Why is My Resting Metabolism Important?

Your metabolism is the biochemical process that combines nutrients with oxygen to release the energy our bodies need to function normally. The resting metabolic rate (RMR) is the number of calories your body burns to maintain vital body functions. These functions include heart rate, brain function and breathing. The RMR accounts for up to 75 percent of the calories you burn each day. Thus, keeping your metabolism high through regular exercise allows you to burn calories more efficiently. Knowledge of your individual RMR is critical to appropriately establish your daily calorie needs. As a note, an average daily calorie requirement, rule of thumb, is to take the body weight you wish to be multiplied by 10 and then, add 200 calories to that. For example, suppose Kathie desires to weigh 120 pounds thus, [(120 x 10) + 200] = 1,400 calories, which is the amount she would need to maintain a 120 lb body weight. This is without exercise. If you exercise, you will need to determine how many more calories to need since exercise burns more calories than when resting.

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The metabolic rate is traditionally assessed using either direct or indirect calorimetry. This 30-minute screening uses indirect calorimetry which determines metabolic rate from the oxygen consumption of an individual. Generally, such a screening includes a 15-minute consultation with a health/wellness specialist at a cost of about $50.

As you read above about Kathie, weight management is a matter of simple arithmetic — balancing the number of calories taken in against the number of calories used. In other words, it’s about energy in minus energy out. If you know how many calories you’re burning, you’ll know how many calories you need to lose, maintain or gain weight.

In Summary
Your resting metabolism is the amount of energy (calories) your body needs each day to perform essential functions such as maintaining your:

• Breathing
• Body temperature
• Heart beat
• Brain function
• Liver function
• Kidney function, etc.

In other words, resting metabolism is the minimum number of calories your body needs each day to function efficiently, even if you rested in bed all day, which is how the number of calories was determined above, i.e., a state of rest with no exercise other than normal movements in the office, at home, etc. Resting metabolism may also be referred to as resting metabolic rate (RMR) or resting energy expenditure (REE).

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