Today most diet and exercise programs focus on choosing the right foods and exercises that will help reduce weight and tone the body. It is a well known fact that both diet and exercise are the key factors required to achieve a healthy body and maintain the desired weight range.
But in order to accurately measure the calories burnt and accordingly customize ones exercise routine it must be measured against a standard of some kind. This is where the BMR – Basal Metabolic Rate plays an important role. The BMR accurately measures the number of calories the body consumes while performing basic metabolic functions such as maintaining internal temperature, pumping blood to the heart, repairing the worn out cells etc.
Normally, if we consume more calories than what we are able to burn through exercise, the excess gets stored as fatty deposits in the body known as Adipose Tissue. Therefore, a good diet and adequate age appropriate exercise are the two main factors than can help us achieve the physique that we desire.
Though every individual has a slightly different metabolic rate, the average tends to be around 70 calories per hour. This rate can vary a little because when we are asleep the rate is slightly lower and when we are awake its slightly higher.
The BMR can also depend on other factors as well such as the internal body temperature. Even a 1/2 degree Celsius increase in body temperature can increase the BMR by upto 7%. This is often noticed when we are running a high fever. If the internal body temperature rises to 4C (7F)above normal, the metabolic rate increases to almost 50%.
Even certain medications such as anti-depressants can lower the BMR and lead to weight gain. This is why it is always recommended that individuals who are following a weight loss diet or exercise program should consult an experienced physician about the adverse effects of certain kinds of prescribed medication. Although taking prescribed medication is in their best health interests, the knowledge that they might put on weight will help to reduce the guilt at least.
There are certain types of fat in diets that are actually considered healthy for the body. These healthy fats, also known as essential fatty acids (EFA) are required to regulate hormones and assist in various electrical functions that take place in the heart, brain and muscles.
BMR can also temporarily change after one has an injury. This is because the body uses the essential fatty acids and proteins to help rebuild the damaged cells and tissues. This knowledge is good to have when one is monitoring their calorie intake and consumption.
Try and avoid consuming foods that are rich in fats and sugars. This is because these foods reduce the BMR as they are lower in fiber and bulk. This actually slows down intestinal activity and thus the body tends to absorb the excess calories before passing these foods through the digestive system. Consuming adequate amounts of vitamins and minerals can help regulate the BMR and keep that process efficient.
BMR in a person is determined chiefly by their genetic make up and other physiological factors. The key to attaining a fit and healthy body is to consume a nutritious well balanced diet and to get adequate age appropriate exercise on a daily basis.
Always monitor your BMR while striving towards weight loss. This will help you to gauge how much you need to increase your BMR before you can achieve the desired results.