Determining a Person’s Resting Metabolic Rate Key to Weight Loss Success

RMR can be measured using a simple breathing machine

DAYTON, Ohio (February 15, 2019)  – The body burns energy every day even when it’s not in full motion. Basic functions such as pumping blood and taking a simple walk across the room require a certain number of calories.

The amount of energy a person’s body uses to perform these basic functions is known as their resting metabolic rate, or RMR. Understanding a person’s RMR can play a significant role in their weight loss plans or athletic training goals, said C. Joe Northup, MD, a physician with Premier Weight Loss Solutions.

“Resting metabolic rate is very useful in helping a person achieve certain health goals,” said Dr. Northup, who practices with Premier Physician Network. “Being able to calculate a person’s RMR allows us to tailor their dietary needs, caloric intake as well as how intense their exercise needs to be in order for them to lose the weight they want.”

RMR is about as simple to measure as weight. However, instead of stepping onto a scale, a person sits in a chair and breathes into a machine that measures the intake and outtake of calories. An accurate RMR reading can provide helpful information.

Creating a zone – Knowing your baseline RMR is invaluable when it comes to restricting calories for weight loss. A RMR reading can help create a “weight loss zone” that can result in a 1 ½ pound weight loss per week.

Long-term stability – RMR helps to pinpoint the exact number of calories needed to burn during a weight loss plan. Such precision helps alter a person’s RMR to a healthier level after just six months of lifestyle change. 

Effective monitoring – A person can know if their body is responding to their weight loss plan if their RMR is regularly monitored. Regular RMR readings can help a person adjust a weight loss strategy especially when they seem to hit a plateau in their efforts.

It’s unclear why individuals have varying RMR levels, but it is thought to be as unique as a person’s genetic makeup as well as their level of activity, the types of food they consume and the amount of calories they take in each day.

A person’s weight and their body mass index (BMI) – a number determined by a person’s weight and height – help determine if a person is overweight. However, RMR is the key to developing a plan to help shed the extra pounds, Dr. Northup said.  A person’s RMR can actually change when they make significant changes to their diet and exercise, and their metabolic rate is also altered when they undergo weight loss surgery.

“Essentially, weight loss surgery changes a person’s physiology to help improve their metabolic rate, making their diet and exercise more effective,” he said.

Though RMR machines have been around for many years, it hasn’t been until recently that patients have been educated about their benefits. For example, the RMR machine at Premier Weight Loss Solutions doesn’t just benefit those wanting to lose weight but, will also improve their health.

“We have some individuals who are undergoing intense training for events like a marathon,” Dr. Northup said. “In their case, they’re wanting to know how many calories they have to take in in order to achieve their physical goals.”

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