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Basal Metabolic Rate BMR and MET in man and woman

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The basal metabolic rate (BMR) is the amount of energy needed to maintain vital functions, as well as the waking state of an individual under conditions of total fasting for over 12 hours and in a state of complete psycho-physical relaxation.

– Can the BMR be altered?

Of course! Physical activity, changes in body temperature, rising or lowering of the external temperature, nutrition, changes in the% of lean mass, emotional states and the use of drugs induce important oscillations (positive or negative of course …).

How can I increase my metabolism?

In the healthy subject, adopting an active lifestyle, taking care of the diet and carrying out regular physical activity (following precise criteria, according to the skills and objectives to be achieved) turns out to be a sustainable and above all a winning plan.

-What incidence has the basal metabolism in the weight loss process?

BMR accounts for over 60% (in some cases up to 75%) in the daily caloric expenditure of a healthy person (other body sizes strongly affect the metabolism) and is therefore fundamental for weight loss (together with the increase in calorie consumption / direct and indirect die, of the optimization of the lipolytic hormonal activity and of an ad hoc feeding, also and above all from a “timing” point of view of the integration) and for the maintenance of the form weight.


or simply metabolic equivalent, is a unit of measurement that serves to estimate the caloric consumption of every activity we perform.


A person in a state of alertness, but in complete rest, consumes about 3.5 ml of oxygen x Kg body per minute 1 ‘, this is equivalent to a MET.

The more the activity becomes challenging (even from a psychological point of view … eg: working while sitting at the PC is more metabolically more demanding than standing up) and the greater the oxygen demand of our body (the MET rises).

The formula for calculating the energy cost of a certain activity is:

MET X 3.5ml / O2 X body weight (Kg) / 200 = Kcal / min

“Practical examples of Kcal consumption” and analysis of the results of 2 different activities:

1) I go out for a bit of jogging with a friend of mine. Duration of activity 20 minutes. Average speed of about 8 Km / h, about 7 MET.

At the end of the course my consumption will be about 179Kcal while, my friend will have consumed about 118Kcal.

2) Me and my friend are preparing for a functional training session with TRX, es. intermittent workout, sagittal sagittal leg lunges in suspensions 3dx / sx X 5 X 20 “/ 20” (3 series per leg, each series consists of 5 repetitions of 20 “of work and 20” of recovery). Exercise time: 30 repetitions (5 dx and 5sx multiplied by 3 series) x 40 “(20 + 20 recovery) = 20 minutes (then like jogging …)

… estimated time of operation and MET of the same amount, then same consumption?

Yes, if we take into account the direct energy consumption of the 2 different activities.

No, if we take into account the different type of intensity of the 2 exercises (which produce MET indentici only for the intermittent character of the second workout, that is the micro-pauses that reduce the need for oxygen) and the physiological adaptations derived from the two different types of activity.

What happens then?

with the same MET, there are activities that induce a post-exercise oxygen consumption (extra calories consumption), which then generate an increase in metabolism for a given time (from a few minutes to many hours, depending on the intensity of the exercise ) until the “payment of the oxygen debt contracted with the year”.

Thus, “it is not just a mathematical question”.


An important research conducted by the St. George clinical school group, of the medical school of New South Wales in Sydney, establishes precise criteria on the differences in the metabolic level between the sexes.

Women have a higher percentage of body fat than men. However, women consume less kilojoules per kilogram of lean mass but burn more fat than men during physical activity. During gestation, the percentage of fat mass increases, in greater quantity than the increased energy intake. These observations suggest that the relationship between consumption and kilojoule used is different between men and women. The reason for these differences in energy metabolism of sex is not known, however, sex steroids, differences in insulin resistance, metabolic effects or other hormones such as leptin could affect this process. When considering a lifestyle modification, metabolic differences between the sexes must surely be taken into consideration. Furthermore, clarifying the regulatory role of hormones in energy homeostasis is important for understanding the pathogenesis of obesity and perhaps in the future may lead to methods for reducing body fat, using less stringent protocolles in terms of caloric intake.

(source Pubmed Wu BN, O’Sullivan AJ.)

Considerations: The differences between the sexes in terms of consumption of Kcal were already well known. The interesting aspect of the research is undoubtedly the different consumption per kg of lean mass between the two sexes. Very interesting is also the fundamental role played by physical activity, which seems to have a greater impact in women than men (in terms of fat consumption during physical activity).


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