The basal metabolic rate or BMR refers to the amount of energy we expend per unit time when at rest. Even when sleeping, our bodies burn calories in order to function normally. Our hearts need to beat approximately 60 times per minute on average, our cells have to grow, our internal temperature has to be regulated, our lungs need to breathe continuously, and so forth. All of these take energy which is provided in large part by stored body fats. The BMR is a function of a person’s mass, height, age, and fat mass. More calories can be burned by speeding up the metabolism and increasing physical activity.
In order to keep a stable weight, we should roughly eat an amount that can replenish what we lose through our base functions and routine activities. A weight loss goal, on the other hand, can be achieved by eating less. Just be sure to make the decrease gradual and reasonable so as to prevent weakness, lethargy, and other bad effects of a crash diet. It is also possible to speed up metabolism by eating the right food and getting the right timing for food intake.
Sedentary individuals should consider a change in lifestyle towards greater activity. Movement is the key to fat burning and weight loss. The body will always require more energy when engaged in physical tasks. It is for this reason that many office workers are shifting to a standing desk or even a treadmill desk which allows them to move throughout the day. It’s better than sitting in a chair for hours at a time while typing away on the computer. Simply walking around is a good start. Consider parking at the far end of the space and walk to office. Take the stairs instead of the elevators whenever possible.
Of course, it would still be best to follow a structured exercise routine. Both aerobic and anaerobic exercise can be good for different reasons. For instance, anaerobic exercises like weightlifting and high intensity interval training can burn fat and increase muscle mass, which in turn bumps up the basal metabolic rate. Aerobic exercises like slow jogs and endurance events primarily rely on the body’s fat stores for energy. More can be burned by increasing the duration provided that the body can handle the volume and recover quickly from the sessions. Consult with your doctor or with a personal trainer for more information.