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Basal Metabolism

We all know someone who eats a lot more than they seem to need, doesn’t exercise too much, and yet stays at an appropriate weight. The opposite is also true: some people don’t eat much, stay active, and yet have some trouble maintaining an adequate BMI. Why does this happen?

Each person has their own metabolism

The basal metabolism plays an important role in this, as we will see below. However, the first thing we need to explain is that both the first and second examples are always exceptional cases. What is normal, which is the case for the vast majority of people, is that a healthy diet coupled with an active lifestyle results in optimal body mass levels and, as a consequence, a better quality of life. First advice: taking care of yourself is always the best option.

What exactly is basal metabolism?

Although we might think that the human body only consumes the calories it needs (i.e. the energy produced by the intake of nutrients through food, which of course includes hydration) when it is fully active, the truth is that our body is permanently demanding the calories metabolized by our body through carbohydrates, proteins and carbohydrates (also popularly known as “fats”).

Does this mean that, for example, while we sleep we continue to burn calories? Yes, that’s exactly what it means. It is what is known as basal metabolism, a concept widely used in nutrition and which is not at all complex. Even when we are resting, the basic functions of our body continue to demand a certain amount of energy. When we are inactive, we do not stop breathing. Our heart does not stop beating either. Obviously, our heart rate is lower at rest, and our breathing rate slows down as well, but this does not mean that we stop burning calories. The basic functions of our body require a certain number of calories, which, as we shall see, is different for each individual. This is precisely what is known as basal metabolism. We will help you calculate your basal metabolism in this very article using a simple formula. You will only have to enter your data to a few simple questions and you will know how many calories you burn per day, in order to keep your body “working”.

Calculate your basal metabolism

So, to handle this concept properly, the only thing to understand is that the human body does not stop “wasting” energy at any time. The basal diet is based precisely on calculating the basal calories we need to optimize our energy balance and help us maintain proper BMI levels. In exceptional circumstances (for example, at times of illness or injury when a person is forced to maintain a period of physical inactivity), this calculation is extremely important.

Lemon & lima

Mandarine & mango

Strawberry & mint

Blueberry & Acai

The process by which our body converts food into the various nutrients we need to stay healthy is extremely complex. From the moment we eat a food until the nutrients are metabolized by our body, multiple mechanisms are activated, especially at the enzymatic and cellular level, which are extremely complex. Basal metabolism, however, is a much simpler concept to understand: keeping us alive requires a continuous expenditure of calories. This expenditure, which is not the same for everyone and depends on factors such as age, sex or weight, can be calculated very simply. Enter the values we ask you to enter in our calculator and then you will know your basal expenditure ⬇️

Basal Metabolism

TMB Calculator (Basal Metabolism Rate)

When we need to assess the calories needed to maintain an adequate body mass index, it is essential that we assess two previous aspects, the types of metabolisms and the basal metabolic rate. All this, which may sound very complicated, is actually not so complicated. We have to understand that the simple fact of being alive, even if we are at rest or even asleep, requires the expenditure of certain energy. When we are asleep our breathing, our blood circulation or our neural activity does not stop. This energy expenditure, which is outside our physical activity, is what is known as the basal metabolism. Calculating how many calories are burned per day at rest helps us define our diet to achieve the energy balance we need to maintain an adequate weight.

How does the thyroid influence our metabolism?

Another key aspect to understand why metabolism is so complex is the thyroid, a very small gland that basically produces two hormones, known as “thyroid hormones” and whose names, if you are interested, are triiodothyronine and thyroxine. What is relevant about these hormones is that they play a key role in the metabolism of food. The hormonal imbalances caused in this small gland, which can be due to different reasons (although they usually have a strong genetic component), critically influence the way our body metabolizes each nutrient. It is important to see the appropriate specialists (in this case endocrine physicians) when we observe that, despite following a proper diet, our BMIs are not what they should be.

calculate basal metabolism

What do we do when our metabolism fails?

When our diet is not adequate, or when our weight is outside the indicated body mass percentages, we have to understand that we are talking about a health problem, on which we need to act. Overweight and obesity are the gateway to serious diseases, from heart attacks to various types of cancer and the WHO already calls it a global epidemic. Generally, overweight and obesity arise as a consequence of unhealthy lifestyles, although sometimes, as we have just indicated in relation to thyroid problems, it is our own hormones that make our metabolism inadequate, which is why we will not tire of promoting two fundamental actions to improve our quality of life. The first is to maintain a really healthy lifestyle and the second is to visit the various health specialists when our body mass indexes are not adequate. When our metabolism fails, the endocrine can help us regulate our hormonal activity to achieve a good BMI.

Basal metabolic rate

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