On Thursday in my Exercise Science Lab at school I was so lucky to have to opportunity to do this:
That is me hooked up to a Korr Medical Technologies Cardio Coach that measures how well my body metabolizes Oxygen and outputs Carbon Dioxide, a measure of my Resting Metabolic Rate. In simpler terms, it determines how fast or slow my metabolism is burning. And with that data, a computer program can calculate how many calories per day my body would burn if I were a couch potato all day!
This is where years of personal dieting experience and those torturous 1200 calorie days were thrown completely out the window! Apparently my body burns 2290 kcals/day! That’s huge! In comparison with others, my metabolism is 42% faster than most women of my age, weight and height! According to the nifty printout we received detailing our results, I should be eating 1832 kcals/day on days I do not exercise, here’s the kicker, to lose weight!
I’ve been eating about 1400 calories per day for the past two years and have obviously lost well, and yet, I have noticed that the last 20 pounds have gotten very difficult to drop! According to Elena, the RD who provided the testing, my body has been in the starvation zone and therefore holding on to every last possible pound it can! She also suggested that the reason I am not seeing cuts in my muscles, despite my intense exercise for the past year, is because my body is attacking the glycogen in my muscles for fuel.
My body’s metabolism is so high that I am exceptionally efficient at processing calories and therefore should be eating more to fuel my body!Craziness!
I love this quote from the informational handout:
One thing holds true in weight management and that is Energy Balance. Simply put, if you burn more energy than your body absorbs, you will lose weight. When food is absorbed into your body it must either be burned as energy or stored as fat. Knowing your metabolic rate helps you to know how to balance what you eat with what you burn.
So here’s the plan: I will be eating much more food than normal, about 1832 calories per day while continuing to track on MyFitnessPal. I will also be focusing on post workout snacks as a place to add in those calories. I learned that I should be eating within 30 minutes of exercise and that snack should include a whole grain, fruit and protein. For example, a whole wheat tortilla with hummus and an apple. I’m going to allow myself larger portions of the healthy foods I already eat and continue to eat a plant based diet full of fruits, vegetables, whole grains, and legumes!
Here’s a look at what my food day looked like yesterday, consuming 1800 calories:
(And for the record, yes I know Honey Mustard isn’t vegan, but come on, it’s okay to live a little!)
I’m skeptical but hopeful that this will be the nutritional push my body needs to see real athletic results!
So keep my results in mind next time you consider drastically reducing the number of calories you consume from day to day. You may be able to eat more than you think and still lose weight! Of course it’s still vitally important that your calories come from real, whole foods packed full of nutrients! It’s also imperative that you move your body – just a small increase in exercise output can have major effects on your metabolism.
Do you want to have your metabolism tested? Contact Elena Doris with National Metabolism Testing Services. Their phone number is 877-527-5677 and the email is firstname.lastname@example.org.