What is the resting metabolic rate RMR

Calorie Consumption - How It's Really Made Up

How much your body consumed energy per day, is made up of different components. You can influence some of them and not others.

What is the composition of the body's calorie consumption?

  1. Resting Metabolic Rate (RMR) - In German also as Basal metabolic rate known.
  2. Thermic Effect of Food (TEF) - the energy for that Metabolism of food is consumed.
  3. Thermic Effect of Activity (TEA) - Kcal you for conscious movements (Training, sport).
  4. None Exercise Activity Thermogenesis (NEAT) - Kcal that is for everyone unconscious movements are needed (walking around, cleaning, fidgeting, tidying up, working, etc.)

Composition of energy consumption. Source: Melanson et al., 2013

1. Resting Metabolic Rate (RMR)

The RMR is the energy you use up when you a day without you moving lying in bed only. (sober, at room temperature) It is the energy that is required for the maintenance of all basic functions of your body - for example for breathing, blood flow, brain function, immune system, etc.

For the typical inactive or very inactive person, the RMR accounts for 60-80% of the total energy requirement of a day. Of course, this number shifts with very high activity.

The The size of your RMR depends on your body weight, lean mass (muscles), gender, age and your genetics. While you may have read a lot about fast or slow metabolism, for the vast majority of people there are only minor differences.

About 90% of the population liewith the same body composition with their resting metabolism (RMR) in the range of 0 - 200 kcal around the average value.

More on this in “Metabolism - Everything you need to know”.

There is not much you can do to change your RMR. An increase or decrease in body weight still has the greatest impact. When losing weight, it helps to preserve the muscles as well as possible. Gaining muscle mass to increase energy expenditure doesn't do as much as is often claimed. (An article about the actual consumption of muscle mass at rest is coming soon.)

2. “Thermic effect of food” (TEF)

The Ingestion, metabolism and storage of food needs energy. This is a very energy-consuming process.

With an average western diet, you count on one additional energy consumption of 10% of the food supplied. That's 250 kcal with a daily consumption of 2500 kcal! However, this is only an average.

The respective macronutrients have different TEF values:1 Tappy L. Thermic effect of food and sympathetic nervous system activity in humans. Reprod Nutr Dev. 1996; 36 (4): 391-7. Review.

  • Fat: 0-3%,
  • Carbohydrates: 5-10%
  • Protein: 20-30%
  • Alcohol: 10-30%

An example: Of 300 kcal protein, about 60-100 kcal are used for metabolism, with 300 kcal carbohydrates, on the other hand, it is only 15-30 kcal. In reality, of course, you usually have a mix of these values, as you usually don't just consume one macronutrient.

Unprocessed foods also require more energy to digest and ingest than highly processed foods. However, the differences are very small. But small cattle also make crap.

With a A protein-rich diet with lots of unprocessed foods can consume 50-100 kcal more every day than on a low-protein diet with highly processed foods.

Interesting: Alcohol also has a very high TEF value. This probably has to do with the complex breakdown and detoxification performance of the body after consuming alcohol.

3. Thermic Effect of Activity (TEA)

This means the energy that you are with conscious movement such as sport or training sessions consumes. Any form of movement beyond your daily activity consumes additional energy. Whether strength training, jogging or other sports.

Most activities of an average exerciser consume around 300-500 kcal per hour. In relation to the total consumption, the active one offers Exercise is a good way of influencing calorie consumption. But it doesn't burn that much that losing weight always happens automatically.

This is also one of the reasons why you should use one for weight loss much stronger leverage over your diet has. Because half an hour of jogging seldom consumes more energy than a bread roll provides.

The Incidentally, the afterburn effect of the training (Wikipedia "EPOC") is largely smaller than hoped. For the vast majority of activities this is less than 10% the additional energy consumed during exercise. When your training 350 kcal used up, you just burn afterwards 35 kcal additionally.

