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Service Spotlight - Resting Metabolic Rate Analysis

In Action: Resting Metabolic Rate Analysis

Keep hitting a barrier to weight management goals, or feeling under fuelled as an athlete? Read on about resting metabolic rate analysis.

Our metabolisms are dynamic, can change over time and are often different from the "general" calculators found online. At any time in our life, different factors can impact metabolic rate and the calories we need. Chronic under fuelling via restrictive diets for weight loss and athletes with large training loads and sports nutrition considerations who fail to reach the increased of activity may have the same adaptive impact on metabolism.

This "low energy availability" can suppress various physiological functions, impact mood, daily performance, increase risk of injury, make weight loss goals an uphill battle, and weight regain an eventual common outcome.

For weight management goals, changes in mass, the body conserving more energy through reductions non-exercise activity thermogenesis (such as reduced fidgeting and general movement), a lower thermic effect of food, and a reduced metabolic rate can make it hard to reach long-term sustainable targets especially when we aren't sure of the cause.

While these factors in place are a significant benefit for survival through history (think survival in a time of famine), our lifestyles have changed drastically through technological advances and ease of access to hyper-palatable and calorie-dense foods. Our bodies can't tell when we are aiming to reduce body fat, just that we are getting a limited amount of energy (famine for all it knows).

There are ways to get answers and take action:

The most powerful approach is to "triangulate" from different angles to get a complete picture (not a one-sided view):

  • Is metabolism slow? Resting metabolic rate assessment through gas analysis (not an online calculator).

  • Does dietary intake align with goals? Dietary analysis (most people incorrectly estimate their day to day nutrition.

  • Does nutrition match metabolism and daily demands? Analysis of daily demands (different activity levels = different needs).

  • A forth option may be a recommended blood test.

These three assessments provide an invaluable window into our metabolism and needs to remove assumptions and guesswork, they show the main factor/s for not reaching goals and how to achieve them. For people chronically under fuelled a restorative period of maintenance to achieve a healthier position.

Example of reductions in metabolism

Extra credit:

What is resting metabolic rate?

Metabolism is the chemical processes that occur within your body to maintain life. Various factors such as age, sex, body composition, body mass, hormones and gender (among others) can impact this, making it not only highly unique between individuals, but can vary at any one point in your life – and why general guidelines are often not accurate.

Why is it important to know?

Knowledge of resting metabolic rate (RMR) is important in health, weight management and performance applications for defining appropriate nutritional support and determining caloric needs for energy balance, weight management and performance.

Some of the reasons to test for metabolic rate?

  • Screen for a slowed (or fast) metabolism

  • Flag the reason for possible failed attempts to lose weight in the past.

  • Provide the precise number of calories you need to manipulate body composition or fuel performance.

  • Reveal changes in metabolism during a calorie restriction or training phase.

  • Give you the precise caloric prescription to sustain your goals once you reach them.

What can chronic incorrect nutritional intake to metabolism cause?

  • Unwanted or excessive weight loss / weight gain

  • Mood disturbances

  • Sleep disturbances

  • Muscle and bone mineral density loss

  • Reduced performance

  • Reduced immunity

  • Reduced recovery

  • Reduction in hormones (increase in stress hormones)

  • Growth and development issues

  • Irregular menstrual function

Remember, “assess, don’t guess”

The impact of low energy availability (RED-S) for athletes

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1 Comment

As a "corporate athlete" this test was a bit of an eye opener! I assumed I had a slow metabolism, and it was slightly slow but the result removed the guess work as you say and helped me zone in on the area I should actually focus on!

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