What Is The Importance Of Resting Metabolic Rate?

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Resting metabolic rate is the number of calories that your body burns when it is at complete rest. The calorie used at this time supports various types of essential functions in the body that needs energy such as breathing, body temperature, circulation, muscle repair, glandular functions, and functioning of vital organs such as the kidneys, heart, nervous system, lungs, liver, etc. RMR represents the number of calories that are used for the completion of this purpose. In this article, we will tell you how RMR is computed and its impact on weight loss.

What Is The Rate of Metabolism?

Before we understand the resting metabolic rate, it is important to understand metabolism. It is a chemical process by way of which your body transforms food into a usable form of energy. The rate of metabolism is defined as the energy that your body expends per unit time. The quicker your metabolism, the higher will be your metabolic rate.

This will ensure that your body stores fewer amounts of calories as fat in the body. On the other hand, people who have slower metabolism will take more time to digest food in the body. It will lead to more unused and unabsorbed calories in the body. In this way, it will increase the chances to store the unabsorbed calories in the form of fat in the body.

What Is A Resting Metabolic Rate?

There are moments when you are doing nothing. In other words, your body is not engaged in any physical and mental processes. This is called the resting stage. Resting Metabolic Rate is how your metabolic system performs at this stage.

It is quite obvious, that the metabolic rate during the resting stage is going to be less than what it is in the active stage. Resting metabolic rate measures the number of calories that your body burns in absence of any activity.

How Does RMR Differ From BMR?

The metabolic rate in a person is defined in two ways as RMR and BMR. Both of them are significant to lose weight and maintain a healthy weight of the body.

1. RMR (Resting metabolic rate)

It calculates the number of calories burned at the time of complete rest. It can be when the body is in lying state for a minimum of thirty minutes to an hour. Resting metabolic rate computes the release of carbon dioxide and the intake of oxygen in resting conditions. It helps to arrive at the number of calories used by the body in the resting state.

2. BMR (Basal Metabolic Rate)

This is a highly precise method to calculate the total calories burned when your body is resting. It takes different factors into account for the computation of this metabolic rate. For example, the rate is computed when you do not exercise for a day or sleep for a minimum of eight hours, and perform the test in a twelve-hour fasted state.

Now the question arises, why do we need to measure RMR or what is its importance.

Importance Of Resting Metabolic Rate

Resting metabolic rate is imperative to shed excess body weight and maintain optimal body weight without obstructing the fundamental functions in the body. Knowledge of RMR is helpful to understand the number of calories that you would require to function, and how many calories you should intake on a daily basis to shed fat (or add mass to your muscles). The right will promote overall health, and wellness in the body.

Method To Calculate The Resting Metabolic Rate

First Method

You can find various trusted calculators online that help you calculate your resting metabolic rate. These calculators can give you an estimate of what your body burns in an inactive state. These calculators consider several factors such as age, weight, height, diet, types of activities and work you do to arrive at a precise RMR for your specific body type.

Second Method

In addition to RMR calculators, you can even use the  following methods to compute your resting metabolic rate:

1. Mifflin-St. Jeor Equation

  • To calculate RMR for Women

Formula = 9.99 x weight in Kilograms + (6.25 x height in centimeters) – (4.92 x age in years)

  • To calculate RMR for Men

Formula = 9.99 x weight in Kilograms + (6.25 x height in centimeters) – (5 x age in years)

2. Harris-Benedict Equation

  • To calculate RMR for Women

Formula = 447.593 + (9.247 x weight in Kilograms) + (3.098 x height in centimeters) – (4.330 x age in years)

  • To calculate RMR for Men

Formula = 88.362 + (13.397 x weight in Kilograms) + (4.799 x height in centimeters) – (5.677 x age in years)

Third Method

There is one more method available to compute Resting Metabolic Rate i.e., at a testing laboratory. People who have memberships in gyms and fitness clubs, can also get the computation done over there. They will compute the number of calories used during the resting phase by looking at the usage of oxygen and release of carbon dioxide in the body.

Factors That Impact Your Resting Metabolic Rate In The Body

Factors Affecting Resting Metabolic Rate

RMR or Resting Metabolic Rate can differ from one person to another. Some people may have high RMR while others may have low. There can be various reasons for a specific resting metabolic state in your body. Some of the factors you can control while others you can’t. So, let us look at what these factors are:

1. Genes

Every person has distinct genes in their body. These genes are pre-coded and can predict your resting metabolic rate.

2. Age

It is inversely proportional to RMR. As you age, your RMR gradually reduces in the body.

3. Muscle Mass

Your muscle mass can also impact the RMR rate. People who have more lean muscle mass have a greater RMR rate and vice versa. This is because when you build muscles it stimulates metabolism that promotes calorie and fat burn even in states of non-activity. So, when you regularly perform strength training, it not just helps you become stronger but also leaner and fitter.

4. Weather conditions

This is another vital factor that has an impact on metabolism. It has been seen that the metabolic rate is higher in people who live in cold regions. In winters, you would find that your metabolic rate increases. Due to this reason, you can digest foods comparatively easier and sooner than summers. Winters are also the best time to build lean muscles.

5. Pregnancy

Pregnancy increases RMR in the body. This is because of several types of physical and emotional changes in the body that keeps the metabolism active throughout the day.

6. Metabolism stimulating Supplements

You can find several supplements that can raise your resting metabolic rate in the body. They are especially helpful for old-age people or those who have a sluggish metabolism.

7. Meal Timing

People who eat small meals at regular intervals of time have active metabolism. In these people, RMR is high.

8. Crash Dieting

Crash dieting is responsible for reducing RMR. This happens because when you diet, it reduces muscle mass in the body.

Now that you have known the factors that impact RMR, it is important to know what should be your ideal RMR and ways to improve it.

