Difference between BMI and BMR

Difference between BMI and BMR

The BMI and BMR the common terms which are considered during weight management. Both this term sounds a bit similar and people tend to confuse themself, but both of them stands for two separate things.


The BMI and BMR the common terms which are considered during weight management. Both this term sounds a bit similar and people tend to confuse themself, but both of them stands for two separate things. Many of you might wonder what this BMR is, because many of us are aware with the term BMI. Actually both the BMI and BMR are correlated with the body mass and weight measurement. Although these are two independent terms, but BMI may indirect affect the BMR. To know how, we must go through both the terms.

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Body mass index (BMI)

Body mass index we all know a lot about it, but actually BMI is an indirect measure of body composition in other words it measures body fat we have. Though it doesn’t measure the body fat directly. With the help of weight and height it determines whether you are classified in the underweight, normal weight, overweight or obese category. There are certain standard variation for BMI of men and women such as in certain BMI calculator for men you may find age, height and weight consideration too. BMI is measured by weight is to height ratio. When weight is taken in kg and height in meters, while we need to multiply 703 when weight is in pounds and height is in inches.

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Key for understanding:

  • For an average person BMI value of 15 or less is severely underweight.
  • BMI range from 16-18 is underweight.
  • Range from 18-25 is normal weight limits.
  • BMI range from 25-29 is overweight. 30+ is considered as type I obesity. While 30-40 units can range up to type II or type III obesity.

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  • BMI is just a screening tool it’s not considered as a diagnostic test.
  • BMI uses only height and weight. It doesn’t account for below average height people and above average mass people like bodybuilders.
  • BMI also doesn’t adjust for age or gender. 

Basal Metabolic Rate (BMR)

BMR is basal metabolic rate, which is actually the number of calories body burns at rest to do basic functions like breathing, digesting, keeping heart beating and all task which keep us alive. The formula for calculation of BMR is given by Harris-Benedict equations.

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 There are several factors which affect basal metabolic rate. One of it is body fat composition. Those who have more muscle mass tend to burn more calories at rest because muscle tissue requires more calories than fat tissue for maintenance.

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BMI and BMR relation:

  • If you have higher BMI because of high body fat percentage the BMR may be lower.
  • If one has high BMI because of large muscle mass the BMR may increase.

Lower BMI and BMR counts can result in weak immune system because of malnutrition. While too higher count indicates overweight related issue like obesity, diabetes and heart problems. Though BMI and BMR are the guidelines that allow nutrition and medical professionals to know about person’s body composition and calorie burn, but still every person should be viewed individually. So before reaching on any conclusion about yourself one must consult your doctor or dietitian or nutritionist.

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