Metabolism – What’s YOUR Number?

Before you consider beginning yet another “diet,” you might first consider learning what your “number” is.  You are a very unique individual.  In addition to having your own social security number, your own PIN numbers, your own phone numbers, there is yet another number that is unique to you.  That number is your METABOLIC RATE, a representation of your metabolism.  This is a number that is expressed in calories per day, and it is the number of calories your body needs for vital body functions, such as circulation, brain function, breathing, and temperature control.  Your metabolism can account for up to 75% of the calories burned each day. The remaining 25% is influenced by your lifestyle and activity.

If your New Year’s resolution to be in your bikini by summer did not materialize, then maybe it’s because you didn’t meet your metabolic needs.  You can’t expect to go on a 1200-calorie diet, and successfully lose weight, if the number of calories just for your heart to beat, your blood to circulate and your lungs to function requires 1400 calories.  Each time you do this, you contribute to further decreasing your metabolism and making weight loss even more difficult.  Before you make your next New Year’s Resolution, it’s time to discover just what your metabolic rate is, and how you can increase it to lose weight, instead of depriving yourself with diets.

Weight management is simply a matter of balancing the calories consumed with calories burned.  You wouldn’t try and balance your checkbook without tracking your deposits and withdrawals, so unless you really know how many calories your body burns, you’ll never know how to manage for success.  Until now, dietitians and healthcare professionals could only use a mathematical formula created from research in 1919 to estimate metabolic rate, which often proves unreliable and contributes to inappropriate weight gain or loss. But now, thanks to technology, one no longer has to guess.  Health professionals can now get an exact measurement by measuring your oxygen consumption with a handheld device that is simple to use, affordable, and requires only 5-10 minutes of time.

So, before you consider beginning another diet, first find out what YOUR number is.  A registered dietitian providing this service can also help make your weight management goals become a reality, forever!

By Cheryl Winter, MS RD, MS APRN, CDE, BC-ADM, FNP-BC

 

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