Many people wrongly assume that the BMR = maintenance calories. That is not so. BMR (basal metabolic rate) is the amount of calories that your body needs just to function. That means to sustain all the vital organs like the heart and the basic functions like breathing.

Most people, besides breathing and staying at rest, also do other things during the day, like walking and sometimes even being active. 🙂

All these activities require a greater expenditure of calories than the BMR. So in order to change your weight you need to find what your MAINTENANCE calories are. Maintenance calories are your BMR calories + the amount of calories that you expend throughout the day on going around doing your daily activities (for example walking or doing sports).

If your goal is to gain weight, then you should eat more calories than your maintenance calories. For people that are trying to lose weight, they should first calculate their BMR and their maintenance calories. After that they need to eat less calories than their maintenance calories, but still more than their BMR.

Here are two calculators that you can use to calculate your BMR and your maintenance calories:


Maintenance Calories

Read more: How to gain weight

3 thoughts on “The Difference Between BMR And Maintenance Calories”

  1. Yeah you’re wrong, bmr is how many calories your body burns daily doing nothing, metabolic rate** why would that be maintenance calories when you have your daily caloric intake for that??

    1. I am a bit confused with what you mean. Yes, your BMR is what your body burns just doing basic bodily functions like breathing. However, throughout the day, you also do other things than just lie still and breathe. You also walk around or play sports. So your body needs to expend further calories in order to cover those activities as well. Your BMR + the calories your body needs to spend in order to cover the more active activities like walking around = your maintenance calories. Basically, your maintenance calories is the amount of calories that you need in order to maintain your current weight.

  2. thank-you for clearing my doubt i was confused about this from a long time and after reading this blog i am good to go for to my next (weight -loss diet ).

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