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Resting Metabolic Rate:What Is Your RMR

by Dave on March 17, 2011

This post is from the How Many Calories To Lose Weight Series.

Your Resting Metabolic Rate is the base number for calories you burn doing nothing. In other words, it is the number calories you burn while at rest, or the number of calories needed just be alive.  If you want to lose weight, then your rmr is the ideal calorie calculator for weight loss.

How Many Calories To Lose Weight –  It Starts With Your RMR

In my case as a 46 year old man, who weighs 165lbs and is  5ft 10 inches tall , my RMR is around 1650 calories when I use an RMR Calculator. To make things a little easier, I am going to use the anything goes diet RMR chart. The table below will also give you a good idea of the ranges. As you can see, the figure in Yellow shows my mean at around 1800 calories a day. This would be a good figure to aim for. In my case I use 1700, again because I am using my best guess approach

Resting Metabolic Rate Chart

RMR Ranges

As A Guide, if you start with the figure in yellow, this is your daily calorie limit. So to answer the question how many calories to lose weight ? the answer is below the yellow number !

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  • teresa

    desparately trying to get a handle on diet and weight loss. I am 58 yrs old female with at least 100 lbs to lose. I had some friends who recently went to someone to get their rmr and I was told they breathed into this machine????? I am sure age, weight and ht was probably involved but what was this breathing machine? and is it necessary to get an accurate rmr? Also, using your rmr calculator, it gave me 2526.66….that seems high….could that we right or am I doing something wrong.

    • Dave

      Hi Teresa, 2526, seems high, sounds like something was not right there. The chart on this page will give you a figure that is close enough. Just use the mean average.

  • lorrie

    i am 4 ft. 11 what would mine be at 180 lbs.? thank you

  • Dee

    how many calories do I need if I am 5’0″ @126lbs?

    • Dave

      Dee your mean RMR will be somewhere around 1220 calories.

  • Kaylee

    Im 5’3, and weigh 117 lbs. whats the best way to lose weight?

    • Dawn

      I wouldn’t worry so much about losing weight with your stats. 117 is perfectly thin for 5’3″. However, if you are still unhappy with your figure, weights and sculpting programs that build/define muscles will improve calorie burning and reshape problem areas. Shape and health are way more important than the numbers on a scale.

  • Nisha

    Hello I am 22 I weight 282 and I am 5’3 what is my best guess to lose pound a week?

    • Dave

      If you are 5’3′ and 282 I would try 1400 calories and see how that goes. you will lose more than 1lb of weight on the scales, but based on your numbers I think you should see a loss of 1 pound of fat at that level.

  • Athena

    What equations are you using to calculate these RMRs?

    • Dave

      @ Athena Its taken from The Muffin equation

      The Mufflin equation for RMR:

      For men: (10 x w) + (6.25 x h) – (5 x a) + 5
      For women: (10 x w) + (6.25 x h) – (5 x a) – 161

      w = weight in kg
      h = height in cm
      a = age

  • Abby

    I am 5’6 and weigh anywhere from 128-132 but the problem is I’m only 13 years almost 14 years old. How many calories would I need to burn ? Also I have alot of musle on me because I am a softball player as well as a tumbler.. Help??

    • grant

      Abby.130 is good for 5’6 as a softball player.

  • Jenn

    This Definetely worked for me. I am
    5’2 and was 130lbs and I lost 11lbs by eating about 900 calories a day and running about 3 miles a day for about 2 months. I just got used to limiting my calorie intake. There were times that I did “cheat” but I just made up for it other days. I stopped doing this at the end of fall and gained 8 lbs back. But just started back again & down 2.5 lbs in a week. It really is more of thr calorie intake that matters more than working out in my opinion. It’s only really hard for the first 3-4 days but once u see a pound off thr scale you want to keep going, like a competition with yourself. I’m going away in 6 weeks so trying to get to 110 as I am 126 now. We’ll see but I’m on thr right track now and I am running at the gym 5 days a week for 30 mins. It’s tough but I feel better than ever :)

  • Colin

    I’m 6’2″ and 240lb and age 20 and male what is my rmr?

    • Dave

      @ Colin, Your guide would still be the one shown on the chart for a 6’2 male.

  • Renee

    How long will it take if I follow the calorie intake here to lose 20 pounds?
    I am 5’6″ and 150 pounds. Thanks!

  • Don

    It ‘s important to burn more colories than your taking in, but a healthy eating habit is just as important. I’m finding eating more healthy meals and cutting the junck food out all together will give you more long lasting weight control. To many people lose the ponds fast , but then convert back to the bad eating habits. So I encourage you to workout 3 times a week for at least a good hour and stick to a healthy eating diet. I’ve went from 238 pound to 213 ponds in 1 1/2 months . My goal is 200 pounds @ 6 feet 2 inches . The Hard part is not the workout , but the healthy eating.

