Losing weight can be very difficult, but if it’s necessary to improve health or reach goals, it’s important to be equipped with the best tools available. One tool is a firm knowledge of your own metabolism. Everyone’s metabolism is unique to them, so each person’s approach to losing weight will be slightly different.
Metabolic Testing for Weight Loss
Metabolic testing is a vital tool for preparing a plan to lose weight. The purpose of testing is to assess metabolism — all the ways in which the body extracts process, uses, and stores energy from food. While there are various formulas for estimating metabolism, these are often guesswork. To get solid, detailed and verifiable data, professional testing is required. Fortunately, these types of tests, which were once only available in laboratories or hospitals, are now offered in gyms or health clubs at a reasonable cost.
What you Will Learn
Typically, metabolic testing begins with a measurement of basal metabolic rate (BMR), also referred to as resting metabolic rate (RMR). BMR is the number of calories the body burns while at rest. The test then assesses how many calories the body burns during various activities, including both ordinary day-to-day activities and various forms of exercise.
The real value of metabolic testing for weight loss is seen when one takes results and applies it to their own lifestyle. The same exercise can affect different people in different ways, and even for the same person, the effects of one exercise can vary based on factors like heart rate. Once it is clear how the body uses energy through exercise, a trainer can help devise a personalized exercise program which utilizes activities that are tailored to best support a specific metabolism. For instance, if an individual already exercises regularly but still struggles to lose weight, metabolic testing can reveal different exercises that provide better results using the same investment of time. It can also help determine ways to speed up the metabolism so the body uses more calories at rest.
As one gains more understand of their own metabolism, it is possible to being comparing the calories burns versus calories consumed. To lose weight, the body must use substantially more calories than it takes in. For example, to lose one pound per week, 500 calories or more per day should be burned than consumed. For this reason, metabolic testing for weight loss is most effective when accompanied by nutrition coaching in order to help combine efforts in calorie intake with a personalized exercise program.
Just as different exercises vary in terms of effectiveness, not all calories in food are the same. A 200-calorie candy bar is very different from a 200-calorie plate of vegetables. Some foods are high in “empty calories” — they provide a lot of energy but little nutrition. Foods with a high calorie density are easier to overeat because they often requires a higher volume consumed to feel full, which means more calories are taken in than needed.
Nutrition coaching helps clarify what vitamins and other nutrients the body needs and where they are found in foods. Reducing calories blindly can be unhealthy if it means removing foods that provide essential nutrients. It can even be counterproductive for weight loss if a calorie restricted diet results in a loss of energy and an inability to maintain an exercise program. Professional nutrition coaching helps ensure these mistakes are avoided by providing guidance and support for a well-balanced diet that works in conjunction with an exercise plan.
Nutrition coaching can also highlight specific areas of a current diet where small changes can lead to big gains. For example, a certain habitual snack might be adding more calories per day than one realized. Becoming mindful of calorie intake or finding a lower-calorie substitute that satisfies a similar craving can result in a big step toward achieving a weight-loss goal.
Nutrition coaching works best when used on an ongoing basis. During a weight-loss journey, a coach can continue to evaluate what’s working and what isn’t and adjust a program to improve results.
Helping you Help Yourself
Metabolic testing and nutrition coaching are not magic bullets. However, they do provide personalized information and guidance to support goals. It is still an individual’s responsibility to take action towards achieving their best health. Metabolic testing for weight loss provides a tool to help develop a plan with a strong return on investment and gives an individual the confidence and accountability to stick to a diet and exercise program. With a better understanding of the body, paired with a genuine commitment and willingness to invest time and effort in exercise and dietary changes, the road towards a healthier lifestyle can begin.