What Should Be The Ideal RMR For Men and Women?

Based on height, we have computed the ideal RMRs for women and men. Based on this chart, you can find out whether you have low or appropriate RMR in the body.

RMR Chart For Women

5 ft 1 inch 1120-1350
5 ft 2 inches 1135-1375
5 ft 3 inches 1155-1395
5 ft 4 inches 1195-1435
5 ft 5 inches 1235-1475
5 ft 6 inches 1270-1510
5 ft 7 inches 1310-1560
5 ft 8 inches 1350-1590
5 ft 9 inches 1370-1600
5 ft 10 inches 1410-1650
5 ft 11 inches 1450-1685

RMR Chart For Men

5 ft 4 inches 1200-1600
5 ft 5 inches 1275-1685
5 ft 6 inches 1340-1750
5 ft 7 inches 1410-1870
5 ft 8 inches 1480-1890
5 ft 9 inches 1550-1960
5 ft 10 inches 1615-2030
5 ft 11 inches 1685-2095
6 ft 1750-2165
6 ft 1 inch 1820-2235
6 ft 2 inches 1890-2300
6 ft 3 inches 1960-2370
6 ft 4 inches 2030-2440

Benefits Of High RMR

With passing age, your metabolism starts to reduce. Due to this reason, children and teenagers have more RMR compared to adults and elderly people.  As you get old, due to slower metabolism and RMR, you tend to accumulate fat in various areas of the body. This increases fat and body weight above permissible levels and makes you prone to obesity, diabetes, heart attack and other serious conditions. To prevent all these side effects, it is very important to increase your resting metabolic rate.

People who have higher RMR burn more calories in their body in the state of inactivity. They should consume more calories in a day to reach their health goals. These people look fit and have a healthy body weight.

There are a few benefits of high RMR.

  • Burn a greater number of calories at rest, which includes sleeping too.
  • Burn a greater number of calories at the time of workout and throughout the day
  • Build more lean muscles that will help reduce body fat percentage, possibilities of heart attack or heart ailment, chances of diabetes, chances of hypertension, and an increase in the internal age.

Reasons Behind Low Resting Metabolic Rate

Low RMR can cause an accumulation of fat in the body. Let us look at the factors that can cause you a low resting metabolic rate.

Age: The lean muscle mass in your body begins to reduce by 2% to 3% every year. The lesser the muscle mass, the lesser will be the metabolic rate. Therefore, it is required that you perform strength training to fight the natural reduction of lean muscle mass with passing time.

Thyroid Hormones: People who have underactive thyroid glands are observed to have low productions of thyroid hormone in the body. Low levels of thyroid reduce the RMR. Thus, it becomes very important to manage your thyroid levels. Proper diet and regular exercise help in keeping the thyroid gland in a proper functioning state.

Exercise: This is a critical factor that impacts the resting metabolic rate in the body. When you exercise, it boosts the metabolism system in the body that in turn increases RMR in the body. People who have low RMR, have more body fat and lean muscle mass. This happens because they have less lean muscle mass.

This condition can lead to the development of various types of diseases that includes stroke, heart disease, diabetes, hypertension, and more. They frequently fall sick and incur heavy medical expenses. To prevent such consequences, it is important to work on ways to increase your body’s RMR. Let us find how you can increase RMR in the below section.

How To Increase Your RMR To Lose Weight?

1. Do Strength Training

There are some factors such as age, and genes, that are not within your control, but maintaining a good fitness regimen is within your control. Incorporates weight training in your exercise regimen as it helps in increasing RMR. It is advised to do strength training three to four times a week to build lean muscle mass.

Your body needs more amount of energy to build muscles. This energy is obtained from the calories you eat and the fat storages in the body. So, when you do weight lifting, it stimulates your metabolism and causes your body to burn a large number of calories throughout the day. In this way, it increases your RMR.

You would also need to do cardio two days a week for 45 minutes to stay lean. Take complete rest on one day. This combination of cardio and weight training with good amounts of quality proteins and healthy carbs will give you lean muscles and increase RMR in the body.

If you are a woman, and afraid of doing weight lifting just because you do not want a muscular body, then you need not worry. This is because, a female body doesn’t produce enough testosterone to get that muscular look.

2. Eat protein-rich meals

Another thing that you need to do is to include protein in every meal as it stimulates metabolism in the body. Depending on the type of physical activity that you do daily, your body needs anywhere around 0.8grams to 1.5 grams protein per kg of your body weight. If you do not get adequate protein, then you can even add protein supplements in your diet.

3. Eat smaller meals frequently

To keep your metabolism active throughout the day, you should eat smaller meals every three hours a day.

4. Chew your food properly

Chewing is an activity that requires energy. So, when you chew your food properly, it causes the burning of calories to generate energy to perform the task. Also, proper chewing of food helps in the digestion of food.

5. Do not do crash dieting

Crash dieting leads to muscle loss and reduces the rate of metabolism. It has also been seen that after-crash dieting, dieters accumulate more fat in their body and that leads them to weight gain.

6. Take supplements

Nowadays you can find several natural and herbal supplements that aim at boosting metabolism in your body. The inclusion of these supplements is a good way to increase RMR. However, before you consume any of these supplements, it is better to take an opinion from the doctor about its safety and effectiveness.

So, we have seen that regular exercise, a healthy lifestyle and a well-balanced diet are all important to increase your RMR.


Resting metabolic rate helps to determine the needs of your body. The knowledge of RMR will encourage you to make a transition from your unhealthy lifestyle to a healthy one. Better lifestyle can help you reduce weight, make you more productive as well as enhance your mental health. It is required to get the RMR checked quickly and take positive steps to lead a healthy, and disease-free life.

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