Calculating Your BMI and BMR to Achieve Your Ideal Weight

So, how can you tell if your weight falls within a healthy range? Read more and you will be able to calculate your ideal weight, and learn how to reach it.

Calculate your BMI

BMI, or body mass index, confirms your height to weight ratio and provides the information needed to successfully manage your weight.

There are many online tools that will calculate your BMI, or try this formula:

BMI = (Weight in Pounds / (Height in inches x Height in inches))  x  703

SAMPLE: 42 year old woman, weighing 188 pounds and is 5’4″ (64 inches)

  • BMI = (188 / (64 x 64)) x 703
  • BMI = 32.2

Keep in mind:

  • Underweight = <18.5
  • Normal Weight = 18.5-24.9
  • Overweight = 25-29.9
  • Obese = > 30

Now that you know your BMI, you can now calculate your BMR to pinpoint your calorie needs.

Calculate your BMR: How Many Calories Should I Eat?

The BMR is your basal metabolic rate, and confirms what kind of metabolism you have. Once you know your BMR, it will take you to the next steps of calculating your suggested intake of calories.

Use online tools to figure out how many calories you should be consuming daily, or use the following Harris-Benedict equation to calculate your BMR by hand.

  • Women: BMR = 655 + (4.35 x weight in pounds) + (4.7 x height in inches) – (4.7 x age in years)
  • Men: BMR = 66 + (6.23 x weight in pounds) + (12.7 x height in inches) – (6.8 x age in years)

SAMPLE: 42 year old woman, weighing 188 pounds and is 5’4″ (64 inches)

  • BMR = 655 + (4.35 x 188) + (4.7 x 64) – (4.7 x 42)
  • BMR = 655 + 817.8 + 300.8 – 197.4
  • BMR = 1576.2

This number tells us the amount of calories the person in this sample would need to function.

Physical Activity Factor

Now we must calculate the right amount of calories that you should be consuming.

Use this tool to properly calculate your calories by multiplying the BMR x the physical activity factor, or calculate by hand by following these physical activity factors:

  1. If you are sedentary (little or no exercise): Calorie-Calculation = BMR x 1.2
  2. If you are lightly active (light exercise/sports 1-3 days/week): Calorie-Calculation = BMR x 1.375
  3. If you are moderatetely active (moderate exercise/sports 3-5 days/week): Calorie-Calculation = BMR x 1.55
  4. If you are very active (hard exercise/sports 6-7 days a week): Calorie-Calculation = BMR x 1.725
  5. If you are extra active (very hard exercise/sports & physical job or 2x training): Calorie-Calculation = BMR x 1.9

SAMPLE: 42 year old woman lives a sedentary life with little exercise. Therefore we multiply her BMR x 1.2 = 1575.2 x 1.2 = 1891.44

This means our sample would need about 1,890 calories to maintain her weight; however, we know that she wants to lose weight. For weight loss one must subtract 500 calories from this number: (example 1890-500 = 1391 calories per day to lose weight)

If you come to the realization that you are underweight, you can add 500 calories to the BMR multiplied by the physical activity factor number.

These calculations can help you get from where you are to where you hope to be. Let us know what you find out.

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Photo credit: Ralf Geithe

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Read 28 Comments

  1. The body mass index is a calculation based upon your weight and height. The BMI formula provides a ratio of your height to weight and shows a chart for acceptable BMI ranges, and ranges that show that you are either too skinny or too heavy for your height. Each range is complete with health risks. A body fat percentage calculator makes it very easy to measure your BMI everyday.

  2. I agree. I think we have to not just cut out calories, but also think about a well-balanced diet with a lot of good nutrition. You also want to get enough sleep, have a scheduled eating pattern and exercise regularly to keep your metabolism moving for you, but also to strive for better health.

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  4. Thank you.
    If I am obese and loose 3 kgs weight then my BMR value is decreasing from 1582 to 1553. It is good sign?
    Can it be possible I am loosing my weight but BMR can be increased?

    1. Thanks for your comment and question. Your basal metabolic rate (BMR) is the number of calories you need to live. Therefore, as you lose weight, one’s BMR would decrease. I hope that helps. Good luck with your health goals.

  5. I was curious if you ever thought of changing the structure of your site? Its very well written; I love what youve got to say. But maybe you could a little more in the way of content so people could connect with it better. Youve got an awful lot of text for only having 1 or 2 images. Maybe you could space it out better?

    1. Hi Elijah! Thanks for stopping by and reading our post. We’re glad that you found this information to be helpful and I’m going to share your feedback regarding our site design with our blog team. Have a wonderful day, Candice

  6. well I tried to use the first formula and did not get a reasonable answer so I am not sure what I am doin wrong ? where do you get the 703 from just curious? cuz I used that number n it didn’t work for me so idk…

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