BMR calculator – How many calories can I eat per day?

A lean man is tying his shoes, getting ready to run. He knows his BMR and knows that with his current diet, he'll need to add cardio to not gain weight.

Use this BMR calculator to figure out how many calories per day you need.

Whether your goal is to cut, bulk or just try to maintain your current weight, knowing your BMR is a good first step. BMR, short for Basal Metabolic Rate, tells us how many calories the body burns from basic functions such as breathing, circulation, nutrients processing, and cell production.

Once we know our BMR, we’ll be able to calculate the total amount of calories needed per day. We have to eat more calories than our bodies need to gain weight. The exact amount needed to maintain and eat less than needed to lose weight.

How to use the BMR calculator

Before using the BMR calculator you must know your weight and height. When you have measured and weighed yourself, you’re ready to start.

When setting your goals you’ll have the options to maintain weight, weight loss, extreme weight loss, weight gains, fast weight gain. You should never set your goals as extreme weight loss or fast weight gain as you’ll gain little to no long-term benefits from them.

With the extreme weight loss, you’ll lose weight too fast and a lot of muscle will be lost in the process. The fast weight gain is problematic and should never be used for a bulk. Sure, you’ll gain weight fast but instead of mostly gaining muscle, a lot of fat will be gained. This will turn out to be a problem when the cut will take months and you won’t have much to show for it.

Mifflin - St. Jeor Calorie Calculator BMR calculator
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The variables of BMR

While the calculator above might give us an idea of what our bodies need, it might not be 100% correct. Below are a few things the calculator does not consider.

Muscle mass

It requires energy to keep muscles. As you gain more muscle mass, your BMR will get higher too.

Genetics

Your genetics will have a big influence on your actual BMR.

Weather

Cold environments will raise the body’s BMR as more energy is being used to keep the body temperatures out. Likewise, our BMR will be higher in high temperatures too as the body is using energy to keep the vital organs cool.

Diet

If the body is starving you might see your BMR going down. As the body has fewer calories to work with it will prioritize its most important functions and turn off the non-essentials. Our BMRs might go down as far as 30% when in starvation mode.

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