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What do You Really Know About Your Metabolism?

You may not be aware that the resting metabolic rate (RMR) associated with a given body weight can vary ±20%. Like many things in nature metabolic rates fall into a "normal" bell curve. The middle of the bell curve is the "expected" or average metabolic rate.

Another way of saying this is that 80% of you have a metabolic rate that is ±10% of the middle of the bell curve (for your gender, height, weight, and age).

Where you fall on the curve is based (mainly) on the genetic "hand" you were dealt.

The chart here shows an example for a 150-lb. 32-year-old female, using the World Health Organization's formula for metabolic rate [Schofield WN. Human Nutrition: Clinical Nutrition. 1985;39(Suppl1):5-41].

The American Dietetic Association finds that after careful review of various prediction equations that the most accurate equation currently available is the Mifflin-St Jeor equation, which would give a lower zero point (of 1,393 kcals), than what is on the chart here.

The popularity of having your metabolic rate measured has grown in the past decade as technology has provided easier less invasive tools to measure it, like the MedGem, BodyGem, or Korr ReeVue. These devices quickly became popular at many fitness and weight loss centers, as well as with other professional providers of weight loss services.

Knowing your metabolic rate is a huge advantage if you want to lose weight. That's only a start however! Separating facts from fiction regarding your metabolic rate is also important, because there is more misinformation out there than accurate information.

Researchers who specialize in this area of literature conclude that--at a given body weight--any individual's metabolism varies only 2- to 3%: 

"within subject variations in basal metabolic rate are small and insignificant, even when energy intake and physical activity are uncontrolled."
Shetty PS, et al. Eur J Clin Nutr 1996:50(1) s11-s23

You may be asking, "but can't I increase my metabolism more than that?" Well an awful lot of supplement labels and books claim so! Let's take a closer look at that question here...




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