If you're not new to the dieting game, you may have heard of a measurement called the "Basal Metabolic Rate" (BMR). This metric tells you approximately how many calories you need per day to sustain your body's basic functions, including breathing, circulation, nutrient processing, muscle contraction, and cell production.

This number accounts for between 60 and 75 percent of the calories we use in a day, with the rest coming from "non-essential" activities like movement and digestion.

Since perfect conditions are very hard to achieve, even scientists usually instead measure a "resting" metabolic rate rather than a strictly basal one, and the two terms are used more or less interchangeably by laypeople.

The only way to precisely calculate your individual BMR/RMR is by using indirect calorimetry, which involves analysis of the gases you exhale and is usually only used for scientific and medical purposes. However, you can still get yourself a rough estimation of your BMR by using the Harris-Benedict formula, which takes into account weight, height, age, and gender.


BMR = 655 + (9.6 × weight in kg) + (1.8 × height in cm) – (4.7 × age in years)


BMR = 66 + (13.7 × weight in kg) + (5 × height in cm) – (6.8 × age in years)

You can also use an online calculator like this one. If you're interested in how many calories you burn in a typical day, you can multiply your BMR by your activity factor.

Desk job/no exercise=1.2 activity factor

Exercise 1-3 days a week=1.375 activity factor

Exercise 3-5 days a week=1.55 activity factor

Exercise 6-7 days a week=1.725 activity factor

Pro-athlete/physically demanding job=1.9 activity factor

You could also add your calorie-burn data from a fitness tracker to your BMR, or use other online calculators like this one. If you're interested in how many calories you burn in a typical day, you can multiply your BMR by your activity factor. Most experts suggest trying to create a daily deficit of at least 500 calories if you want to lose weight.

Of course, there are also individual differences in metabolism. Some diseases can affect your BMR; hypothyroidism, for instance, can slow it down, while hyperthyroidism does the opposite.

Your ethnicity and genetics also play a part in determining your BMR, as does your weight history. As you lose weight, along with your BMR going down because you now simply have less of you to sustain, your body may also go into a kind of panic mode since it "thinks" you are starving and start holding onto more calories.

The good news is one factor in your BMR that you can control is the amount of muscle you have. A pound of muscle burns 3 times more per day than a pound of fat, so a gain of 2-5 pounds of muscle would burn an extra 30-75 calories per day. That may not sound like much, but it adds up to almost 8 pounds a year!

Though the 123Diet doesn't require strict "calorie-counting," it's more or less impossible to go over your BMR if you stick to your allowed portions of healthy low-calorie food. Our drops also contain ingredients that may boost your metabolism like green tea extract, the herb rhodiola rosea, and 8 different amino acids.

Other ways to increase your metabolism include eating at least 3 meals a day, undergoing extreme temperatures (thus the popularity of saunas and ice baths), and increasing your intake of caffeine and other stimulants.

You can also make an effort to eat metabolism-boosting foods and use more fat-burning herbs and spices; though you should also beware that your body may make you feel hungrier to compensate.

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