top of page

Resting Metabolic Rate (RMR): Everything You Need To Know

How do you think dieticians determine how many calories their clients must consume per day? Well, there are many factors behind the science of weight loss, and it is even far from exact. However, several useful calculations help determine the number of calories that one must eat to stay fit.

These calculations revolve around your RMR or resting metabolic rate. RMR is the number of calories that your body burns when you are at rest. It is the amount of energy that the body needs to perform specific tasks like maintaining body temperature, supporting cardiac function, repairing internal organs, supporting respiration, and more.

Metabolism And Metabolic Rate

Metabolism refers to all the reactions that occur within a cell. It is the biochemical process that converts the food we eat into a form of energy that the body can use for daily functioning. These include automatic functions like breathing to deliberate actions like eating, walking, and so on.

Cells absorb the food that we eat and convert it into units of heat or calories. The calorie is the energy unit that the body uses or stores for future use. The body stores extra calories as fat.

Metabolic rate refers to the number of calories used in a certain amount of time. It includes all the conscious and unconscious processes a body is undertaking at the time. The metabolic rate of a person depends on several factors like age, sex, diet, disease, and activity level.


RMR is the amount of energy the body requires to perform basic functions like circulation and breathing when it is at rest. For most people, it constitutes around two-thirds of the total energy spent in a day. Age, body weight, sex, hormonal balance, and pregnancy all influence RMR.

RMR And Total Energy Expenditure

We may broadly divide the total energy expenditure into three categories.

  • Resting Calories: These are calories used while the body is resting. They are required for regular and daily functioning and comprise the calories spent for essential processes like breathing. They account for up to 80% of the total calories burned.

  • Activity Calories: These are calories spent on daily activities like eating, walking, and so on.

  • Exercise calories: These are calories burned through exercise.

How Is RMR Different From BMR?

While BMR is the amount of energy that the body uses when at complete rest, RMR is the amount of energy the body needs to function at rest. It includes low-effort activities like eating, going to the bathroom, sweating, and so on.

RMR Testing

The RMR test is simple and non-invasive. It helps to determine how many calories an individual should eat to achieve weight loss, attain wellness goals, or enhance sports performance.

During the test, the technician places a special mask over the mouth. This helps collect and measure the oxygen and carbon dioxide levels in the breath. The test lasts for 10 to 20 minutes. During this time, the participant is lying in a relaxed position, listening to music and breathing normally.

To Prepare For The Test

Follow the below instructions before getting the test done.

  • Fast for at least 4-5 hours before the test

  • Avoid coffee 4-5 hours before the test

  • Do not smoke or drink alcoholic beverages 2 hours before the test

  • Do not exercise 4-5 hours before the test

  • Avoid weight training or any other vigorous training 12 hours before the test

  • Drink plenty of water to stay hydrated

  • Come rested and relaxed

The best time to take the test is in the morning. It ensures that you are well-rested, fasting, and relaxed.

How Does The RMR Test Help?

An RMR test helps individuals who are struggling to reach their fitness goals. As it determines the body’s metabolic rate, it will help you:

  • Stabilize weight loss

  • Detect hypo-metabolism

  • Calculate how many calories you burn while resting and while exercising

  • Calculate the number of calories you must consume to achieve your weight goals

  • Analyze the effect of weight loss treatment

It helps athletes determine the minimal calorie intake required to meet their daily requirements. They can then modify their calorie intake and develop a suitable nutrition plan.

The test also calculates your Respiratory Quotient (RQ). Using the quotient, you can estimate how much of your energy comes from carbohydrates and how much from fats. This helps the dietitian when preparing your diet chart.

Determining a body’s daily calorie requirement when the body is at rest and while exercising help reach fitness goals and maintain good health.

To find out your Resting Metabolic Rate on our FDA approved machine, schedule with us today.

23 views0 comments


bottom of page