You might think metabolic rates are simple. It is just an input to output ratio. It is actually far more than that, and is essential to every healthy human and animal. It governs how your body assimilates food intake and distributes the energy, and is a vital component in regulation of your essential organs and the well being of your body, ranging from psychological responses, to physical development, including weight loss and obesity.

What is a Metabolic Rate?

There are two types: Basal Metabolic Rate (BMR) and Resting Metabolic Rate (RMR). They both concern the body’s process of thermogenesis: the production of heat. Measuring this determines the level of energy expended. They energy the body generates is only sufficient to keep your essential organs operating whilst in a state of rest (hence why the restful state is the only reliable condition to measure the rate). The metabolic rate itself is regulated by the hypothalamus, which controls many autonomic functions that combine to be a survival system for every human. The metabolic rate is the yard stick against that which it is measured.

How can a metabolic rate be quantified?

There are two primary methods for determining your metabolic rates. The most accurate is a process that measures the production of carbon dioxide and nitrogen waste, along with the consumption of oxygen. The other, method used is an equation utilizing metrics such as age, weight, height and sex. This is, however, a rough guess, even though the equation has been refined over the years. The entire process requires the subject to be in a state of rest, that is, a ‘neutrally temperate environment’.

Metabolic Rates and Weight Loss

Weight loss and Metabolic rates, by nature, go hand in hand. The most important thing to remember is that metabolic regulation is the body’s defence mechanism. A sudden fast will only result in weight loss likely to be temporary, and the body will resolve to never be tricked so easily again, so will store energy for any other such emergencies. Obviously, the necessity for exercise and a valid program are endemic to any weight loss effort, but nutrition and good diet are invaluable.  Measurement of your metabolic weight before weight loss allows for an accurate assessment of the calories you need to stay healthy yet still see results. When you are ready to maintain your weight, a metabolic rate calculation makes it easier for you to keep to a diet that will allow you to keep your new figure. Otherwise, weight can creep back on, simply because you have overestimated your calorific needs.

Metabolic Changes

Despite being such a vital function of your body, the Metabolic Rate of you can be affected by many factors. Lack of sleep, diet, stress, and exercise are all powerful influences on it. Also, as you age, the BMR decreases, and that impacts on the ease of weight loss. Simple tactics such as a better sleeping pattern and less stress, combined with a realistic exercise regime and a good diet plan can increase your BMR, and your body will then process energy more quickly, leading to weight loss and a healthier you.

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