    Good luck

  • Dave Lee

    Hey Dave, so I ran the equation you listed here in the comments section and I came up with 5615!
    I’m 33, male, 5’11 and weigh 465 pounds.

    • Dave

      Hi Dave,

      So use 2000 calories a day / 14000 per week as a starter, get some walking in, and you will see that weight start dropping. You have a lot lose so it could well be your calculation is correct. You should be losing fast in the early stages.

  • Tonya

    I weight 200 pounds I am 5’11 and 34yers old. I had kids gained 65 pounds of weight. I lost that weight but am still not where I would to be. I would like to lost at least another 30 pounds but have seemed to hit a wall can you give me my rmr and tell me how many calories I should be eating and trying to but a day to reach that goal.

    • Dave

      @ Tonya on a weekly basis, I would try 8,400 calories per week. so around 1200 per day, though I prefer to use a weekly total.

    • Dave

      @ Tonya

      You should be losing if you work on 1200 cals, or 8,400 per week. I prefer a weekly total, as we tend to have different events through the week that means we eat more on certain days than others.

  • Rob

    So I’m 6’1″ and I see my “mean” is 2020. My RMR range is 1820-2235. So is my RMR range the amount of calories I burn per day just doing nothing? I try to keep my calorie intake below 1,716 per day and I usually do 30-60mins of cardio per day Monday through Friday totaling about 500-800 calories burned plus light lifting for about 30 minutes. I’ve lost about 8lbs in a month and a half. Is this a good rate?

    • Dave

      Hey Rob,

      Yes that is the rate doing nothing, its the calories you burn just sitting on the couch. Sounds like you are doing fine. Yes 8lbs is a good rate.

  • John

    Great Website, a plethora of wonderful info! I’m 32 and 5’10″ and 242 lbs. I understand the rmr but having a difficult time controlling my eating habits. I do good for breakfast and lunch but over eat for dinner! Any suggestions to curb my appetite?

    • Dave


      check out the Intermittent Fasting page, consider switching round so you keep your calories for the evening. I am similar to you in that regard, Dinner was always where I would eat a lot, no matter what I had for Breakfast or Lunch. Intermittent Fasting certainly helped me control my eating habits. Check out, and see what you think.

  • krista

    Hi, so im tryin to figure out how many calories to intake in a week and daily to lose weight. Using ur chart above I got confused. Im 5’6 w and weigh 183 lbs. My goal is to weigh 160. Can u help please?

  • Cameo

    Do they factor in bone size? If not what would be the guesstimate on calories for small, medium, and large framed,(ie: add 400 cals – lrg bone, minus 400 cals – small boned)? I’m 6ft and small boned with lots of lean muscle. Thanks for any clarification.

    • Desolo SubHumus

      When people say they are big boned, it means they are fat, but don’t want to admit it. Conversely, there is no such thing as ‘small boned’, either. There is no + or – for mythical bone size. Just use the numbers above as a guide, make educated guesses about your overall calorie intake and burned calories on a daily basis, observe your trend in weight, and adjust from there.

  • elissa birgani

    i am 34. five foot five. my lowest weight was 145lbs. now im at 159. what should i do besides 30-1 of cardio? thx elissa birgani

  • Alicia

    How many calories do i need to cut for me to get back to at least 130 lbs .. I am 5’6 and currently I weight 136 lbs, i don’t want to gain any more.

    Could you pleas CC my email address?


  • Dan

    Please realize the RMR is resting, doing nothing calorie intake. I burn 300 – 500 calories at work and 300 more at the gym. Factoring this in I can still lose weight without undereating and having no energy.

    • Dave

      @ Dan

      Any chart is simply a guide. Something to build from. It’s impossible to know exactly how many calories we take in or burn off, the best we can do is try and take our best guess. Having some idea of of your RMR will help with that.

  • Julia Mackey

    I am 30 yrs of age at 5’6 and 169 lbs. I’m finding it very frustrating with the calorie plan because it seems that I am gaining instead of losing and that’s after cutting out the fast food and mainly eating home cooked meals with Subway or Tubby’s as an exception. What foods should I focus on more in accomplishing the weight that I would like to lose?

    • Julia Mackey

      I also workout at once or twice a week for about 45 minutes to an hour each time.

    • AshleyBurt

      Cut bread and sweets. Focus on veggies and lean meats and nuts. Stereotypical healthy diet is the only way.

  • thomas

    hey,i’m 16 ,male 239 pounds and 5’6. now thats a lot of fat for someone whos only ’5’6 but i actually carry it well,but i still would like to lose it,whats the best way to? i excercise a lot and i eat probally 3 meals a day with snacks so if i cut the snacks out and drink water a lot would that work? and whats the best excercise to lose fat and water weight

  • Gio Kim

    cut the carbs and sugar intake. watch the lbs shed.  oh, and cadio at least 30 mins a day.

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