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* I acknowledge that this does not accurately capture the reality of intersex bodies, nor of trans and nonbinary gender expressions. Unfortunately, this is a key datapoint in the current mathematical formulation to determine BMR. If you are intersex, trans, or nonbinary, I recommend selecting the option that most reflects your current hormonal makeup, for example, if you are estrogen dominant, please select female, and if you are testosterone dominant, please select male.

Factors That Can Increase Your BMR

  1. Muscle mass: Muscle tissue is more metabolically active than fat tissue, meaning it burns more calories at rest. For example, every pound of muscle can burn an extra 6 calories per day.

  2. Age: As you age, your BMR tends to decrease. For example, your BMR may decrease by around 2-3% per decade after age 20.

  3. Hormones: Hormones like thyroid hormone and growth hormone can increase your BMR. For example, an underactive thyroid can decrease your BMR by up to 30%.

  4. Body size and composition: Larger bodies tend to have a higher BMR than smaller bodies, as they require more energy to perform basic functions. Additionally, having a lower body fat percentage can increase your BMR. For example, a person who weighs 150 pounds and has 20% body fat may have a BMR that's around 400 calories higher than someone who weighs the same but has 30% body fat.

  5. Temperature: Your BMR can increase in response to cold temperatures, as your body works harder to maintain its core temperature. For example, being in a 60-degree room for 2 hours can burn around 100 extra calories.

  6. Stress: Chronic stress can raise your BMR, as the body goes into "fight or flight" mode and uses more energy to deal with the stressor. For example, chronic stress may increase your BMR by around 5-10%.

  7. Pregnancy and breastfeeding: During pregnancy, your BMR typically increases to support the growth and development of the fetus. The exact increase varies, but it may be around 200-500 calories per day. Breastfeeding can also increase your BMR, as your body uses energy to produce milk for your baby. It's estimated that breastfeeding can burn an extra 300-600 calories per day.

It's important to keep in mind that these estimates can vary depending on individual factors, and they're meant to provide a general idea of how different factors can affect your BMR. By focusing on healthy habits like regular physical activity, a balanced diet, and stress management, you can support your body's natural metabolism and overall health.

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