Basal Metabolic Rate:
Basal metabolic rate or BMR is a measurement of the calories needed to perform the body’s normal (basic) functions such as breathing, blood circulation, and production of cells. A resting BMR is the number of calories burnt per unit time during periods of rest. BMR is the amount of energy a body needs to perform its basic functions. It is measured by Harris-Benedict equation (when the person is awake).
For men the BMR is:
88.362 + (13.397 X weight in kilograms) + (4. 799 X height in centimeters) – (5.677 X age in years)
For women the BMR is:
447.593 + (9.247 X weight in kilograms) + (3.098 X height in centimeters) – (4. 330 X age in years)
Other methods like Katch-McArdle equation, and St. Jeor equation are also used to measure BMR.
The basal metabolic rate of the body decreases with age, but varies from person to person. The decline with age is due to the reduction of lean mass (fat-free mass); however, increasing the muscle mass can change the BMR. An understanding of the BMR is vital for people who wish to lose weight, and gain muscle mass. It gives nutritionists an idea to prescribe the ideal diet and helps people gain good health. For people with diabetes, there is a reduction of the glucose-induced thermogenesis. This leads to reduced energy expenditure and thus obesity. Increased resting metabolic rate is also known to increase the risk of diabetes complications.