Goooooooooooooood morning! I’m awfully cheery for getting up at 5:30am. I know some of you do that everyday (kudos), but I am not one of them. I prefer 6:30-6:45, but my sweet little one decided she was hungry at 5:20ish. C’est la vie!
It was a good weekend, filled with a little shopping, a little photo shoot, a little bulldawg action (clenching the SEC East!), a little time with friends and a little metabolism measuring to get started on my updated post-baby plan!
How do you measure a metabolism? Well, what you can measure is your resting metabolic rate, which is how many calories your body burns at a base level. To measure this, you need a fancy machine that measures your oxygen consumption. It’s legit (FDA approved technology… used on The Biggest Loser… not cheap ;)). There are a few (about 3) quality devices out there- NEW Lifestyles (my company) uses the BodyGem.
It’s best to test in the morning because you can’t eat, exercise or have caffeine for at least 4 hours prior to the test, to ensure accurate results. Since I tested first thing in the morning, pictures weren’t taken… BUT I have some saved of Hubbs taking the test 😉
You need to relaxed and slightly reclined. No fidgeting allowed (meaning I had to leave my iPhone in the other room!). The test takes about 10 minutes and is really simple. Your mouthpiece is attached the the machine. Once it’s calibrated, you wrap your mouth around it, pinch your nose shut and breathe normally. It kind of feels like scuba diving… but without all the cool fish swimming around you.
The machine records your breaths and your oxygen in, oxygen out.
After it collects all the info it needs (about 10 minutes worth), it beeps and you’re done! Then your lifestyle information is factored in (your job, the hours you sleep, the exercise you do, your height, health goal, etc) to create your plan.
I could go on and on in more detail, but in hopes of not boring you, let’s just get to my results.
My resting metabolic rate: 1120
There is no ‘good’ or ‘bad’ metabolism, it just is what it is. However, compared to other women of my same age, height and weight, my metabolism is a little on the higher side. *However, considering that about a year ago my RMR was 1570, it has dropped considerably. I can attribute that to loss of muscle and decrease in exercise*
Once you factor in my lifestyle, the total calories I need to maintain my current weight is 1552. To set a conservative goal and lose 1/2 lb per week, the total calories I need each day is 1302 (250 less calories a day).
However, we aren’t done yet… are you still with me?
I need to factor in my exercise. If I factor in 3.5 hours a week of moderate exercise, I need an extra 158 calories a day to ‘fuel’ that.
This brings my total intake to 1460 calories a day to safely lose 1/2 lb a week.
So, there it is.
I’m going to use 411fit.com to track my food intake and see how it goes. However, above all, I’m going to listen to my body. If I’m hungrier than 1460 calories, I’m going to eat! If I notice my milk supply dwindling, I’m going to adjust. It may be a little trial and error since I’m breastfeeding right now, but having an accurate place to start from gives me confidence in knowing how much my body needs.
What are your thoughts on measuring metabolism?
Helpful? or TMI?
I’ve received a few questions/concerns from people about whether I should add in extra calories for breastfeeding, since many experts say to eat an extra 500 calories a day. First of all, thank you so much for your thoughtful comments! It means a lot to me to have your feedback.
I did consult a few of my RD friends and couldn’t find a consensus. Some said add in 500, some said maybe 200 and others said don’t add any and just feel it out.
So I’m going to feel it out. Like I mentioned, if I’m hungry, I’m going to eat. And if my milk seems to dwindle, I’m certainly upping my calories! I’m not so desperate to lose weight that I feel like I need to be super strict with calorie counting. Actually, I’m not desperate at all… just curious! I really just wanted to get an idea of where I am to have a starting off place, which I feel like I accomplished.
I’m going to try this plan out and see how it goes. I’ll keep you posted! And thank you again for all your emails and comments 🙂