Omni Calculator logo

BMR Calculator (Basal Metabolic Rate, Mifflin St Jeor Equation)

Created by Kacper Pawlik, MD, Mateusz Mucha and Rita Rain
Reviewed by Bogna Szyk and Jack Bowater
Based on research by
Harris JA, Benedict FG. A Biometric Study of Human Basal Metabolism.; The Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences (PNAS); 1918See 4 more sources
Mifflin MD, St Jeor ST, Hill LA, Scott BJ, Daugherty SA, Koh YO. A new predictive equation for resting energy expenditure in healthy individuals; The American Journal of Clinical Nutrition; February 1990McArdle WD, Katch FI, Katch VL. Exercise Physiology – Energy, Nutrition and Human Performance.; Journal of Physical Therapy Education; 2001Schofield WN. Predicting basal metabolic rate, new standards and review of previous work; Human nutrition : Clinical nutrition; 1985Roza AM, Shizgal HM. The Harris Benedict equation reevaluated: resting energy requirements and the body cell mass.; The American Journal of Clinical Nutrition; July 1984
Last updated: Jul 01, 2024

This BMR Calculator is a simple tool that helps you calculate how many calories your body needs if you were only to rest for the whole day. Based on your age, height, weight, and gender, the basal metabolic rate calculator returns your BMR score. Keep reading to learn what BMR is, how to calculate BMR, and learn more about the Mifflin St Jeor equation and other BMR formulas. We will also show you the differences between calculating BMR for a male and estimating BMR for a female.

For more inquisitive readers, we have prepared a brief, theoretical background on how to distinguish basal metabolic rate (BMR) from resting metabolic rate (RMR). We also have written about what factors affect our BMR. Do we have an influence on our BMR? Keep reading to find an answer!

If you want to calculate how many calories your body needs to maintain your current weight, we recommend checking out our maintenance calorie calculator. Still looking for the perfect diet? Discover our dietary reference intake (DRI) calculator and find out your recommended amount of vitamins, micro- and macronutrients.

Prefer watching over reading? Learn all you need in 90 seconds with this video we made for you:

What is BMR? – BMR definition

Basal metabolic rate is the amount of energy a human body uses when it is completely at rest. It's the amount of energy your body needs to support its vital functions: breathing, blood circulation, controlling body temperature, and brain and nerve functions, to name a few. The organs that use the most energy at rest are the brain, the central nervous system, and the liver.

What's interesting is that, throughout the day, more energy is consumed by the regulation of fluid volumes and ion levels than in the actual mechanical work of contracting muscles (e.g., breathing). We automatically correct concentrations and the amounts of different substances in various areas of our body to preserve homeostasis (a state of steady internal conditions). Sometimes this requires transporting substances through barriers (e.g., cell membranes) and against a concentration (or molarity) gradient. This means that particles are transported from space, with their low concentration, to space with a higher concentration – a process that requires energy.

On a whole-body scale, this amounts to a lot of energy. It also explains why our central nervous system consumes so much energy in terms of basal metabolic rate. When a neural impulse is conducted, a lot of different ions change their location. Afterward, they need to be transported back to their original place.

People regularly use more energy than their basal metabolic rate. It is because most people do not spend all day in bed without moving! Walking, running, working, talking, and even digesting are actions that require some extra energy greater than the basal metabolic rate. To achieve such a low expenditure of energy, you have to be physically and psychologically inactive. In other words, you cannot use any muscles or think intensively. You need to be as relaxed as humanly possible. Other necessary criteria include staying in an environment with thermal comfort and not eating for a certain period. The latter condition assures that you will not be using energy to digest food. In a scientific setting, BMR is often measured during a period of sleep.

