Your Basal Metabolic Rate And Weight Gain

How does your basal metabolic rate figure into your weight gain? Your metabolic rate and your nutrition are the biggest determining factors in whether you will gain or lose weight. You can increase your metabolic rate with proper training and nutrition. Here is a question asked by a client:

Client Q: What is my basal metabolic rate (BMR) and how does it relate to fat loss and weight loss?

Mark's A: Your BMR is the amount of daily calories your body needs to maintain itself. Said another way, it is the amount of calories your body would burn if you did nothing all day. Not everyone burns calories at the same rate. Some factors that influence the speed of your metabolism are:

1) Your age. Your metabolism may slow down about 5% per decade if you are sedentary.
2) Gender. Men generally burn more calories at rest than women.
3) Your proportion of lean muscle mass to fat mass. The more lean muscle mass you have, the higher your metabolic rate will be.
4) Heredity also plays a part in your body's rate of metabolism.
5) Thyroid problems may also cause your metabolism to slow down.

Fortunately, muscle mass can be maintained/increased (and body fat decreased) throughout your life through weight training. Weight training also helps to keep your bones strong (preventing osteoporosis).

My BMR is approximately 2000 calories, so if I consume 2000 daily calories I will burn fat and lose weight. This happens through exercise and daily activities which would allow me to maintain a caloric deficit. Remember, a caloric surplus (consuming more calories than you burn) causes you to gain fat and weight.

One surprising thing about metabolism is this: the more you weigh, the faster your metabolism will be. This happens because your body must work harder to maintain itself. That is also why it is easier to lose weight in the beginning of a fat loss/weight loss program.

The overweight person's metabolism is running so high that any cut in calories will result in quick weight losses. On the other hand, its easier for that person to regain the weight because her or his body now needs fewer calories to sustain itself.

Here are some other facts about metabolism:

Fact #1 A slow or sluggish metabolism is not the major cause of weight gain.

A caloric imbalance is the cause of weight gain (consuming more calories than you burn in a day). If you have a slow or sluggish metabolism? A brisk 30 minute walk each day would get you started in the right direction to speed it up.

Fact #2 Lifting weights (or other resistance exercises) and cardio exercise will give you a higher metabolic rate.

Specifically, a combination of circuit weight training and high intensity interval cardio will get your metabolism "revved up."

Fact #3 Sweating is not a gauge of how many calories you are burning.

This may be bad news for sauna and steam room lovers! Weight loss or gain is a product of calories consumed or burned. If you burn more calories than you consume, you will lose weight and vice-versa.

Fact #4 The best time to exercise is whenever you have the most energy.

Working out at any time of the day will increase metabolism for several hours, depending on intensity.

Fact #5 Your metabolism doesn't necessarily have to slow down as you get older. Again, a combination of circuit weight training and high intensity interval cardio will keep your metabolism "revved up" throughout your life.

Fact #6 Eating smaller, frequent meals will keep your metabolism "revved up" during the day. Your metabolism will slow down if there are too many hours between meals.

Fact #7 There is no significant evidence showing that eating certain foods/drinks such as peppers and green tea will speed your metabolism for a long period of time.

Actually, any food will speed your metabolism within the first hour after you eat. A high-protein food might speed metabolism for a longer period of time since protein requires about 25% more energy to digest. Your best bet is to follow Fact #6 when it comes to eating.

Free Bodyweight 500 Metabolic Fat Burner Workouts. Start shaping your body faster! There are 3 levels: beginner, intermediate and advanced. Start at your level.

Mark Dilworth, BA, PES
My Fitness Hut


  1. Thanks a lot for sharing those facts and other factors about weight gain. They're definitely very helpful.

    -Buy Vega

  2. Great article about metabolism and BMR! Understanding metabolism can be very frustrating and the info provided is educational - thank you! How do you calculate your BMR?

  3. Hi Nora.....calculate your BMR here:


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About Mark


Mark Dilworth is a Lifestyle and Weight Management Specialist and since 2006 he has owned Your Fitness University, Her Fitness Hut, My Fitness Hut, Sports Fitness Hut.

Mark has helped thousands of clients and readers make lifestyle changes that lead to better long-term health, which includes acceptable body fat and ideal body weight.He does not recommend fad diets, quick weight loss gimmicks, starvation diets, weight loss pills, fat burner supplements and the like.