BMR vs RMR basal metabolic rate

As a society, we have become obsessed with metabolism, and how to control it in order to manipulate the calorie-burning process. Most of us associate boosting metabolism with losing more weight, burning more body fat, and increasing lean muscle mass. Resting metabolic rate (RMR) and Basal metabolic rate (BMR) play an important role, in defining a baseline of how many calories you naturally expend, to set attainable goals. Often used interchangeably are there any differences between BMR vs RMR? And what do you need to know about RMR and BMR in order to start your health and fitness journey?

What Is Metabolism and Basal Metabolic Rate (BMR)?

Metabolism is a culmination of functions taking place within your body. These functions include things such as converting the food you eat, into units of heat or energy otherwise known as calories, to fuel basic biological processes like breathing or moving. The rate at which these events occur is known as metabolic rate.  

Your metabolism is calculated using what’s called your Total Daily Energy Expenditure (TDEE). TDEE is comprised of three key components; resting metabolic rate (RMR), the thermic effect of food (TEF), and the thermic effect of physical activity (TEPA). TEF is the energy expended when chewing, swallowing, digesting, and absorbing food. TEPA is the energy of activity, during and not during exercise.

What Is Resting Metabolic Rate (RMR)?

Resting metabolic rate is defined as the energy required by your body to perform basic functions at rest. Some of these essential functions include basic brain activities, blood circulation, sleep, nutrient absorption, digestion, temperature regulation, and breathing. RMR represents the minimum amount of energy required to keep your body functioning.

What is Basal Metabolic Rate (BMR)?

Often used interchangeably with RMR, your basal metabolic rate is defined as the minimum number of calories your body burns to exist without any other outside influences.

Why Do You Want To Know Your BMR and TDEE?

By determining your basal metabolic rate and your total daily energy expenditure, you can accurately predict, how many calories you need in order to maintain your weight, lose weight or build more mass. By knowing how many calories you naturally burn, it provides a baseline so you can calculate how many calories to consume.

IF YOU WANT TO LOSE WEIGHT, then you’ll need to be in a caloric deficit.

IF YOU WANT TO GAIN WEIGHT, then you’ll need to be in a caloric surplus.

So what does it mean to be in a caloric deficit or surplus? Determining your metabolic rate, and the total number of calories you burn each day will provide you with a caloric benchmark. After you find that benchmark you now know, that in order to lose weight, you need to consume fewer calories than your total expenditure. Of course, this takes into account TDEE, which also includes any additional burned calories from activity.   

How To Calculate Your Basal Metabolic Rate?

You can use a metabolic rate calculator, to find out how many calories you burn each day, so you can have a baseline in order to achieve your goals.

If you love math, you can also calculate your own RMR using the Harris and Benedict (H&B) equation, with the formula below.  

MEN: 88.362 + (13.397 × weight in kg) + (4.799 × height in cm) – (5.677 × age in years)

WOMEN: 447.593 + (9.247 × weight in kg) + (3.098 × height in cm) – (4.330 × age in years)

The next step is to include your daily activities based upon your lifestyle, multiplied by your resting metabolic rate. Use the table below 
very minimal or no exercise
Slightly Active
exercise lightly one to three days per week
Moderately Active
Exercise three to five days per week
Very Active
train six to seven days per week
Overly Active
if you train six to seven days a week


How To Change Your Basal Metabolic Rate

Your metabolic rate is determined by several factors, some of which you have direct control over, and others which you do not. Those factors include

  • Age
  • Sex
  • Weight
  • Height
  • Ethnicity
  • Body composition
  • Genetics

If you want to change your metabolic rate, you have to change your weight and body composition. This, of course, is achieved through your diet, nutrition, and exercise regimen. The more lean muscle mass you have, the more calories your body will burn at rest.

Meeting your health and fitness goals starts and ends in the kitchen, with your nutrition. If you want to reach your goals effectively and fast, then you need to optimize your diet accordingly. Lowering your caloric intake is crucial to burning body fat and achieving your weight loss goals, just as raising your caloric intake is necessary for gaining more mass. If you don’t know where to start, then check out our one-on-one performance-driven nutrition coaching at The Swole Kitchen.

RELATED ARTICLE 8 Natural Ways To Boost Your Metabolism

Another way to boost your metabolic rate is by incorporating a proven thermogenic or weight loss supplement. Fat burners don't work on their own, however, when you pair them with diet and exercise, they can provide a pretty good boost to your metabolic rate. Weight loss ingredients such as green tea extract, and forskolin, are proven to increase fat oxidation through a process called lipolysis. When you workout, your body utilizes more oxygen, which essentially oxidizes, and releases fat cells to be used as fuel. Research has shown that Green Tea Extract, increases fat oxidation by 17-20%.

RELATED ARTICLE Does Green Tea Help Weight Loss?

A fat burner supplement that contains, clinically proven weight loss ingredients such as THERM can improve metabolism and change your metabolic rate. 

RELATED ARTICLE How To Lose Body Fat And Gain Lean Muscle Mass

BMR & RMR: Takeaway

If you take your health and fitness seriously, then it's important to know your basal metabolic rate and how many calories you're burning at rest. Your BMR will provide a baseline to help you achieve your body composition goals. 

Looking for a way to change your metabolic rate?

Swolverine's Therm® is a natural thermogenic, designed specifically to help you burn more calories at rest and finally reach the body goals you’ve been working for. With 20 clinically proven, active weight loss ingredients such as Green Tea Leaf, Yerba Mate, Garcinia Cambogia, Guarana, and Forskolin, THERM is the perfect weight loss supplement to jumpstart your metabolism, burn more body fat, and boost your energy so you can enhance the results of your fitness journey.


SWOLVERINE is an endurance athlete and active lifestyle brand. Made for the elite athlete, and the strong-willed our products were designed to fuel your athletic performance. We perform when you perform. 

We believe that everyone can optimize not only their athletic performance but their human potential. The way we believe we can optimize performance is through transparency, clinically effective doses, and clinically proven ingredients with evidence-based outcomes. We provide the nutrients you need to power your active lifestyle. 

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