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How To Calculate Your ABMR and Metabolic Temperature

27 February, 2013

Step 1: Calculating Your Average Caloric Intake

This section will teach you to calculate how many calories you are currently eating during an average day. First, you will need to keep track of everything you eat over the course of three days. It is best if you choose two weekdays and one weekend day because people often eat differently on the weekends. To calculate the caloric content of what you eat, pay attention to your portion sizes, write down the content of your restaurant meals, and read the caloric values on the labels of any packaged foods you choose. Don’t forget to keep track of things such as salad dressing, butter, and mayonnaise. Most of us eat these foods in small amounts, but they can significantly contribute to caloric content.

In order to find the caloric value of each food, you could buy an inexpensive pocket-size calorie counter. When you are finished, calculate the average of these three days to get a more accurate account of your normal caloric consumption.

Step 2: Calculating Your Active Basal Metabolic Rate

Next, you’ll calculate your resting basal metabolic rate (BMR)-this is the number of calories your body needs to complete all of its complex functions, such as digestion, breathing, and the circulation of your blood each day. To find your resting BMR, divide your body weight in pounds by 2.26. Then multiply that number by 24 and round off your answer to whole numbers.

Here is an example:
Body Weight: 160 lbs. ÷ 2.26 x 24 = 1,699 (Resting BMR)

The figure above represents the number of calories your body would need if you were to lie in bed all day without moving a muscle (that is, your resting basal metabolism).

Your active basal metabolic rate (ABMR) is a higher number that takes into account your resting BMR in addition to your daily activity level-walking, driving, shopping, exercising; all of these movements raise your daily caloric expenditure. To calculate your ABMR, use your resting BMR and your gender.

Here is an example for males:
A Resting BMR of 1,699 x 1.15 = 1,954 (Active BMR [Equal to 100º])

Here is an example for females:
A Resting BMR of 1,699 x 1.1 = 1,869 (Active BMR [Equal to 100º])

Step 3: Determining Your Current Metabolic Temperature

The relationship between your current average daily caloric intake (step 1) and your Active Basal Metabolic Rate (step 2) is a very important aspect in determining your metabolic efficiency. Remember, calories are heat-energy units, and your metabolism is a function of that caloric heat. Metabolic efficiency is the ability to effectively use fat as an energy source and repair muscle tissue.

Although we have been talking about a goal of 100 percent (100 degrees) metabolic efficiency, in actuality we will use a temperature scale of 0 to 150 degrees. I designed the metabolic temperature scale this way because it is possible to have a core metabolic temperature over 100 degrees if you are an athlete or bodybuilder who has an exceptionally low body fat percentage and a greater than average amount of lean muscle. These individuals require additional caloric heat to adequately fuel and repair muscle tissue, requiring their daily caloric intake to be over and above their ABMR. Later, I will show you how to calculate the amount of calories needed to fuel this type of metabolism.

To complete step 3, review the average number of calories you currently consume daily. Compare this number with your body’s ideal daily caloric needs, known as your “ideal metabolic temperature,” or Active Basal Metabolic Rate, which when represented as a temperature is 100 degrees. When you are consistently consuming a number of calories that matches your ABMR, you are at 100 degrees. At this point you are burning fat and repairing muscle tissue efficiently.

In step 2 you calculated a caloric amount that represents your ABMR. This figure is the amount of daily caloric heat your body ideally needs to utilize fat efficiently and to repair muscle tissue. In order to use fat as energy and to reduce body fat correctly, your daily caloric intake should ideally equal calories equivalent to your ABMR. When this occurs, you are ingesting sufficient caloric heat daily to support a metabolic temperature (100 degrees) that can efficiently burn body fat as energy.

It is possible to metabolically function above your ABMR (100 degrees) and continue to burn fat, as is the case with numerous athletes who carry a great amount of muscle tissue to support their physical needs and exercise requirements. This additional muscle tissue requires an increased amount of caloric heat to properly fuel and repair it. The amount of additional calories ingested daily varies from athlete to athlete, depending upon his or her lean muscle mass.

Discovering your current metabolic temperature is a critical aspect of understanding your current metabolic efficiency. A daily caloric intake of less than 100 degrees of your ABMR indicates a suppressed metabolism. A daily caloric intake that represents 79 degrees or less will result in an acutely suppressed metabolic condition. The cooler your metabolic temperature, the less efficient your metabolism. When you are consuming a number of calories that match your ABMR, your metabolism is functioning at 100 degrees, and at this point, it is burning fat efficiently.

To calculate your current metabolic temperature, divide your three-day caloric average by your ABMR and multiply it by 100 degrees.

Here is an example:

Three-Day Caloric Average: 1,245
Active BMR = 1,699

1,245 ÷ 1,699 x 100º = 73º (Current Metabolic Temperature)

At 73 degrees the individual above is operating at about three quarters of his metabolic efficiency. How did you turn out? Place yourself on the scale below to visually measure your current metabolic temperature.


If your metabolic temperature is below 100 degrees, your metabolism is suppressed. Of course, the lower your number, the more severely suppressed your metabolism is. Obviously, if your metabolic temperature is in the lower ranges, your body is storing fat, not efficiently burning it. Remember, any temperature below 80 degrees is considered acutely suppressed.

About Author: Frank Girard (14 Posts)

Frank Girard is a health educator and expert in the field of weight loss and dieting. He has over 10 years of experience in writing obesity-related articles in various magazines and blogs.

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