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What's the difference between BMR & RMR?

Basal Metabolic Rate (BMR) and Resting Metabolic Rate (RMR) are both measures of energy expenditure, but they differ slightly in how they are measured and what they represent:

  • BMR: Basal Metabolic Rate is the amount of energy expended while at complete rest, in a neutrally temperate environment, in the post-absorptive state (meaning that the digestive system is inactive, which requires about 12 hours of fasting in humans). It represents the minimum amount of energy needed to keep your body functioning at rest, including breathing and keeping your heart beating

  • RMR: Resting Metabolic Rate is similar to BMR but is measured under less strict conditions. It includes the energy expended for basic bodily functions, but also includes energy expended for some additional activities like eating or walking to the bathroom. RMR is typically a bit higher than BMR because it accounts for these additional activities.

In essence, BMR is the rate of energy expenditure at complete rest, while RMR includes the energy expenditure at rest plus the energy used for some light activities. RMR is generally considered a more practical measure for most people because it’s a better representation of daily energy expenditure.


Resting Metabolic Rate (RMR) can be calculated using various formulas, but one of the most commonly used methods is the Harris-Benedict equation. The equation takes into account your age, gender, height, and weight to estimate the number of calories you burn at rest. Here are the formulas based on gender:


For men:

RMR = 66.5 + (13.75 x weight in kg) + (5.003 x height in cm) - (6.755 x age in years)


For women:

RMR = 655.1 + (9.563 x weight in kg) + (1.850 x height in cm) - (4.676 x age in years)


These formulas are designed to give you an estimate of the calories your body needs to maintain basic physiological functions at rest. It’s important to note that these are estimates and actual RMR can vary based on several factors including muscle mass, body composition, and overall health.

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