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What is the basal metabolic rate and how to calculate it: useful tips


Basal metabolism

Basal metabolic rate is closely linked to weight: knowing how to calculate it is important to lose weight and keep fit. Let’s find out what it is and what are the tips to speed it up.

Basal energy metabolism is the minimum amount of energy necessary for our body to perform vital metabolic functions: breathing, blood circulation, digestion and much more. Knowing how to identify the characteristics of your basal metabolism is important if you want to plan a diet . To lose weight and stay fit, you need to know the caloric needs of our body, and this is what the basal metabolism reveals about us. Let’s find out some more information.

What is basal metabolic rate

When we ingest food, it is processed and converted into energy thanks to the metabolism. It is therefore evident that this process is closely linked to slimming and weight gain. In particular, the basal metabolism – the one that allows us to maintain vital functions and the state of wakefulness – represents about 60 – 70% of the total metabolism.

There are many factors that influence it: age, gender, body size, medication intake, physical activity, ambient temperature are just some of the details to take into consideration. However, it is important to know how one’s basal metabolism works, to identify the daily caloric needs and the correct diet to lose weight or to avoid running into problems of overweight and obesity.

Basal metabolism
Basal metabolism

How to calculate the basal metabolic rate

Calculating the basal metabolic rate is not simple. It is carried out using a calorimeter, which measures the oxygen used by our body based on the kilocalories absorbed and metabolized. To get a correct calculation, it is important to meet some basic requirements.

You must be awake , but in a resting state, so it is best to take the measurement in the morning. In addition, you must have been fasting for at least 12 hours and have not exercised in the previous hour. Finally you should find yourself in an environment that has a temperature between 20 ° and 27 ° C.

The calculation is expressed in kilocalories and indicates how many calories our body needs to be able to perform at least the basic functions. The caloric requirement thus identified can be used to develop a correct diet for weight loss and to keep fit.

There is also a basal metabolic rate calculator that can be used in all simplicity, although it is evident that the results cannot be considered as accurate as those obtained with the use of the calorimeter. Here are the formulas to get a generic indication of your basal metabolic rate.

For men : 66.4730 + (13.7156 x weight in kg) + (5.033 x height in cm) – (6.775 x age in years).

For women : 655.095 + (9.5634 x weight in kg) + (1.849 x height in cm) – (4.6756 x age in years).

The slow basal metabolism

Balanced nutrition
Balanced nutrition

The slowing down of the basal metabolism is a physiological process, which occurs with advancing age and which involves a lower energy requirement. This means you will have a greater tendency to gain weight and a more pronounced difficulty in losing weight. For this reason it is important to try to activate your metabolism, so as not to have to give up the pleasures of the table and still stay in shape.

Tips for a fast basal metabolic rate

Do physical activity , albeit moderate: choose the stairs instead of the elevator, take long walks and try to carve out time for a little gym.

Don’t skip meals : you should eat 4 to 6 times a day, possibly at regular times. This way you keep your metabolism running.

Follow a correct diet : green light to foods rich in proteins, fruits and vegetables, but also to foods that contain “good” carbohydrates and “good” fats. Also always remember to drink plenty of water.

Do not give up on caffeine : this substance activates the metabolism. Quietly drink your coffee , or tea if you prefer.


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