Your BMR accounts for about 60% to 75% of your total energy expenditure (TEE), depending on your lifestyle and activity level. The total energy expenditure is the total number of calories you burn every day. The rest of your TEE comes from the physical activities (walking, talking, eating, etc.) and food digestion. Physical activities account for about 20% of your total energy expenditure but can vary a bit depending on how often you exercise for and its intensity. Food digestions, or as some say, postprandial (after-meal) thermogenesis, use around 10% of your TEE. BMR tends to decrease with age and with a lower lean body mass. On the other hand, increasing your muscle mass will most likely increase your BMR. We have written more about the different things that influence the Basal Metabolic Rate in the factors affecting BMR paragraph.

How to use the basal metabolic rate calculator

BMR is short for the basal metabolic rate. Basal metabolism is a set of chemical reactions that occur in everyone's body that maintain its living state. We have covered this topic thoroughly in the previous paragraph (What is BMR? – BMR definition). If you know what your basal metabolic rate is, you can estimate the minimal amount of calories you need to take in to live, which helps you to evaluate the total number of calories you should provide to your body daily. Remember, you need to add your energy expenditure (in calories) from other activities, like walking, talking, etc., to the number of calories calculated by our BMR calculator. If you add another 10% for digestion, you will get your daily total energy expenditure. You may use this information as the basis for your weight loss plan.

But how to use the basal metabolic rate calculator?

  1. First, measure your weight and type it into the Weight field of our calculator.

  2. Secondly, check your height and input it into the Height field.

  3. Now, input your age into the Age field. Please note that the age value has to be in years.

  4. The last thing to do is to select your sex. In the next section, you will see how it slightly changes the basal metabolic rate formula.

  5. Well done! You have correctly followed all the steps, and now our basal metabolic rate calculator will show your minimal caloric intake!

If you are wondering what your ideal weight should be, visit our ideal weight calculator and the body mass index calculator.

How to calculate BMR – the BMR formula

There are multiple formulas used to calculate BMR. Nowadays, the Mifflin-St Jeor equation is believed to give the most accurate result and is, therefore, what we used in this calculator. This BMR formula is as follows:

BMR (kcal/day) = 10 × weight (kg) + 6.25 × height (cm) – 5 × age (y) + s (kcal/day),

where s is +5 for males and -161 for females.

We also have calculators that determine your basal metabolic rate based on other formulas. For a long time, the most common way to calculate your basal metabolic rate was the Harris-Benedict equation. It was initially published back in 1919, and for over 70 years, it was considered to be the best basal metabolic rate formula available. It was later replaced with another basal metabolic rate formula that turned out to be even more accurate – the Mifflin St Jeor Equation. Nevertheless, you can still find many BMR calculators that use the Harris-Benedict Equation, but they are slowly but surely being replaced with the new formula.

The third known equation is Katch-McArdle formula, used to calculate the Resting Daily Energy Expenditure (RDEE).

In our Basal Metabolic Rate Calculator, we use the Mifflin St Jeor Equation to give you the most accurate BMR score.

BMR for man calculation – an example

In this paragraph, we will go through an example of a BMR calculation for a man. We will have to use the BMR for man formula (Mifflin and St Jeor BMR equation for a man):

BMR (kcal/day) = 10 × weight (kg) + 6.25 × height (cm) – 5 × age (y) + 5 (kcal/day)

Let's suppose that you want to calculate BMR for a 60-year-old man who is 5 foot, 4 inches tall, and weighs 150 pounds.

  1. To start, we have to convert the values from imperial to metric. We have to do that because the BMR formula has been designed to be used with the metric system only. Five feet and four inches is equal to around 162.56 centimeters, while 150 pounds weighs the same as 68.04 kilograms. Luckily, we measure age the same way in both systems.

    Please note that you can pick a certain unit (e.g., feet) and then click on the unit to change the unit (e.g., into meters). Our calculator will perform the transformation for you. This option works in the majority of our calculators, and sometimes it may come in very handy.

  2. Now, we can input all the data into the BMR for man equation:

    10 × 68.04 + 6.25 × 162.56 – 5 × 60 + 5

  3. The last thing to do is to solve the equation:

    10 × 68.04 + 6.25 × 162.56 – 5 × 60 + 5 = 680.4 + 1016 – 300 + 5 = 1401.4 (kcal / day)

  4. And it's done! That wasn't so bad. You now know how to calculate BMR by hand (but it's probably still easier to just input the data into our BMR calculator)!

