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What is basal metabolism? Introducing how to increase your basal metabolic rate and how to calculate by age

As you get older, many of you may feel that you have gained weight even though your lifestyle hasn’t changed, or that it has become harder to lose weight even if you adjust your diet and exercise more. These age-related changes are closely related to basal metabolism.
This time, we will introduce the basic knowledge of basal metabolism, specific methods to increase basal metabolic rate, and how to calculate basal metabolic rate.

Basal metabolism is the minimum amount of energy consumed unconsciously.

In order to maintain a proper weight and maintain good health, it is necessary to balance calorie intake and calorie expenditure while eating an appropriate amount of well-balanced meals.
Exercise such as jogging and strength training may be the first thing that comes to mind as a way to burn more calories. This is, so to speak, a method of active and conscious calorie consumption.

On the other hand, the minimum energy consumed unconsciously to maintain life activities such as “breathing”, “moving the heart”, and “regulating body temperature” is called “basal metabolism”. In order to prevent obesity and maintain an appropriate weight, it is important to increase the basal metabolic rate in addition to calorie consumption through exercise.

In general, as muscle mass decreases with age, the basal metabolic rate also decreases. That’s why it’s easier to gain weight and harder to lose weight, even if you live the same life as when you were young.
First, figure out your basal metabolic rate and aim for a proper weight while securing the minimum amount of energy you need to live.

Approximate Basal Metabolic Rate by Age

How can I find out my basal metabolic rate? Your basal metabolic rate is measured while you are awake and at rest. Since an individual’s basal metabolic rate varies depending on individual conditions, it is calculated based on the basal metabolic rate shown below by gender and age.

■ Japanese basal metabolic rate

ageBasal metabolic rate (kcal/kg body weight/day)Reference weight (kg)Basal metabolic rate (kcal/day)Basal metabolic rate (kcal/kg body weight/day)Reference weight (kg)Basal metabolic rate (kcal/day)
18-29 years old23.764.21,53022.150.31,110
30-49 years old22.568.11,53021.953.01,160
50-64 years old21.868.01,48020.753.81,100
65-74 years old21.665.01,28020.752.11,080
74 years old or older21.560.01,29020.748.81,010

Source: Ministry of Health, Labor and Welfare “Dietary Reference Intakes for Japanese (2020 edition)” (December 2019)

<Calculation formula for basal metabolic rate>
Basal metabolic rate = standard basal metabolic rate (kcal/kg body weight/day) x reference body weight (kg)

For example, the basal metabolic rate of a 40-year-old woman would be:

21.9 (kca/kg body weight/day) × 53.0 (kg) = 1,160.7 (kcal/day)

In other words, a 40-year-old woman should get about 1,160 calories per day from food, plus enough energy for other activities.

However, for those who have been diagnosed as “obesity” by a medical examination, etc., it is necessary to calculate the standard weight from the height and calculate the basal metabolic rate based on the standard weight.
The formula for calculating standard weight is as follows.

<Standard weight calculation formula>
Standard weight (kg) = height (m) x height (m) x 22

Use this number in your basal metabolic formula.
For example, the standard weight of a person with a height of 160 cm is as follows.


Factors affecting basal metabolic rate

The approximate value of the basal metabolic rate can be obtained from the basic basal metabolic rate explained so far and the formula in the previous section, but the actual value varies from person to person, even if the age, gender, height and weight are the same. This is because many factors, including size, physical activity level, and hormones, affect your basal metabolic rate.
There are various factors related to basal metabolic rate, but here we will introduce eight representative factors.

body surface area

Body surface area is the total surface area of ​​the body. The body surface area is not a value that can be easily measured, but the basal metabolic rate of warm-blooded animals is said to be roughly proportional to the body surface area, and is thought to be closely related to the basal metabolic rate of humans.
The larger the surface area of ​​the body, the greater the amount of heat released, and the higher the basal metabolic rate.


When you are young, your body’s metabolism becomes active due to growth and other factors.
Therefore, the basal metabolic rate is also higher at a younger age.


Men and women have different basal metabolic rates. In general, men have a higher basal metabolic rate than women because they have more muscle mass, which greatly affects metabolism.


