Basal Metabolic Rate

Basal Metabolic Rate (BMR) – Your basal metabolic rate is the total amount of calories your body requires daily just to maintain normal bodily functions. This includes digestion, circulation, respiration, maintaining your temperature, cell construction and every other process in your body. BMR is the total of all the energy you use for basic bodily functions at REST. This does not include physical activity.

Calculate your BMR

BMR Calculator (Basal Metabolic Rate, Mifflin St Jeor Equation)

The activity factor takes into account everything you do in a day not just training. After you find your BMR use one of these multipliers to find the amount of calories you need to stay at the same weight (maintenance calories).

Be honest with yourself here…this is where most people mess this process up.

Activity Factor Multiplier

BMR x 1.2


You don’t move much. No exercise, desk job, lots of Netflix, no chill.

BMR x 1.3-1.4

Lightly Active

Active a few days a week. Strength-training/exercising 1-3 days consistently per week.

BMR x 1.5-1.6

Moderately Active

Pretty active in and out of the gym. Train 4-5 days a week and active lifestyle

BMR x 1.7-1.8

Very Active

Very active outside the gym. Really active Training hard for a specific sport or purpose 5-6 hours a week.

BMR x 1.9-2.2

Extremely Active

Endurance training or hard-charging athlete who spends 10 or more hours training a week and/or lots of activity outside of training. Can require more calories than this as well depending on one’s metabolic capacity

Example: a person with a BMR of 1,500kcals who trains 3 days/week would multiply their BMR x1.3. Estimated maintenance is 1,950kcals. This is nothing more than a starting point.


Next Step – Pick your goal (Fat Loss/Muscle Gain/Weight Maintenance)

  • Weight Maintenance – Congratulations. You’ve figured out your estimated maintenance with the above information.
  • Fat Loss – you will need to create a caloric deficit. There are several ways to create this. The old adage of “subtract 500kcals daily” to essentially burn 1lb of fat can be a good start if you don’t like to do the math. That said, I like to set deficits based by percentages (%). Most people do well between a 20-30% deficit. The more body fat you have, the bigger the deficit can be. If you don’t train a lot, the bigger the deficit can be. If you train more or are leaner, you will want a smaller deficit.
    • Example: If a person’s maintenance is 1950kcals and is holding a decent amount of body fat and training 3 days/week, you could start with a 25% deficit. 1950 – 25% = 1460kcals
  • Muscle Gain – you will need to create a caloric surplus. Keep it simple.
    • Ladies – Start by adding 150-1750kcals above maintenance
    • Gentlemen – Start by adding 175-225kcals above maintenance.


Macros/Calories Calculator

Macronutrients are what make up your calorie intake.

Protein – 4kcal/g
Carbohydrate – 4kcal/g
Fat – 9kcal/g

Total Calorie Goal = Protein + Carbs + Fats

Note: There are 2 ways to approach this. For the sake of meal planning, I would say stick to macro targets which helps with consistency. You can, however, stick to your protein target and hit your calories while doing as you wish with carbs/fats. Pick which works best for you.

How to Determine Your Macro Intake



Protein is needed to maintain lean muscle mass, especially when in fat loss. Protein builds muscles. Protein has the highest thermic effect of the macronutrients (burns more calories during digestion). Protein helps keep you filled. In the macronutrient caste system, protein is number one.

  • Fat Loss (leaner individual/healthy weight) – 2.2–3.3 g/kg (1.00–1.50 g/lb)
    • Example: Weight: 170lbs. 170-255g protein.
  • Fat Loss (obese/overweight) – 1.2–1.5 g/kg (0.54–0.68 g/lb)
    • Example: Weight: 170lbs. 91-115g protein

When determining a protein goal, a few factors come into play with the main one being preference. If you don’t like a lot of protein, you can get away with lower amounts. That said, if you’ve been dieting for a long time, suck it up – you’ll need to eat more.

Another factor is if you find yourself even more hungry, whole protein sources are more filling so opt for higher protein.


Fat is needed for your hormones and cell functions. It keeps your immune system in check. It makes food taste fantastic and what tends to give it texture. It’s also energy storage.

There are two ways to determine fat intake – both yield similar results.

  • 25-35% of total calories intake
    • Example: If a person is to eat 1460kcals, this could be anywhere from 41-56g fat
  • .4-.6g/lb of Target Body Weight
    • Example: If you weigh 160lbs and you have a target bodyweight of 140lbs. Multiply 140 x .4-.6. Intake range is 55-85g fat.


Remaining calories left after protein and fat is set.


Putting it together.

Person A is overweight and weighs 200lbs.

Their goal is fat loss.

First, they set their calories.

If their BMR is 1900 and train 3 days weekly, multiply that by 1.4. Maintenance calories is 2,660kcals.

This person has enough fat for a larger deficit. Person A sets a 30% deficit.

2,660kcals – 30% = 1862kcals (1860kcals rounded)

Next, set protein intake.

Moving to the higher side of this, Person A decides to set protein at .68g/lb. 200 x .68 = 136g protein (140g protein rounded up).

Next, set fat intake.

Person A loves more carbs than that. Person A also has a target bodyweight of 180lbs. 180 x .4 = 72g fat (70g fat rounded down).

Finally, carbs are set.

140g protein x 4kcals/g = 560kcals.

70g fat x 9kcals/g = 630kcals.

560 + 630 = 1190kcals remaining.

1860kcals (starting) – 1190 (total cals from carbs and fat) = 670kcals remaining for carbs

670kcals /4kcals/g = 167.5 (170g carbs rounded up).

Macro Targets are:

140g protein (560kcals)

170g carbs (680kcals)

70g fat (630kcals)

1870kcals (10kcals different from the estimated start with the rounding).


What I have below is a calculator you can use to figure out your own macros. Remember, pick a protein goal then a fat goal, then fill the rest with carbs. The calories will automatically calculate.

Calculate Your Macros!


BMR Calculator (Basal Metabolic Rate, Mifflin St Jeor Equation)