BMR for woman calculation – an example

This time we will try to calculate BMR for a woman. We are going to use a slightly different formula – Mifflin and St Jeor BMR equation for women.

BMR (kcal/day)= 10 × weight (kg) + 6.25 × height (cm) – 5 × age (y) – 161 (kcal/day)

As you may have already noticed, the only difference between these two formulas is the last part. We add 5 kcal per day for every man and subtract 161 kcal per day for every woman.

Now, let's focus on an exemplary woman that is 25 years old and is 5 foot, 8 inches tall. She weighs 132 pounds. We can proceed with the calculations.

  1. Firstly, we need to transform the values from the imperial system to the metric system. You can use the same method we have mentioned in the last paragraph. Five feet and eight inches is 172.72 centimeters, and 132 pounds is 59.87 kilograms. Age, again, stays the same.

  2. Input the acquired values into the BMR for woman equation:

    10 × 59.87 + 6.25 × 172.72 – 5 × 25 - 161

  3. Solve the equation itself:

    10 × 59.87 + 6.25 × 172.72 – 5 × 25 - 161 = 598.7 + 1079.5 – 125 – 161 = 1392.2 (kcal/day)

  4. As always, we encourage you to check the result with our BMR calculator. As we have made a few approximations to make the calculations by hand easier, there may be a small difference between the results. But don't worry! It is so small that it will not affect any diet plan.


When researching basal metabolic rate, you may have also encountered the term RMR. It stands for the resting metabolic rate. As these terms sound very similar and have a very similar meanings, it is very easy to get confused. But don't worry; we will explain it to you shortly. Resting metabolic rate, much like BMR, is also a measure of a human body's energy expenditure without performing any additional activities (so at rest). However, there is a slight difference. Resting Metabolic Rate also includes the energy used for the digestion of food.

Our body has to use some energy to transform the food in our gut into substances that can be used by it. As we have already mentioned in the what is BMR? – BMR definition paragraph, food digestion accounts for around 10% percent of your Total Energy Expenditure. Because of that, RMR has a higher value than BMR. We use the modified Harris-Benedict formula instead of the Mifflin St Jeor equation to calculate resting metabolic rate. For more information on this topic and an automatic estimation of your RMR, visit our resting metabolic rate calculator.

Factors affecting BMR

Each cell, tissue, and organ in your body requires a constant supply of energy to survive. It logically follows that the more your body weighs (and the more cells it has), the more kilocalories it needs. With increasing weight, your basal metabolic rate will rise as well. However, BMR doesn't depend solely on weight. In many different studies, researchers found other factors affecting our Basal Metabolic Rate value. Here, we mention some of them:

