You have probably heard the term “BMR,” or Basal Metabolic Rate, referenced in the fitness industry. But what does this mean? BMR measures how many calories you burn when your body is at rest or doing basically nothing. A common question people have is whether you can change your BMR or not. Your BMR is partly determined by genetics, but there are ways your body can naturally change it. I will explain how…
When you lose weight, your body will change. This is part of the process called metabolic adaptation, meaning that your metabolism changes in correspondence with your body. It is amazing that our bodies can do this, right? So, what does this mean for your basal metabolic rate (BMR) then? If you lose weight, your BMR will decrease. The more weight you drop, the smaller your body will become. If your body is smaller than usual, you will not be burning the same number of calories while doing nothing. It will burn less calories causing your BMR to drop as well.
Keep moving. The best way to increase your overall calorie burn is through activity. So, the bottom line is doing more movement. Increase your daily step goals or try to increase your NEAT activity. NEAT stands for Non-exercise activity thermogenesis. This could be doing chores, making your bed, sleeping, etc. These types of activities add up throughout the day. Let’s say you’re losing weight and your BMR is dropping, but you don’t want it to. What else can you do? The reality is that the smaller you get, the less calories you will burn while working out and doing nothing. You can increase your daily movement, but it will only help you so much. When you lose weight, it has a rippling effect. Your calories decrease which then slows down your metabolism. This will happen no matter what, because your body is always adapting to the signals you send it.
The Bottom Line
If your goal is to not lose weight but you still want to change your BMR, then focus on implementing more activity throughout your day.
If your goal is weight loss, understand that a lot of changes will happen to your body. You will be eating less calories, burning less calories and your BMR will drop inevitably. If you are on this path, don’t worry about your BMR. Changing your BMR will not bring the best results for losing body fat. Focus on calories in, calories out and you will start to see the pounds drop.