measuring metabolism


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Measuring Metabolic Rate
By Donovan Baldwin

There's a lot of advertising out there for many different weight loss products and services. Each ad will tell you that their particular pill or diet will help you lose weight, often claiming to increase metabolism as part of the process. Authors have jumped on the bandwagon and written article after article on these topics as well. Not too surprisingly, people are becoming more interested and captivated with the promises and the assurances these ads and articles hold out to them.

While we should not be carried away by infomercials, web pages, and articles, increasing metabolism is still an excellent weight loss strategy. However, to know where you are going, you need to know where you are, so, the first step is to measure your metabolism.

So, how do we measure metabolism?

There are essentially two ways to measure metabolism. The first method is known as direct calorimetry, a means of measuring the amounts of heat transferred to or from a substance. This method measures the energy expended in the form of heat. The other method is indirect calorimetry which measures the amount of oxygen consumed over a period of time. Traditionally used in hospital and research facilities due to the cost of the machine and the need for trained technicians.

What are the preparations for the test?

The aim of the test is to gauge the RMR, or the Resting Metabolic Rate, of an individual. Therefore, he or she needs to avoid eating a meal 1 1/2 hours before the test, avoid exercising on the day of the test and avoid the use of stimulants such as caffeine on the day of the test as well.

What happens in the testing bed?

You will be allowed to relax in a seated position. A mask or mouthpiece will be used and you have to breathe into it for ten to fifteen minutes. A report after the test will be printed out for the doctor to evaluate. The most important part is that you discuss the results with the doctor in order to come up with the next steps for your health and/or weight loss plan.

Will the test results be valid for the rest of my life?

No. If you wish to evaluate your metabolism at a later date, you have to retest. Your RMR, and your avearage metabolism changes through time. Change in any element of your lifestyle would directly affect the result. Aging is the most common factor, but many others can also influence your resting metabolic rate at any particular time. For you to keep a track of your metabolic rate over time, you will have to go through the test again.

Our metabolic rate determines a great many aspect of our lives. It is involved in weight gain and loss, the energy we have available to us, and even our enjoyment of life. The most common reasons for a diminishing metabolic rate are age and inactivity, although diet can have a lot to do with the process as well.

Commonly, we can increase metabolism, or at least slow down or offset the slowing down of our metabolism by regular moderate exercise and by eating properly. I normally recommend adopting, at least in part, some form of the Glycemic Index Diet.

There are also a few supplements which can be of value as well. You can try Vitamin B12 and Garcinia Cambogia, for example. These have been tested and shown to increase energy, increase metabolism, and help you lose weight without exercising. However, I still recommend you exercise. Supplements can help get you started and help you stay on track, but you should not depend on them exclusively.

About the Author:
Donovan Baldwin is a freelance SEO copywriter residing in the Dallas, Texas area, and a University of West Florida alumnus. He is retired from the U. S. Army after 21 years of service. In his career, he has held many managerial and supervisory positions. However, his main pleasures have long been writing, nature, health, and fitness. In the last few years, he has been able to combine these pleasures by writing poetry and articles on subjects such as health, fitness, weight lifting, yoga, weight loss, the environment, global warming, happiness, self improvement, and life. His blog on senior health and fitness can be found at

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P. S. If you want to learn more about why Diets Don't Work, please click here.

If you want to learn more about burning fat, a great metabolism boosting program is the Burn the Fat Body Transformation System by Tom Venuto, author of Burn the Fat Feed the Muscle.

Measuring Metabolism
Page Updated 12:33 PM Friday, August 26, 2022
Web Page Copyright 2022 by Donovan Baldwin