• Share
Send to a Friend via Email

### Your suggestion is on its way!

An email with a link to:

was emailed to:

Thanks for sharing About.com with others!

# Video:Determining if You Need to Increase Your Metabolism

with Dr. Mary Ann Block

• All Videos
• All Health Videos
• Thyroid Disease Videos

## Transcript:Determining if You Need to Increase Your Metabolism

Hi, I’m Dr. Mary Ann Block, Physician, Author and Medical Director of The Block Center in Dallas/Fort Worth, here for About.com. Figuring out how many calories you should eat is not easy because it’s a different number for everyone. Today, I’ll explain how to determine your metabolic rate.

### What is the Basal Metabolic Rate

Your basal metabolic rate, also known as BMR, is the minimum amount of calories your body needs for basic functions: such as digesting food, breathing, and keeping your organs working. Different factors affect your metabolic rate, such as your gender, age, weight, and physical activity.

### Using the Basal Metabolic Rate Formula

To figure out how many calories you need to consume in order to: maintain your regular weight, lose weight or gain weight, you have to do a bit of math. I’ll explain it in two steps. Step one involves the Harris-Benedict principle. It’s a simple formula that can determine your BMR.

For women, the formula goes: 655 + (4.3 x weight in pounds) + (4.7 x height in inches) - (4.7 x age in years).

So, if a woman weighs 120 pounds, is 5 foot four -- or 64 inches, and 32 years old, her metabolic rate would be: 1321. That means, that she’d need a bare minimum of 1321 calories per day. Keep in mind though, that this is the very basic intake. Women who are active, exercise, or pregnant, for example, will need a significant amount of additional calories.

For men, the formula is a bit different: 66 + (6.3 x weight in pounds) + (12.9 x height in inches) - (6.8 x age in years).

If a man weighs 190 pounds, is 6 foot tall -- or 72 inches, and 62 years old, his metabolic rate would be: 1770. That means, he needs to consume at least 1770 calories on a daily basis.