What is Basal Metabolic Rate (BMR)? How to Increase BMR?

Updated on & Medically Reviewed by Dr Lalitha

Metabolism and metabolic rate are related concepts although they are not exactly the same.


This is a term that encompasses all the chemical processes that take place within a living organism to sustain life. It includes both anabolic processes (which involve building up molecules) and catabolic processes (which involve breaking down molecules). These processes are essential, for managing energy and supporting cell and tissue growth, maintenance and repair.

Metabolic Rate:

This is a measurement that quantifies the amount of energy expended by the body in a given period usually measured per unit of time. Metabolic rate is often expressed in terms of calories burned per hour or per day. It serves as an indicator of how slowly an individuals body utilizes and processes energy.

Various factors contribute to an individual’s metabolic rate, including basal metabolic rate (BMR) activity levels, the thermic effect of food and other physiological processes.

A higher metabolic rate generally implies that the body burns calories efficiently both at rest and, during activity. This can have an impact on weight management and maintaining energy balance.

Can Individuals with a BMR Burn Fat at a Rate?

People with a higher Basal Metabolic Rate (BMR) tend to burn calories at an accelerated pace, which can influence weight management and facilitate fat loss. BMR refers to the amount of energy the body requires for its functions like breathing, circulation and cell production while in a resting state.

How BMR is Linked to Burning Fat?

1. Caloric Expenditure:

BMR accounts for a portion of the calories burned by an individual every day. If someone has a BMR they naturally burn calories even when they are not physically active.

2. Weight Management:

Achieving weight loss or maintaining it is often influenced by finding a balance between calorie intake and expenditure. Individuals with a BMR may find it relatively easier to create a calorie deficit, for burning fat if they follow a healthy diet and lifestyle.

3. Efficient Metabolism:

A higher BMR can indicate that the metabolism operates efficiently meaning that the body processes and utilizes calories swiftly. This efficiency contributes to the bodys capacity to utilize stored fat as an energy source.

However it is important to understand that while your Basal Metabolic Rate (BMR) plays a role in your calorie expenditure there are factors to consider as well.

Activity the calories burned during digestion (known as the effect of food) and your lifestyle habits all contribute to the equation. Even if you have a BMR it is still necessary to maintain a diet and engage in regular physical activity for overall well being and weight management.

It's worth noting that BMR can be influenced by genetics, age, muscle mass and other factors. When it comes to managing weight it is essential to take an approach. This means considering not your BMR but your lifestyle choices and overall health. Its always recommended to seek advice, from healthcare or nutrition professionals based on your circumstances.

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How to Increase Metabolic Rate?

1. Build and Maintain Muscle Mass:

Muscles require energy at rest compared to tissue. Engaging in strength training exercises can help build and preserve muscle mass thus boosting your BMR.

2. Incorporate High Intensity Interval Training (HIIT):

HIIT involves alternating bursts of exercise with periods of rest or low intensity exercise.

High intensity interval training (HIIT) workouts have the potential to rev up your metabolism and continue burning calories even after you've completed your workout session.

Here are some tips to stay active throughout the day:

  1. Incorporate activity, into your daily routine. Opt for taking the stairs of the elevator walking or biking distances instead of driving and make an effort to keep moving throughout the day. These non exercise activities contribute to increased calorie expenditure, known as exercise activity thermogenesis (NEAT).
  2. Stay properly hydrated as dehydration can have an impact on your metabolism. Drinking an amount of water helps maintain metabolic function.
  3. Ensure you get sleep aiming for 7-9 hours of quality sleep per night. Lack of sleep can disrupt metabolic processes. Lead to imbalances that affect appetite and energy metabolism.
  4. Don't severely restrict your calorie intake for periods as it can slow down your metabolism of boosting it. Make sure you consume a number of calories to support your bodys energy needs.
  5. Include protein in your diet as it has a thermic effect compared to fats and carbohydrates. Consuming an amount of protein temporarily increases calorie burning due, to the energy required for digestion and absorption.
  6. Consider exposing yourself to temperatures as it can stimulate the production of brown adipose tissue, which burns calories by generating heat. This doesn't mean you have to start taking ice baths. It could be beneficial to expose yourself to temperatures occasionally.

3. Handle Stress:

Long term stress can cause imbalances, in hormones that can impact your metabolism. Try incorporating stress management techniques like meditation, deep breathing exercises or yoga into your routine.

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Keep in mind that everyone responds differently to these strategies. It's important to take an approach to your health by maintaining a diet engaging in regular physical activity and adopting lifestyle habits that promote overall well being. Before making any changes it's always advisable to seek guidance, from a healthcare or fitness professional based on your unique needs and circumstances.

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Disclaimer: The information provided on this page is not a substitute for professional medical advice, diagnosis, or treatment. If you have any questions or concerns about your health, please talk to a healthcare professional.

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