Testing Resting Metabolic Rate
The Resting Metabolic Rate Test (RMR) measures the amount of energy, or calories, your body consumes at rest. RMR is measured by analyzing the volume of oxygen your body uses and volume of carbon dioxide your body produces, at rest, during a 12 minute testing period.
Should I Get an RMR Test?
Knowing your resting metabolic rate is important in creating a health plan to keep you in line with your goals. Whether for weight loss, weight gain (muscle growth), fat loss or overall health, the RMR is paramount to understanding your body’s needs. Feed your body with the appropriate amount of calories so that you can burn fat, build muscle and crush your goals. The test will also tell you if you have a slow metabolism or fast metabolism, and what this means. For instance, if you are efficient at burning fuel or not. Metabolism refers to all the chemical processes your body goes through daily to keep you alive. Your metabolism is affected by many things. These include hormones, age, height, weight, body fat percentage or body composition, gender and environment.
If you are looking to accomplish a health and fitness goal, the RMR, coupled with a DEXA for body composition baseline is a perfect place to start so you know if you are making progress. Using the RMR, you can determine your macronutrients. The most important macronutrient being, arguably, protein. Protein helps the body build muscle and boost metabolism.
How Do You Test Resting Metabolic Rate?
Rather than using an equation, which can vary by 30-40%, APEX will test your RMR using calorimetry.
RMR Testing Protocol
- Before the Resting Metabolic Rate Test
- Do not exercise 12 hours prior to your test
- Do not consume caffeine 4 hours before your test
- Avoid food 4 hours before your test
- Come dressed in comfortable clothing
During the Resting Metabolic Rate Test
- First, you will place a heart rate strap on your chest
- Then you will be fitted with a breathing apparatus or facemask
- Lying comfortably in a reclined position, you will breathe into the apparatus for 12 minutes
- After measuring your oxygen intake and carbon dioxide output for the duration of the test, we review your results with you and answer any questions you have!
What is a Good Resting Metabolic Rate?
Metabolism is a hard concept to fully understand, but we use it daily to explain how our body responds to food and activity. A great analogy is to compare to car fuel efficiency. A fast metabolism is synonymous low fuel efficiency, and can be compared to a pick up truck (10mpg). A slow metabolism can then be compared to a car of high fuel efficiency, like a Toyota Prius (50mpg) Genetics, body composition and lifestyle are the main factors that determine a person’s metabolism.
Calorie Zones and Energy Balance
Energy balance is the relationship between caloric/energy intake (consuming food) and caloric/energy expenditure (metabolism). Three phases can be determined and these phases relate to weight gain, loss or maintenance.
Positive energy balance – Energy intake is greater than energy expenditure. Weight gain is likely. Negative energy balance – Energy intake is less than energy expenditure. Weight loss is likely. Neutral energy balance – Energy intake is equal to energy expenditure. Weight maintenance is likely.