Your Body’s Basic Metabolic Needs

Your Body's Basic Metabolic Needs-2Your body has basic metabolic needs. In essence, your body’s basic metabolic needs are what your body needs just to stay alive. These needs can be calculated to determine how to improve your diet!

How Can These Calculations Help Me?

If we know how much your body needs along with your activity level, then your diet can be adjusted accordingly. For example, if your goal is to lose weight (fat) and you’re eating much more than you need, you will not lose weight. So if you’re eating 3000 calories a day and your metabolic rate is 1500 – 2000 a day, then you have a large gap to fill with activity.

Weight loss is not achievable through exercise alone. Let’s say your needs are on the low side (1500 calories a day) and you’re still eating 3000 calories a day but only getting 500 – 1000 calories worth of caloric expenditure. You still have anywhere from 500 – 1000 calories that you need to burn before you start really burning fat. Use your basic metabolic rate to help you decide what to eat or what meals to plan.

If you want to lose weight in a healthy manner, you need a caloric deficit of 250 – 500 per day. This means if you want to lose weight you would need to only consume about 1750 calories of food per day with exercise.

Now, lets get to the calculations. To find your basic metabolic needs, follow the equation and conversions below:


Harris Benedict Equation:

    • Women: BMR = 655.1 + ( 9.563 x weight in kg ) + ( 1.850 x height in cm ) – ( 4.676 x age in years )
    • Men: BMR = 66.47 + ( 13.75 x weight in kg ) + ( 5.003 x height in cm ) – ( 6.755 x age in years )

Weight in lbs/2.2 = kg

Height in inches x 2.55 = cm


I hope you found this helpful with reaching your goals. Come see me if you have questions or need a new exercise program.

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Matthew Bishop Personal Trainer at Elite Sports Clubs

Written by Matthew Bishop, Certified Personal Trainer at Elite Sports Club – North Shore and Elite Sports Club – River Glen.

Matthew has a B.S. in Sports and Exercise Science from Wisconsin Lutheran College, is an American College of Sports Medicine Certified Personal Trainer, and Certified in Advanced Cardiac Life Support (ACLS). He specializes in Sports Performance, Strength and Conditioning, Injury Prevention, Health and Wellness, & Functional Training. Matthew lives by the philosophy of “Anything worth having is worth fighting for” – Susan Phillips and he believes that if you want something, then go get it, and don’t stop till you do.

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