Factors LeanMD Considers When Assessing BMI and BMR

Unlike most weight loss programs, the LeanMD weight loss program in San Ramon, CA, is medically supervised and customized to suit the unique medical needs of each participant. To promote quick and safe weight loss, our doctors and other medical providers complete a thorough assessment of every patient’s medical history, laboratory results, body mass index (BMI), and basal metabolic rate (BMR). Our medical providers also collaborate with patients’ primary care physicians and specialist providers to make sure our customized recommendations are effective and safe. Body - mass - index


BMI is a commonly used screening tool that compares an individual’s height to his or her weight for the purpose of indirectly assessing fat composition. A person’s BMI indicates whether he or she is underweight, of normal weight, overweight, or obese according to the BMI scale. A BMI assessment can be helpful for informing a person’s risk of chronic diseases and weight loss recommendations. In contrast, BMR is not a measurement of one’s body composition. Rather, it is a calculation of the number of calories the body uses while at rest. The body burns calories even while a person is asleep. It needs energy to maintain respiration, blood circulation, and other vital functions of life. Knowing one’s BMR is helpful for weight loss because it allows the physicians at LeanMD to calculate the ideal number of daily calories for a particular patient.

Bone Structure and Age

It’s important to note that BMI and BMR are not exact tools for weight loss because there are many variable factors that affect metabolism and overall body structure. BMI can be misleading because bone and muscle weigh more than fat. A person with very dense bones and well-developed muscles may be labeled as obese when he or she is merely overweight or of a normal weight. Physicians will also consider a person’s age when assessing BMI and BMR, since bone density and muscle mass are most readily acquired prior to age 30. After this point, weight gain is often due to fat gain.

Body Shape and Size

Body shape and size are other factors that LeanMD doctors assess. The higher a person’s total body surface area, the higher the BMR will be. For example, people who are tall and those who are overweight naturally have a higher BMR. This means that a lower calorie intake would be recommended for a shorter patient than for a tall patient.

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*Specific results are not guaranteed and are a result of the individual customized weight loss plan for each patient, along with exercise, diet, and lifestyle changes.