# Brigham Young University - Idaho

## How to Estimate Your Basal Metabolic Rate

HS 131 - Dr. James A. Lamph

## How to Estimate Your Basal Metabolic Rate

Precise measurement o the basal metabolic rate requires elaborate scientific equipment. However, you can use the following equation, called the Harris-Benedict formula to make an estimate. This version is calibrated for women; though it takes weight, height, and age into account. Other factors-especially the amount of lean tissue in your body-is also important:

4.4 x (weight in pounds) + 4.7 x (height in inches) - 4.7 (ages in years) +655.

Here's how to do the calculation:

Step 1: Multiply your weight in pounds by 4.4 _________

Step 2: Multiply your height in inches by 4.7 _________

Step 3: Add answers from Step 1 and Step 2 _________

Step 4: Multiply your age in years by 4.7 _________

Step 5: Subtract Step 4 answer from Step 3 _________

Step 6: Add 655 to the answer from Step 5 _________

If your weight is normal or slightly above normal, the answer in Step 6 is a good approximation of your BMR-the number of calories you burn each day simply by being alive. If you're very overweight, this will slightly overestimate your BMR by 10 to 15 percent.

Example: Linda weight 173 pounds; she's 5 feet 5 inches (65 inches) tall and 38 years old.

Step 1: Multiply your weight in pounds by 4.4 _________

Step 2: Multiply your height in inches by 4.7 _________

Step 3: Add answers from Step 1 and Step 2 _________

Step 4: Multiply your age in years by 4.7 _________

Step 5: Subtract Step 4 answer from Step 3 _________

Step 6: Add 655 to the answer from Step 5 _________

Linda's BMR is 1,543 calories.

*Basal metabolism - the energy our body needs to remain alive - accounts for 50-75% of our daily caloric expenditure.

*Digestion - we use about 10% of the calories we consume to process food.

*Physical activity - 15-50% of our caloric expenditure is used for activities above the basal metabolic baseline.