I'm researching about how to increase BMR efficiently. (Note that BMR, not TDEE)

I want to increase mine by 100% in the long term. How can I do that?

A way is increasing muscle obvisously. Also we see people whose metabolism is faster than usual. They don't move much but they are always skinny even if they eat a lot! I'm sure there are tons of variables relevant but maybe there is something we could replicate or develop to be similar to them. Any ideas about this?

  • If there were a legitimate way to do this, I'm fairly certain it would not be sustainable.
    – rrirower
    Jun 3, 2015 at 12:28
  • That's the spirit! :D Why not?
    – mmswe
    Jun 3, 2015 at 12:41
  • More than double your weight. I have a BMR of ~1700 calories, at 5'11", 180 lbs. If I go to 400 lbs, my BMR will go to ~3200. That's about it.
    – JohnP
    Jun 3, 2015 at 15:03
  • No, most people who claim they eat a lot and have "fast metabolism" actually just exaggerate the amount of food they eat, they actually eat little. There is some variance in metabolism, but it's small compared to the fundamentals like amount of muscle mass, age etc. The only safe thing you can do to substantially increase your energy requirement is to add muscle mass and to exercise more. There are drugs that increase metabolism, but I would strongly suggest that you do not use them.
    – Mårten
    Jun 4, 2015 at 7:10

2 Answers 2


I take it you're aware:

BMR = Joule per hour per kg body mass J/(h.kg). 

And if you look at the BMR estimation equations you'll note they have just 3 variables: Height, Weight and Age, as muscle to lean mass has been shown not to be significant.

So assuming you're a human adult only one of these variable is in scope for you to play with. So simply plug your vitals into one of the formula, to obtain your current BMR, then divide this number by the mass multiplier in your chosen formula to work out how many Kg you must gain to double your BMR ;-)


It is certainly possible, I seem to have increased my BMR in the last decade by exercising harder, longer and more frequently, while eating a lot more. My body seems to have adjusted to that by dramatically increasing the BMR.

I now eat about 3800 Kcal per day while the BMR formula says that my BMR should be about 1700 Kcal/day. There is no doubt about how much I eat, because I weigh and measure all the food I eat every day. I need to do that because I eat huge amounts of food for someone my size; without measuring I would prepare too much or too little food.

I also know that it is the the BMR that is extremely high and not just the total metabolic rate, because on vacation when I typically exercise a lot less, I typically lose some weight. While I then do eat a little less, the difference is only a few hundred Kcal/day; dinner in the hotel is still about 1800 Kcal, which is more than what according to the BMR formula my entire energy intake for the whole day should be.

One could argue that I could have some problem with digesting food, but I have all the signs of someone with a fast metabolism. E.g. I can tolerate extremely cold conditions quite well.

Wim Hof has developed another method, not really aimed at increasing the BMR, but it does have that effect too. By taking daily cold showers and certain meditation exercises, you can increase your BMR at will. E.g. Wim Hof has broken the ice endurance record, during his record attempt he doesn't shiver, his heart rate hardly increases. So, the extra heat produced by his body is not due to additional muscle contractions:

Mr Hof said he can endure sub-zero temperatures as he has the ability to 'turn his own thermostat up' by using his mind.

  • 1
    BMR = BASAL metabolic rate. It's the amount of energy you need to basically sit around and do nothing other than breathe in and out all day. It does not include any activity at all.
    – JohnP
    Jun 6, 2015 at 21:45
  • The difference between the BMR and the total energy use can be easily estimated. My BMR is much higher than what the BMR formula suggests it should be. Jun 6, 2015 at 23:03
  • It may be, but I doubt it. I think you badly estimate calories in other parts of your day.
    – JohnP
    Jun 7, 2015 at 0:41
  • I eat according to a fixed daily and weekly routine, which makes it very easy to reliably estimate the total amount of calories consumed. The dry bread alone accounts for about 1000 Kcal (and I eat a fixed number of slices of bread every day, it's not like that I eat according to how hungry I am). The dry brown rice of about 250 grams (uncooked) is about 900 Kcal, so the carbs alone account for almost 2000 Kcal. The 500 grams of vegetables are fried in 80 grams of olive oil, I eat a cheese, meat etc. during lunch. And I eat 6 times per day, there is another big meal after dinner. Jun 7, 2015 at 12:57

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