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What Is Basal Metabolic Rate?

Basal Metabolic Rate (BMR) is the rate at which the body burns calories when at rest in a neutrally temperate environment, in the post-absorptive state (meaning that the digestive system is inactive, which requires about twelve hours of fasting in humans).The release of energy in this state is sufficient only for the functioning of the vital organs, the nervous and muscular-skeletal system and the skin.

BMR can be responsible for burning up to 70% of the total calories expended, but this figure varies due to different factors: genetics, gender, age, weight, body surface area, body fat percentage, external temperature, glands and exercise.

If you've noticed that every year, it becomes harder to eat whatever you want and stay slim, you've also learned that your BMR decreases as you age. Likewise, depriving yourself of food in hopes of losing weight also decreases your BMR, a foil to your intentions. However, a regular routine of cardiovascular exercise can increase your BMR, improving your health and fitness when your body's ability to burn energy gradually slows down.

Certain medications, such as anti-depressants can modify the BMR, leading to weight gain. As a result, anyone on a weight loss diet or exercise program should consult a physician about the potential impact of any prescribed medicines. Taking a prescription medication may be the best thing for your health, but knowing it could cause weight-gain can help reduce any guilt.

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