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RMR (Resting Metabolic Rate) factors

What is RMR?

RMR stands for resting metabolic rate, which is the amount of energy (in the form of calories) that the body expends while at rest. RMR is an important factor in energy balance and weight management, as it determines the number of calories that the body needs to function properly.

What changes the RMR in people?

In normal people, RMR is influenced by a number of factors including age, gender, body composition, and activity level. As a general rule, RMR tends to decrease with age, and men typically have a higher RMR than women due to differences in muscle mass and body composition. Additionally, people with higher levels of muscle mass tend to have a higher RMR than those with a higher percentage of fat mass. RMR is also affected by activity level, with people who are more active tending to have a higher RMR than sedentary individuals.

What is the average RMR in people?

On average, the RMR for adult men tends to be around 1,600-2,400 calories per day, while the RMR for adult women is typically around 1,200-1,800 calories per day. However, it is important to note that these values can vary widely and are only meant to serve as a general guide.

A higher RMR has a number of benefits, including the ability to burn more calories at rest and potentially maintain a healthy weight. However, it is important to note that RMR is just one factor in energy balance and weight management, and other factors such as diet and physical activity also play a role.

What causes RMR to be reduced?

In people with starvation diets, RMR can be significantly affected. Starvation diets can lead to a decrease in RMR due to a number of factors, including a decrease in muscle mass, a decrease in body temperature, and a reduction in the body's metabolic rate. These changes can occur as the body adapts to the reduced intake of nutrients and energy.

Loss of muscle mass can lead to a decrease in RMR, as muscle tissue is more metabolically active than fat tissue and therefore requires more energy to maintain. This can occur as a result of a number of factors, including aging, disuse atrophy (loss of muscle mass due to inactivity), and malnutrition.

It is important to maintain muscle mass for a number of reasons, including the maintenance of RMR and the preservation of muscle strength and function. Engaging in regular physical activity and following a balanced diet that provides adequate nutrients can help to preserve muscle mass and maintain RMR.


Long-term use of starvation diets can have a number of negative effects on the body, including a decrease in muscle mass and strength, an increased risk of nutrient deficiencies, and impaired immune function.  In order to maintain a health metabolic function and quality muscle composition a healthy eating plan with adequate nutrition is essential.

David Bauder David J. Bauder, PA-C David Bauder, PA-C, is a certified physician assistant and the assistant medical director at Weight Loss and Vitality in Manassas and Alexandria, Virginia, Washington, DC; and Gaithersburg, MD. He enjoys helping patients optimize their physical and mental health to improve their overall well-being. He earned his physician assistant degree from the University of Texas Health Science Center at San Antonio. Afterward, he gained admission into the reputable graduate program for physician assistant studies at the University of Nebraska Health Science Center in Omaha. David has over 26 years of experience working as a physician assistant. He’s practiced in podiatry, family medicine, emergency medicine, general surgery, urgent care, and functional medicine.

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