Minimum daily required calorie intake is known as basal metabolic rate (BMR) and it tells you how many calories you need every day just to keep your organism functioning in normal fashion. Going lower than BMR value is not recommended as it affects your organism’s efficiency. BMR is not your total daily calorie consumption
Basal metabolic rate
BMR, short for basal metabolic rate, is the amount of calories needed for normal functioning of organism, which includes breathing, thinking, maintaining normal body temperature, beating of the heart and so on. BMR does not include calories burned throughout the day for normal daily activities such as walking, running, carrying things around, walking up and down the stairs and so on.
So basically, to assess one’s daily calorie requirements you must add to your BMR the amount of calories you burn with other activities. If your BMR is 1500 calories and you burn additional 400 calories every day just by doing the things you usually do, than your total daily calorie consumption is 1900 calories. You can easily calculate your BMR with a simple equation. Divide your body weight (measured in lbs) by 2.2 and then multiply the result by 24. Alternatively, and more practical, you can make use of an on-line BMR calculator.
Things to keep in mind
While a BMR calculator can give you a fairly accurate number you must still keep in mind that such tool uses a static formula to calculate the result. BMR calculator does not take into account your overall body composition, your body fat percentage, bone density, muscle mass and so on. It calculates results based on height, weight, age and gender. For example an athletic person who has 200 lbs of body weight and same height and age as a non-athlete, obese person with the same weight will get the same BMR value calculated, while it is obvious that the first person has more muscle mass and less body fat than the second, non-athlete person.
Losing weight or gaining muscle mass?
Based on your personal goal you should calculate your daily calorie consumption and keep in mind that for losing weight you should consume less calories than you can burn and for gaining muscle mass you should eat more calories than you can burn throughout the day. Calculating BMR is the first step.