How to measure your metabolism
What even is your metabolism? And how can I measure it?
[ Read time: 4 min ]
What even is your metabolism? And how can I measure it?
Simply put, your metabolism is all the chemical processes that occur within your body to produce energy and keep you alive. These processes include things like digestion, breathing, circulating blood, etc…
When we talk about how we can measure this energy for daily living we use the term calories.
Calories/energy that we put into our body might be food, drinks, condiments, etc.
Calories/energy that we take out of our body would be all the processes mentioned above (digestion etc) along with any other activity (walking, sitting, standing etc) or planned bouts of exercise.
For someone looking to lose or gain weight, a deeper understanding of their metabolism might be something important to consider.
Our Basal Metabolic Rate (BMR) is the common way that is used to track the number of calories an individual would use at complete rest, as in they are locked away in a hospital bed and only require the absolute minimum amount of energy in to survive.
Fortunately, most of us are not in this position, so using BMR to calculate the number of calories (represented as food) we need to consume to live probably isn’t the best approach.
For those of you that are either looking to lose or put on weight, there is no 100% guaranteed way of understanding the exact amount of food you need to eat to achieve those goals, mostly due to large fluctuations in our daily lives.
Luckily enough, there are a few steps you can take to at least get a pretty good idea of what you need to achieve either of those goals: Start to understand what goes in, and out of your body. How?
Tracking the IN:
Track the food you eat, yep, all of it.
This includes all those late-night trips to the fridge, if you are truly invested in this goal of yours, you will do what it takes to make a note of what is going into your body. Your trainer will not judge any choice you make, more information will help guide the decisions that the two of you can make.
Tracking could be as extreme as loading all the foods you eat onto an application like “My Fitness Pal” or it could be as simple as taking pictures of your meals and keeping them in a “food diary” folder on your phone
Tracking the OUT:
Track your activity to the best of your ability.
Whilst it is true that you cannot “outwork a poor diet” it is still critically important to understand the amount of exercise that you are doing day today. Now when we talk about “exercise” this involves not just the planned sessions you do with your trainers, getting an understanding of what happens the other 23 hours of your day, on the other days of the week is MORE important.
This tracking might include monitoring your daily step counts, on your smartphone, or watch. It could involve logging all those short training sessions you do at home with your friends and family.
Once we start the process of understanding our IN’S and OUT’S a little better (they don’t have to be super accurate) there is one final step, one that can often be quite daunting to some.
“what gets measured, gets managed”.
We need to track progress.
To measure weight loss or gain change progress, we need to measure our weight, and the best and most reliable way to do so is on a set of scales.
I stress, do your best to be as objective an emotionally unattached to the number that is displayed each morning. The number is not an indication of your overall level of health, your worth as a person, or anything of that nature. It is merely the amount that you weigh.
Keeping a consistent time and place that you weigh yourself is super important. The same set of scales, at the same time of day, (preferably early morning before you have eaten breakfast and lunch), in the same spot on the floor needs to occur. Even the slightest change in the angle of how the scales are positioned can influence the reading displayed, so make sure you try a few different stable locations before you begin the measurement process.
Tracking the ins, outs and our progress might seem like a tedious task, and to be honest, it might be for a little while. I need you to know that we won’t be doing all of this forever, two weeks is plenty of time to get a good understanding of what your daily intake of calories might be.
But remember, you aren’t changing anything, you already eat food and exercise, two weeks of just making a quick note here and there or taking a picture of your food can provide you and your trainer with a massive amount of information that will accelerate you towards your goals in ways you can’t even imagine.
Some final notes;
Metabolism is just the amount of energy that you use in your daily life.
We can get pretty close to measuring the amount of energy by taking note of the things we are already doing.
I like to think of it as both of us are trying to put a jigsaw together, and we are in the dark.
Your trainer is great at putting the pieces together, but unless you shine the light on the puzzle and show us what’s going on, its probably going to take a much longer time to finish that puzzle.
The more information we have about your life outside our sessions, the better chance of success. Not only in the short term, but for those long term sustainable results you have always dreamed of.
Help us to help you.
If you’re looking for a bit more guidance on how you can train to suit your body type, give us a call on 1800 446 464 or email us at firstname.lastname@example.org – Our personal training coach are more than happy to help!
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