As I mentioned in the gender section, muscle mass is closely related to metabolism, so people with more muscle mass have a higher basal metabolic rate than people with more fat.
The basal metabolic rate of a person with a lot of muscle needs to be considered by slightly correcting the value calculated by a general formula.

body temperature

A person with a high basal body temperature and a person with a low basal body temperature will also have a higher basal metabolic rate. This is because people with higher body temperatures lose more heat through their skin. For every 1°C increase in body temperature, metabolic rate increases by 13%.


The amount of thyroid hormone and adrenal medullary hormone secreted also affects metabolism. If the secretion of these hormones is large, the metabolism will be active, so the basal metabolic rate will also be high.


Normally, the basal metabolic rate is low in the summer and high in the winter when the body tries to raise the body temperature.
In addition, it is said that whether or not a person is susceptible to the effects of the season is related to the amount of fat consumed, and the lower the amount of fat consumed, the greater the effect of the season.

menstrual cycle

In women, the basal body temperature changes due to changes in the secretion of female hormones such as estrogen.
Therefore, the basal metabolic rate is the highest during the high temperature period 2 to 3 days before the menstruation begins, and the lowest when the menstruation begins.

What happens if you have a high basal metabolic rate?

Total daily energy expenditure can be divided into three parts: basal metabolic rate (approximately 60%), diet-induced thermogenesis (approximately 10%), and physical activity (approximately 30%). Since the basal metabolic rate accounts for more than half of the total, it can be seen that if the basal metabolic rate increases, the amount of energy consumed per day will increase.
In other words, a high basal metabolic rate is equivalent to a large amount of energy being consumed even if one is at rest, and it can be said that it helps to create a body that is hard to gain weight and is easy to lose weight.

How to increase your basal metabolic rate

It has been found that a high basal metabolic rate allows you to use the energy you take in from food even when you are resting, increasing the total amount of energy you expend in a day and maintaining a healthy weight.
So how can we increase our basal metabolic rate?

The basal metabolic rate is related to various factors, mainly the eight factors mentioned above, but factors such as age, gender, hormones, season, and menstrual cycle cannot be changed by one’s own efforts.
So what you want to pay attention to is your physique. Exercise can help you build muscle mass and improve your physique. If you maintain muscle mass with moderate exercise, you can expect to prevent a decrease in basal metabolic rate and maintain energy consumption.

Effective exercise to increase basal metabolic rate

The key to increasing your basal metabolic rate is to increase your muscle mass.
Here are three easy ways to increase your basal metabolic rate.

do resistance training

Training aimed at increasing muscle mass is called resistance training. Resistance training is an exercise that repeats movements that apply resistance to muscles, and there are methods using equipment such as dumbbells, rubber tubes, and machines, and methods using your own body weight, such as push-ups.
Since the amount of load can be adjusted, it can be said that it is a training that is easy for people who have no exercise experience and elderly people to work on. It is effective to do 1 to 3 sets of 10 to 15 repetitions.
Resistance training includes:

Push-ups are exercises that train the upper arm and chest muscles. Place your hands on the floor shoulder-width apart and your arms perpendicular to the floor.
Keeping your shoulders and heels straight, bend your elbows out to bring your upper body closer to the floor and slowly extend your arms to return to the starting position.

Squats are an exercise that can be easily done at home, but if done correctly, the amount of exercise is greater than walking, and it is effective for increasing basal metabolism. Slowly squat and stand up repeatedly without bouncing.
You can also sit in a chair, stand up slowly with your feet shoulder-width apart, and sit down on the chair by bending your hip joints.

Standing is an exercise that trains the calf muscles. From standing straight with both feet on the floor, lift your heels and stand on your toes, then slowly raise and lower your feet.

・Thigh lift
Thigh lift is an exercise that lifts the thighs alternately, and can train the thigh muscles necessary for walking.
If you sit down, keep your back straight so you don’t slouch. If you do it standing up, if your thighs are low, it will just be a stepping stone, so be sure to raise it firmly.