  1. FFM – Standing for fat-free mass. It is the weight of your body without the weight of any fat tissue. If you think about it, it makes sense – muscles, even at rest, use up a lot more energy than fat. In fact, the main function of fat tissue is to preserve energy in the form of fatty acids. A high ratio of fat-free mass to fat-mass increases BMR. For example, two men may weigh 220 pounds, but if one of them has more muscle due to working out, he will have a significantly higher basal metabolic rate.
  2. FM – Shortcut for fat-mass. As the name suggests, it is the weight of all the fat in our body. Although much lower, fat mass also has an influence on our Basal Metabolic Rate.
  3. Age – Your Basal Metabolic Rate increases with each year as you grow up and as your weight increases. For adults, BMR tends to decrease as they get older. Researchers mainly attribute this to the change in the compositions of the human body as it ages; the fat-free mass drops, and thus the Basal Metabolic Rate becomes lower.
  4. Sex – Men have a statistically higher BMR than women. The reason is that their fat-free mass is, on average, higher. This is why the creators of this equation added a special adjustment to the equation for each sex (plus 5 kcal/day for men and minus 161 kcal/day for women).
  5. Genetics – Every person is slightly different regarding their BMR. Some of these differences can be explained by the rate of your metabolism encrypted into your DNA.
  6. Exercise – The amount you exercise affects your BMR, especially body-building exercises. When you develop your muscles, you increase the weight of your fat-free mass. Remember not to overextend when exercising. Our max heart rate calculator may be useful here since it shows you your maximum healthy heart rate.
  7. Body temperature – Your BMR increases as the temperature of your body rises. The higher the temperature (e.g., during a fever), the quicker various chemical processes in your body happen. Because of that, there is a higher demand for energy, and thus your BMR increases.
  8. Temperature of environment – In colder temperatures, your body needs to create more heat to preserve its proper temperature. This leads to an increase in BMR.
  9. Hormones – Hormones are substances produced by the many glands of the body. Their main task is to regulate the functions of other organs and tissues. The most interesting gland in terms of BMR modification is, without a doubt, the thyroid gland. Hormones excreted by this gland are responsible for regulating the rate of your metabolism. When they are in high concentration in blood, your BMR increases and vice versa.
  10. Pregnancy – When a woman is pregnant, there is another organism developing inside her body. Naturally, we are talking about the fetus (the baby). It has its own metabolism and BMR. Because it receives all the nutrition from its mother, we need to add its BMR to the BMR of its mother when calculating the basic required calorie supply. If you are pregnant, visit our due date calculator to find out when to expect your child to be born.


What is BMR?

BMR stands for basal metabolic rate. It measures the number of calories burned by an individual when completely at rest. It includes the energy used by the body to maintain the vital processes and organs functions: movement of fluids, respiration, heartbeat, thinking – you name it.

The value of BMR varies greatly as a function of sex, age, and body measurements and is an important quantity to know during weight loss or when planning physical activity.

Do I burn calories when sleeping?

Yes, your body keeps operating even when you are sleeping, burning a constant amount of calories that allows for vital processes to be maintained. The rate at which you consume those calories is called the basal metabolic rate (BMR). During the day, when you are awake, movements and activities add to your total caloric intake.

How do I calculate my BMR?

To calculate your BMR:

  1. Measure your weight and height.
  2. Input the values in a formula to calculate the BMR, for example, the Mifflin St. Jeor equation.
  3. Remember to choose the right formula for your sex.

For a man, the BMR is:
BMR (kcal/day) = 10 × weight (kg) + 6.25 × height (cm) – 5 × age (y) + 5 (kcal/day)

For a woman, the BMR is:
BMR (kcal/day)= 10 × weight (kg) + 6.25 × height (cm) – 5 × age (y) – 161 (kcal/day)

What is the BMR of a 31 years old female, 168 cm tall and weighing 65 kg?

About 1,400 kcal/day. This is the number of calories a 31-year-old woman with a weight of 65 kg and height of 168 cm would burn in a day in a state of complete rest. To calculate it, we used the Mifflin St. Jeor equation for women:

BMR (kcal/day)= 10 × 65 kg + 6.25 × 168 cm – 5 × 31 y – 161 kcal/day = 1,384 kcal/day.

Kacper Pawlik, MD, Mateusz Mucha and Rita Rain
BMR formula
Mifflin-St Jeor
male ♂️
Show additional info
Check out 30 similar dietary calculators 🥗
Added sugar intakeBasal energy expenditureBMR - Harris-Benedict equation… 27 more
People also viewed…

Body fat

Use our free Body Fat Calculator, based on BMI, to determine your body fat percentage and explore your ideal body fat range.

Pediatric GFR (glomerular filtration rate)

The pediatric GFR calculator can determine the level of kidney malfunction in patients who are 18 or younger.

Plant spacing

Optimize your garden layout with our garden spacing calculator. Perfect for precise plant spacing. Plan your dream garden effortlessly now!

VBAC risk score

VBAC calculator finds your chances for a successful vaginal birth after a cesarean section.