What Is Your Basal Metabolic Rate?

Basal metabolic rate (BMR) is the total amount of energy the body burns up in order to maintain vital body functions. Measurement of the BMR requires a person to be awake but at complete rest.

BMR is closely related to the resting metabolic rate (RMR), which is simply the amount of energy expended by the body when the person is awake and performs normal, non-physical, everyday activities.

Basal metabolic rate is a component of total daily calorie/ energy expenditure (TEE). The other components are: physical activity (PA) and the thermic effect of food (TEF).

Basal Metabolic Rate


Generally, BMR makes up around 60% of a person's daily energy expenditure, physical activity makes up around 30% and thermic effect of food makes up around 10%.

In order to burn fat and lose weight it is essential to speed up your metabolism as possible. This may be done through various means, which are:

  • Increase your muscle mass

  • Increase your sympathetic tone

  • Increase your thyroid output

  • Increase your aerobic fitness

  • Boost your basal metabolic rate 1:
    Increase your muscle mass

    Muscle is one of the most metabolically-active tissues in the body (the other being nerve tissue) so increasing your muscle mass will directly boost your metabolism.

    The most effective way to increase your muscle mass is by performing a regular weight-training workout, ensuring you have an adequate protein intake and by providing your body with plenty of rest, which will then allow your muscles to grow. These are the 3 most important factors in muscle growth.

    Of course, most people don't want to increase their muscle mass dramatically and even though it is highly unlikely, the best way to ensure that it does not occur it to simply control your food intake.

    Muscles can only grow when there is an excess of calories in your diet. If you don't provide the extra calories that the body needs to build muscle then all that will occur is that your body will maintain its existing muscle mass. The beauty of this is the fact that maintaining your muscle mass will mean that you keep your metabolism elevated and therefore make your body a more efficient fat burner.

    This is the most overlooked fact when most people want to lose weight. They are happy to consider making changes to their nutritional habits, perhaps perform some aerobic exercise and take some supplements. However, rarely do they consider some form of resistance exercise in their quest to lose weight under the mistaken belief that they will somehow 'bulk up'!

    Unfortunately, they are making a big mistake. By not performing any resistance exercise as you lose weight your body will indiscriminately lose both fat and muscle tissue. A loss of muscle will, of course, slow down your metabolism.

    Boost your basal metabolic rate 2:
    Increase your sympathetic tone

    Sympathetic tone describes the amount of activity that occurs in a person's sympathetic nervous system. People who have a naturally fast metabolism, i.e. a high basal metabolic rate, and who tend to be able to maintain a healthy weight easily, generally have a higher sympathetic tone.

    These people tend to be able to eat whatever they want, do very little exercise and still not gain weight. However, these people are very rare. The vast majority of people tend to have a normal sympathetic tone.

    A normal sympathetic tone means it is essential that you use the nutrition, exercise and supplementation principles on this website to ensure you lose weight and/ or maintain a healthy weight.

    In saying this, it is possible to increase the activity of your sympathetic tone. Boosting your sympathetic tone simply requires you to use a thermogenic. Thermogenics, or fat burners, increase the activity of your sympathetic nervous system and therefore can help to boost your resting metabolic rate.

    Thermogenics are certainly not 'magic pills' and are not designed to make up for a wayward lifestyle. However, they can help you achieve your weight-loss goal faster by simply increasing your basal metabolic rate. This means your total daily energy expenditure will be greater and this will increase the likelihood that you will create a calorie/ energy deficit and therefore lose weight.

    Boost your basal metabolic rate 3:
    Increase your thyroid output

    Your thyroid gland controls the metabolism of all body cells through it's production of two hormones, thyroxine (T4) and triiodothyronine (T3). T3 is actually 5 times stronger than T4 and most of it is produced in the liver from the conversion of T4 into T3.

    By increasing the output of your thyroid hormones it is possible to boost your resting metabolic rate. Studies have shown that even if you have a normal-functioning thyroid gland it may be possible to increase its output by supplementing your diet with certain nutrients. The nutrients that can boost thyroid hormone production are all included in Thyroid Support Complex .

    There is also some suggestion that optimizing your adrenal function may also improve thyroid function. Therefore, a specific group of herbs known as 'adaptogens' may improve adrenal function, which can then have a positive impact on thyroid function too.

    Examples of adaptogens include: rhodiola, withania, ginseng, licorice, cordyceps and holy basil. BCN Health's Rhodiola Advanced is certainly a very popular supplement to use.

    It is hypothesized that by improving adrenal function, in some people levels of cortisol may increase and by doing so levels of rT3 (reverse T3) may decrease. Reverse T3 has a negative impact on a person's basal metabolic rate. Therefore, keeping its level under control is absolutely essential if you want to lose weight.

    Thyroid Support Complex provides your body with the nutrients it needs to boost thyroid function as well as optimize adrenal function. Using this product will make a massive difference in helping you increase your basal metabolic rate.

    Boost your basal metabolic rate 4:
    Increase your aerobic fitness

    Aerobic exercise causes a number of positive adaptations in the body. These adaptations include, but are not limited to, the following: increase the number and activity of the mitochondria in all body cells, increase the production of aerobic enzymes in the tissues of the body, increase in the capillary density (blood vessels) surrounding each muscle fibre and increase the heart and lung capacity of the body.

    Collectively, these adaptation mean that your body increases it's efficiency of functioning and by doing so can burn off fuel more efficiently. This means that your basal metabolic rate also increases.

    Of course, these adaptations tend to occur when the aerobic exercise is performed at a reasonable level of intensity rather than simply performing daily activities.

    Overall, these 4 factors can have a major impact on your basal metabolic rate and therefore, your ability to lose weight fast! Use the principles outlined here, give your basal metabolic rate a real boost and get ready to watch the fat melt off your body!

    For more detailed information on how to boost your metabolism, please read: The Metabolism Miracle.

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