMR calculator is one of the most necessary health tools that you should use.

Does a BMR Calculator have any limitation?

No health tool is perfect. Having being innovated as early as 1919, the Harris-Benedict Equation has been revised in 1984. This helped in making the equation more accurate. The revised formulation continued in operation and was accepted globally until 1990.

The Miffin-St Jeor Equation stated being used 1990 onwards to calculate the BMR. However, both these formulations did not take into account the lean body mass. It also did not take into account the RDEE (Resting Daily Energy Expenditure). This was developed by the Katch-McArdle Formula.

Everyone has a different mass-fat content in the body. Modern fitness and health experts have calculated that the BMR Index can be different for people with the same height and weight as well. It also differs between people who work out and do not work out. More importantly, the BMR starts decreasing as one starts advancing in years.

Many people who choose to calculate their BMR when they are doing normal daily work. However, that should never be the right way to do it. An accurate BMR reading happens when the body is completely at rest. Only the involuntary activities of the body like pumping blood and the digestive system working should be the basis of the BMR calculator.


While people try to keep themselves updated with their BMI Index, a similar enthusiasm wanes when it comes to the BMR Index. The complexity of the calculation might be a deterrent. It has been found that while BMI continues to be popular among normal people, BMR is popular among athletes, fitness enthusiasts and sportsmen.

As human body continues to evolve and perform a range of activities, being aware of your BMR might offer you good insights about your body’s proper functioning.

Do you think BMR Calculator is a great health tool, which should be followed by everyone?