Harris Benedict Formula – Basal Metabolic Rate Calculator

Find out approximately how much should you be eating for your specific goal with this Harris Benedict BMR calculator.

The Harris Benedict BMR calculator calculates the minimum amount of calories you need to maintain your weight as well as perform your day to day activities based on sex, age, height and weight.

The formula used is the Harris Benedict Formula and is only, at best, an approximate guestimate but it gives you a starting point. More on this formula later.

First of all please complete the form below to get an approximate BMR figure. Then continue below for further instructions.



Now that you know your Total Daily Energy Expenditure..




Build Muscle OR Lose Weight/Burn Fat
If your goal is to build muscle, you should start by eating 500 calories overwhat your Total Daily Energy Expenditure is.Expect to gain 1-2 kgs per week when you’re starting out. 0.5-1 kgs if you’re a veteran. Any more than this and you’re probably gaining too much fat and you’ll need to reducecalories slightly.If you aren’t noticing any weight gain on an extra 500 calories, try gradually increasing the number to 1000 calories on top of your TDEE.

NOTE: Remember that these are very basic assumptions. There could be a whole heap of other reasons why you’re not gaining muscle that needs to be addressed. I.E. intensity of program, program effectiveness etc

If your goal is to burn fat and lose weight, you should start by eating 500 calories less than your TDEE.Expect to lose 0.5-1kg a week (1-2lbs). If you’re losing any more than this, it is likely coming from muscle tissue. This will slow your metabolism down and make it harderto lose weight in the long run!If you aren’t noticing any weight loss, decrease your calories by a further 250 a week until you see the weight dropping OR increase your training frequency and intensity

NOTE: Remember that these are very basic assumptions. There could be a whole heap of other reasons why you’re not losing fat that needs to be addressed. I.E. Underestimating your activity levels etc

Important Note : Remember that not all calories are created equally! A 3000 calorie diet consisting of mainly junk food and trans fats is NOT the same as a 3000 calorie diet consisting of protein, complex carbs and essential fats.

For More information on what to eat as well as how much click here!

The Harris Benedict Formula is pretty accurate for all but the really muscular physiques (it will underestimate your calorie requirements) and the really overweight (it will overestimate your requirements).

If you find yourself in the latter situation, it would be wise to find out your LBM – Lean body mass. You can do this by getting a body fat check.

Then, take your LBM and add 10% to it. Then put that figure into the calculator for a closer estimate for what your daily calorie needs are.

For example if my LBM was 67kg, I’d add 10% to it. 67 + 6.7 = 73.7kg and I’d put that into the calculator.


If you fancy doing the math all on your own, there is a more accurate
formula than the Harris Benedict Formula that takes Lean Body Mass into account. It’s called


The Katch-Mcardle Formula

This formula is more accurate for everybody but you’ll have to know your LBM first. The formula works for both men and women because no guess work needs to be done with body fat levels once you’ve obtained your lean body mass.

BMR = 370 + (21.6 X lean body mass in kg)


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My Example

I’m 74kg in total weight
I have a body fat % of 12%

So my lean weight is 65.1 kg

My BMR is 370 + 1406 = 1776 calories (very close to what the harris-benedict formula gave me)

Then multiply that figure again depending on your activity level.

So mine would be 1776 calories x 1.375 (lightly active) = 2446 Calories needed to maintain weight


As you can see the difference in results between the Katch Mcardle Formula and the Harris Benedict Formula were negligable for me. If you’re between 10-18% bodyfat (higher for women), then the calculator at the top of this page will serve you fine (unless you’re extremely muscular).

If not, find out your LBM and use the Katch-Mcardle Formula


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Click to leave the Harris Benedict Formula Page and go back to the Best Diets and Nutrition Section

7 thoughts on “Harris Benedict Formula – Basal Metabolic Rate Calculator

  1. Thanks for informing me 🙂 Although just one tiny aspect of my site being down doesn’t render the whole thing useless lol! Will get it fixed asap!

    Thanks again

  2. Thanks for this article! I was able to build a BMR calculator for my own site but actually wasn’t aware of the Harris Benedict principle until recently. I always knew that the average person can burn a considerable amount of energy throughout the day via regular activities but didn’t have a way to calculate it.

  3. I do apologise. I need to get it updated which I will do as soon as I get a chance. Thanks for letting me know.

  4. Just to let everybody know that the BMR Calculator has now been updated so that it not only works but it is easier to use. Hope you enjoy! 🙂 As always give us a shout with any questions and I’ll be happy to answer!

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