4. "None Exercise Activity Thermogenesis" (NEAT)

NEAT are all Movementsthat you do all day, the more likely unconscious nature are. That means activities like: fidgeting, writing on the PC, standing, walking etc. 2Levine YES. Non-exercise activity thermogenesis (NEAT). Best Pract Res Clin Endocrinol Metab. 2002 Dec; 16 (4): 679-702. Review. You might think these activities don't matter much. But it adds up and the bottom line is that we see one very high calorie consumption by NEAT.

The extent of NEAT can vary greatly between people. This ranges from 15% (375 kcal) for a lot of sedentary people to 50% (1250 kcal) or even more of the total calorie consumption of a day for very active people (figures using the example of 2500 kcal total consumption). 3Levine YES. Nonexercise activity thermogenesis (NEAT): environment and biology. Am J Physiol Endocrinol Metab. 2004 May; 286 (5): E675-85. Review. Erratum in: Am J Physiol Endocrinol Metab. 2005 Jan; 288 (1): E285. PubMed PMID: 15102614.That is a difference of more than 1000 kcal per day!

So someone with a very high NEAT value can easily eat one large pizza more per day than a person with a very low NEAT value - in addition to the otherwise identical diet. In comparison, the differences in the RMR or the TEF value described above play a subordinate role. This enables NEAT to work with the have the greatest impact on your Kcal consumption.

It's the difference between an office job followed by an evening in front of the TV and someone who is always on their feet at work, then goes shopping and does the household chores. This is a part explaining why some people appear to be just not gaining weight even though you eat a lot.

NEAT can also increase as a result of excessive calorie intake. In one study, some people responded to a 1000 kcal excess with a 700 kcal NEAT increase.4Vanltallie TB. Resistance to weight gain during overfeeding: a NEAT explanation. Nutr Rev. 2001 Feb; 59 (2): 48-51. Review. PubMed PMID: 11310775. This phenomenon could play a role with the so-called "hard gainers".

Even when dieting, the body can reduce its NEAT consumption in order to save energy.5Melanson EL, Keadle SK, Donnelly JE, Braun B, King NA. Resistance to exercise-induced weight loss: compensatory behavioral adaptations. Med Sci Sports Exerc. 2013 Aug; 45 (8): 1600-9. doi: 10.1249 / MSS.0b013e31828ba942. Review. PubMed PMID: 23470300; PubMed Central PMCID: PMC3696411. Link The level of the NEAT value has a biological and environmental dependency. On the one hand, there are differences in how people react to too much or too little food with their NEAT, and on the other hand, the NEAT value strongly depends on which one Environment (job, movement, leisure activities, PC, couch, etc.) you are

Compared to an active lifestyle (only light movement, no active training: cleaning, “being on your feet”, gardening), a very lazy lifestyle quickly results in an additional consumption of 600 kcal!6Ohkawara K, Tanaka S, Ishikawa-Takata K, Tabata I. Twenty-four-hour analysis of elevated energy expenditure after physical activity in a metabolic chamber: models of daily total energy expenditure. At J Clin Nutr. 2008 May; 87 (5): 1268-76. PubMed PMID: 18469249.


Now you have an overview of the components that make up your body's energy consumption. You can influence certain components, but not others.

  • RMR: Not much influenceable. Except about body mass (and to a lesser extent also about muscle mass).
  • TEF: By eating a high protein diet with lots of unprocessed foods, you can have some influence on energy consumption.
  • TEA: You can do something here. Regular exercise and training also consume energy.
  • NEAT: An active lifestyle can make big differences in calorie consumption.

If you want to burn more calories, it helps an active lifestyle, regular exercise, and a high-protein diet. You may have heard this before, but now you can probably better understand why. Because 200-300 kcal additional consumption / day add up over time.

If you want to know how many calories you are consuming, use our calorie consumption calculator. If you really want to find out how you can lose weight or lose fat, read our weight loss guide. Because the calorie intake is much more important for losing weight than the calorie consumption, as this is much easier to change.

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