Resting Metabolic Rate and Caloric Burn

People often ask the question, “How many calories should I consume in a day?”  The answer is fairly complex, but if we break it down to a few things, we can have a better idea of what that number should be.

What is important to think about first, however, is how many calories your body needs to survive each and every day.  Yes, while you are lounging on your couch watching TV, your body is consuming the energy it needs for breathing, to keep your heart beating, and other essential functions.

Given that, your daily caloric requirement is determined by three things:

  • Resting Metabolic Rate (RMR)

  • Physical Activity

  • Thermogenesis (energy required for heat production)

Resting Metabolic Rate (RMR)

Resting metabolic rate is the amount of calories that the body uses while it is at rest.  So this means while you are just lounging around doing nothing at all.  That’s helpful, isn’t it?  RMR accounts for somewhere between 50-80% of your daily caloric expenditure!

Physical Activity

Physical Activity is the second largest user of your body’s energy stores.  All that walking, running, stair climbing, and lifting that you do requires energy to get it done.  Obviously, this is variable depending on the day and your activity level.


Ever feel hot after eating a steak?  That’s your body generating heat to digest and absorb the foods that you consume!  Pretty cool stuff, isn’t it?

If you are looking for a calculator to help you figure some of this stuff, try out this!