Harris-Benedict Calculator (Total Daily Energy Expenditure)

Created by Aleksandra Zając, MD and Mateusz Mucha
Reviewed by Steven Wooding 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) (1918)
Last updated: Mar 18, 2022

If you care about your health and weight, this Harris-Benedict calculator (BMR calculator), which runs on the Harris-Benedict equation, is the perfect tool for you! In the following article, we will explain how this simple tool works and how you can use it to your advantage.

What is a BMR calculator?

Your basal metabolic rate (BMR) is equivalent to the amount of energy (in the form of calories) that your body needs to function if it were to rest for 24 hours.

How can you calculate your BMR?

Calculating your basal metabolic rate is easy; all you need to measure is your weight and height, although your age and sex also come into play. The calculators for both sexes are as follows:

  • For men: BMR = 66.5 + (13.75 * weight in kg) + (5.003 * height in cm) - (6.75 * age)

  • For women: BMR = 655.1 + (9.563 * weight in kg) + (1.850 * height in cm) - (4.676 * age)

What is the Harris-Benedict equation?

The Harris-Benedict Equation is a formula that uses your BMR and then applies an activity factor to determine your total daily energy expenditure (calories).

How to determine the Harris-Benedict equation?

To determine your total daily calorie needs, multiply your BMR by the appropriate activity factor, as follows:

  • Sedentary (little or no exercise): calories = BMR × 1.2;
  • Lightly active (light exercise/sports 1-3 days/week): calories = BMR × 1.375;
  • Moderately active (moderate exercise/sports 3-5 days/week): calories = BMR × 1.55;
  • Very active (hard exercise/sports 6-7 days a week): calories = BMR × 1.725; and
  • If you are extra active (very hard exercise/sports & a physical job): calories = BMR × 1.9.

For more on BMR, check out the Mifflin St Jeor equation and the Katch-McArdle formula.

Keeping a healthy diet and using the Harris-Benedict calculator to keep an eye on your BMR will make it easier for you to stay in good health. Thanks to the Harris-Benedict calculator and Harris-Benedict equation, you can know the perfect amount of calories (or maintenance calories) to eat if you want to keep your body weight as it is. If you are looking to gain or lose weight, you can also use this number as a point to eat more or less then, respectively. Please remember to consult a medical expert if you want to gain or lose a lot of weight.

FAQ

How do I calculate my BMR?

To calculate your BMR, you would usually use the Harris-Benedict equation:

  1. For women, it's: BMR = 655.1 + (9.563 * weight in kg) + (1.850 * height in cm) - (4.676 * age).
  2. For men, the formula is: BMR = 66.5 + (13.75 * weight in kg) + (5.003 * height in cm) - (6.75 * age).

What is BMR?

Your basal metabolic rate (BMR) is equivalent to the amount of energy, in calories, that your body needs to function if it were to rest for 24 hours.

What does BMR mean?

BMR stands for basal metabolic rate. It is the minimum number of calories that your body needs for basal functions like breathing, digesting, and keeping the body temperature steady over a day.

What is a good BMR?

The average BMR is about 1409 kcal (5900 kJ) for a woman and about 1696 kcal (7100 kJ) for a man.

How do I increase my BMR?

To increase your BMR (basal metabolic rate), you can try:

  1. Eating more protein in every meal.
  2. Doing more HIIT (high-intensity interval training) workouts.
  3. Increasing your daily activity – choose stairs over the elevator, walk more, switch to a standing desk.
  4. Eating more spicy foods.
  5. Doing more resistance workouts – muscles burn more calories than fat tissue.

How do I calculate BMR in pounds?

To calculate your basal metabolic rate in imperial units, use the equations:

  1. For men: 66.47 + (6.24 × weight in pounds) + (12.7 × height in inches) − (6.75 × age in years).
  2. For women: BMR = 65.51 + (4.35 * weight in pounds) + (4.7 * height in inches) - (4.7 * age in years)

How do I use BMR to lose weight?

Counting your BMR can be a good starting point if you want to lose weight. First, it tells you how many calories your body needs to function properly, so you never want to eat less than that. Then, if you multiply it by your physical activity level (PAL), you know how many calories you actually burn each day. Subtracting a reasonable number of calories (e.g., 500 kcal/day) will let you lose weight gradually and steadily.

What is the Harris-Benedict equation?

The Harris-Benedict equation is a mathematical formula that allows you to count your basal metabolic rate – BMR. It needs your age, weight, and height. There are two separate formulas for men and women:

  1. For women – BMR = 655.1 + (9.563 * weight in kg) + (1.850 * height in cm) - (4.676 * age).
  2. For men – BMR = 66.5 + (13.75 * weight in kg) + (5.003 * height in cm) - (6.75 * age).

Is the Harris-Benedict equation accurate?

The Harris-Benedict equation is thought to be the most accurate of all the BMR equations. However, you need to remember that calculating your BMR with a calculator is only a rough estimation and may differ from your actual bodily needs. You need to put that into practice; still, calculating your BMR can be an excellent place to start.

How do I calculate my BMR as a female?

To calculate your female BMR, you need to:

  1. Know your exact weight and height. Don't cheat - it will only make the results inaccurate.
  2. Use the Harris-Benedict equation for women: BMR = 655.1 + (9.563 * weight in kg) + (1.850 * height in cm) - (4.676 * age).
  3. The result is your basal metabolic rate – BMR. You can then multiply it with your physical activity level – PAL – to find your total daily energy expenditure – TDEE.
Aleksandra Zając, MD and Mateusz Mucha
Weight
lb
Height
ft
in
Age
years
Sex
Male
BMR
kcal
/day
Hit Advanced mode button to count your total energy expenditure – that means, how many calories a day your body needs, including your activity throughout the day.
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