Acid exercise

In addition to resistance training, include cardio such as walking, biking, and jogging.
If you maintain your muscle mass through moderate exercise, your basal metabolic rate will not drop significantly even as you age, and you will be able to maintain your energy consumption.

Increase activity in everyday life

Exercise to increase muscle mass can be expected to be effective if continued even if the duration of one session is short. For example, if you have 10 minutes in a day, you can use those 10 minutes to run a little or take a brisk walk.
In everyday life, you can train your muscles just by devising a little action. It is also effective to walk a little faster when shopping and use the stairs instead of the elevator.

Diet is also important to raise the basal metabolic rate

When increasing the basal metabolic rate, it is necessary to be conscious of the “appropriate weight” and pay attention to meals.
A healthy weight is neither “obesity” nor “thin”, but just the right weight for maintaining good health. The international body mass index BMI, which is used to determine obesity and underweight (thinness), is helpful in determining the optimal weight.
BMI is calculated by the following formula.

<BMI calculation formula>
BMI = Weight (kg) ÷ Height (m) ÷ Height (m)

Maintaining weight by reducing energy intake and expenditure does not mean healthy weight maintenance. If your energy intake and expenditure are equal, your weight will stay the same and your BMI will be maintained.
The “target BMI range” in the “Dietary Reference Intakes for Japanese (2020 edition)” (December 2019) published by the Ministry of Health, Labor and Welfare is as follows.
Using this BMI as a reference, let’s aim for energy intake without excess or deficiency.

■ Range of target BMI (18 years old or older)

ageTarget BMI
18-49 years old18.5~24.9
50-64 years old20.0~24.9
65-74 years old21.5~24.9
Over 75 years old21.5~24.9

We recommend that you consciously consume proteins that are useful for muscle training and building a healthy body.
Protein cannot be synthesized by the body from other nutrients, so it must be obtained from the diet.

Let’s make use of frozen home delivery bento with adjusted protein amount

Getting protein from your diet is very important, but calculating the amount of protein in each meal can be cumbersome.
If you want to make sure you get enough protein, how about using a frozen home delivery bento that focuses on maintaining physical strength and muscle strength? Nichirei Foods Direct’s ” Power DeliⓇ Trial 4-Meal Set ” is a set of a main dish and a side dish, and contains more than 25g of protein. If you eat “Power Deli® ”, you can take in 40% of the recommended intake of protein in the “Dietary Reference Intakes for Japanese (2020 edition)” announced by the Ministry of Health, Labor and Welfare.
You can eat it just by heating it in the microwave, so even busy people or people who are not good at cooking can easily adjust the amount of protein.

Please see the following page for Nichirei Foods Direct’s frozen home delivery lunch boxes.

Increase your basal metabolic rate through training and eating!

To stay healthy as you age, it’s important not to get too fat or too thin. Maintain your ideal BMI by increasing your basal metabolic rate to create a body that burns energy easily, and by taking in the necessary energy.
If you want to eat a well-balanced meal even if you are busy, we recommend using a frozen delivery lunch box that allows you to easily take a meal with an adjusted amount of protein.

How to calculate basal metabolic rate?

Average basal metabolic rate can be calculated by ” basal metabolic rate (kcal/kg body weight/day) x reference weight (kg) “. For example, in the case of a 40-year-old woman, the basal metabolic rate is 21.9 kcal and the reference weight is 53.0 kg, so the basal metabolic rate is “21.9 kcal/kg body weight/day x 53.0 kg = approximately 1,160 kcal/day.”

How to increase basal metabolic rate?

Increasing muscle mass can increase your basal metabolic rate. Resistance training, which involves repeated movements such as push-ups and squats, is effective in increasing muscle mass. It is also recommended to increase the amount of activity in aerobic exercise and everyday life.


Welcome to my blog. My name is Muhammad Hassaan. I am a blogger and have a knowledge of five years of blogging. I also belong to the field of health as a D pharmacy student. That's why I am running this health blog. I am very much interested to read articles on health and love to share information with other people and also get information from them. If you have any questions you can ask me through the contact us page. Thanks for Visiting us and Have a great day.

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