What Is “Resting Metabolic Rate”?
Resting Metabolic Rate is a measure of the number of calories your body needs just to stay alive. If you were to curl up on the couch all day with a good book, essentially “at rest”, there would still be metabolic activity being performed by your heart, lungs, brain and other body cells.
The most active cells in our body are those found in muscle. In a lean individual, skeletal muscle accounts for about 75% of resting metabolic rate. Muscle cells are the “energy hogs” of the body. Two people may weigh the same on the scale; however, the person with a higher portion of lean muscle will require more calories to maintain their weight.
To lose weight, at a rate of 1# per week, it requires an energy deficit of 3500 calories. To lose 2# per week, you must be 1000 calories per day below your calorie requirements.
Reducing caloric intake too far below resting metabolic rate causes the body to start to “conserve” calories. Starvation diets will result in a decrease in overall resting metabolic rate.
IT’S YOUR METABOLISM
When to Consider a Resting Metabolic Rate (RMR) Measurement
Diabetes is a medical condition that may be avoided if weight control measures are implemented early. Individuals more than 20% overweight are not accurately assessed by predictive equations for caloric requirements.
Pre-Bariatric Surgury/Post Bariatric Surgery
Morbidly obese individuals often have caloric requirements far below what predictive equations would calculate. Pre and post RMR measurements are recommended so that individuals have a basis for their eating plan. Caloric requirements will change drastically as patients lose weight.
Metabolic dysregulation occurs with weight gain and inactivity. Successful weight management is an integral part of therapy for cardiovascular disease.
Weight gain is a frequent side effect of a large number of psychotropic drugs.