Do I have a slow metabolism?
One of the most common explanations for my patients who struggle with weight loss is my metabolism has slowed down.
Or my thyroid is to blame.
Could this be true?
It is possible but usually not the case.
The way to find out the answers to these questions is quite simple by getting a metabolism test.
What Is A Metabolism Test?
A metabolism test is done by breathing into a device called an indirect calorimeter.
The important number to calculate is called your resting metabolic rate.
The resting metabolic rate is the amount of calories your body will expend just to keep you alive.
This number is unique to you based upon the oxygen you expend on a daily basis in a resting state.
The test only takes 10 minutes.
The patient breathes into a tube connected to the device.
Each breath, inhaled and exhaled is analyzed and the final result in computed.
Metabolic Test Results
Based on your resting metabolic rate number, we can compare you to others your age as well as predict the calories burned while your perform daily activities and exercise.
It is usually surprising to most patients to realize in fact their metabolism is not slow and often times even fast.
This is usually the case for patients who are overweight which is upwards of 70 percent of Americans.
The reason for this is simple. Your body needs to work harder at higher weights to keep you alive.
This hard work translates to burning more calories which explains a higher metabolic rate.
This number called resting energy expenditure is not a variable that can be immediately increased.
However, the number of calories expended with exercise and daily activities can.
This is the key to long term success.
Eating the correct number of calories per day to satisfy your bodies basic energy requirements without going over is the answer to lose weight.
Creating an energy deficit by burning calories through daily activities such as walking, taking the stairs, increasing our steps, household chores, and exercising will get you to your goal weight quicker.
What If I Find Out My Metabolism Is Slow?
There are cases where the metabolism can be slower then normal and we can account to look further into why through lab testing to see if there is a thyroid or metabolic condition present.
Most of the time labs will come back normal.
In this case, we will need to adjust our calories appropriately and work on a long term plan for building a healthier metabolism through a nutrition and exercise program to burn fat and build lean muscle mass.
Finally, consistency is the key to all this for sustainable results.
Your metabolism will likely change over time, and especially with a change in weight.
Measuring this through indirect calorimetry will give you the insight to fuel the body properly, a process we like to call eating to your metabolism.
Written by Dr. Michael Luciano
Are you interested in testing your metabolism or medical weight loss? If you live near the surrounding cities of Doylestown, Warrington, Newtown, and Warminster, schedule your appointment with Dr. Luciano online or by calling us at (267) 388-4692.
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