What is Metabolism?
Metabolism is the biochemical process of combining nutrients with oxygen to release the energy our bodies need to function. An individual’s total metabolic rate represents the energy, or calories, needed for maintaining basic body functions, daily activities (occupational and lifestyle), and the energy cost related to exercise or planned activity. An individual’s resting metabolic rate (RMR) accounts for 60-75% of the total calories burned each day with no activity.
Metabolism is influenced by a number of external and internal factors. Individuals of the same weight, similar height, and same age can have varying metabolic rates due to differences in body composition and other influential factors. Factors that influence metabolism include:
- Body Mass
- Body Composition (muscle vs. fat)
- Age (metabolism naturally declines with age)
- Hormones (certain hormones can increase or decrease metabolism)
- Nutritional Supplements
- Prescription Drugs
- Fever or Infection
- Weight Loss
- Caloric Restriction
What is Resting Metabolic Rate?
Every individual has a resting metabolic rate (RMR) which represents the amount of energy your body utilizes to maintain vital body functions such as heart rate, breathing, brain function, lung function, etc. In a general statement, it is the number of calories you would burn if you were awake, but at rest all day. Your RMR can represent up to 75% or a person’s total daily caloric expenditure.
Can Metabolism Be Measured?
The answer is YES! Metabolic rates can be assessed using direct or indirect calorimetry. Indirect calorimetry determines metabolic rate from the oxygen consumption of an individual. The test is a simple breath test, and typically takes around 10 minutes.
The Academy of Nutrition and Dietetics Guidelines for Adult and Pediatric Weight Management Guidelines recommend that RMR be measures using indirect calorimetry when developing nutritional plans based on energy needs.
Typical equations can over-estimate RMR by as much as 59% and under-estimate RMR by as much as 30% individuals. By measuring oxygen consumption, clinicians can make the most accurate decisions for their clients and determine their “metabolic fingerprint” for a personalized nutrition plan to help reach their nutrition goals!
Are you a candidate for metabolic testing?
NutriFocus is excited to announce the capability to measure RMR using The MedGem, a hand-held indirect calorimeter! The will measure oxygen consumption to determine your RMR which can be used to develop a personalized energy plan to help you meet your individualized nutritional goals.
The MedGem provides our clinicians with the ability to accurately assess changes in metabolic rates associated with weight loss and weight gain that may occur in individuals struggling with eating disorders, obesity, malnutrition, illness, sports nutrition, post pregnancy, or aging throughout the lifecycle.
Contact NutriFocus today to schedule your metabolic test!