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 🙂
Gina @ Running to the Kitchen says
Not TMI at all. I’d love to do this to myself, I’m very curious now.
This is so interesting. Can a regular Dr’s office do this for you?
Most doctor’s offices don’t have them, actually. Some gyms and PT studios do, so maybe call some close to you and ask? Or come to Charlotte and I’ll do it for you 🙂
Awesome, I will check around here and see what’s available!! I’d love to come to Charlotte but that’s a long trip from Boston!
yay for the dawgs winning the SEC east but sad about larry 🙁
So sad about Larry 🙁 He’ll live on as a legend though!
I love how you told us how you test the resting metabolism. I always wondered how these tests are done. Thank you very much for sharing it. It was so interesting. I wish I know where I can go to test my resting metabolism.
Jamie @ FoodinRealLife says
Very interesting stuff! Just curious- since breastfeeding burns a certain amount of calories daily- shouldn’t you add some per day to accomodate? Even if it’s a lowballed number? I’m just curious because I know that plans like weight watchers adjust your daily intake if you are a nursing mom.
That’s a great question! I asked around and looked into a little and couldn’t find a definite answer, so my plan is to go forward as is and listen to my body and watch my milk supply. I’ll be watching closely, and if anything seems off, or my supply drops, I’ll add in more calories STAT. I’ll keep you posted 🙂
Wow! Very interesting. I would love to have this done!
Agree…very interesting. I would love to have my metabolism checked. If I find myself passing through the Charlotte area I will make an appointment. Sadly though I don’t see that happening any time soon.
Lindsay @ The Lean Green Bean says
very cool! i’d love to do mine.
Like Jamie, I was curious about factoring in breast feeding. I’ve heard you need an additional 500 calories a day above your normal intake when breast feeding?
Tiff @ Love Sweat and Beers says
Def Helpful! I would love to get mine done some time. It sounds really interesting. Good luck tracking those calories. I’m good at tracking mine, but I’m not so sure it helps me say “no” to anything! Hmmm… I better work on that part.
No, there’s nothing to work on- it’s part of the balance 🙂 You better believe I’m not saying NO to anything I really want… like pecan pie.. mmmm
That is so cool!!!!
I would love to have mine tested! I think even though I don’t have a lot of muscle, I seem to loose weight best eating MORE calories. And that’s without breast feeding. I’m guessing you will be able to loose 1/2 lb a week while still eating quite a bit more when you factor in BF.
Cait @ Beyond Bananas says
I want one of those really badly. I would totally be interested in knowing this information!!!!
Alyssa @ Life of bLyss says
I want to try this so badly. I love learning all this stuff. 🙂 let’s trade jobs. just say yes.
So curious about factoring in breastfeeding as I am 4 weeks post partum and breastfeeding and trying to figure calorie intake. Everything I have been reading is to not go below 1500 calories or you risk milk reduction and you need to factor in burning 500-600 calories a day. We shall see what you find out. Thanks for the info.
Amanda Perry @ Sistas of Strength says
Good luck! I was starvin marvin when I was breastfeeding. Do you find that you’ve been extra hungry??
I thought I would be, but I’m not. I eat constantly though, so maybe that’s why? I do notice if I don’t keep water flowing through me that I almost die of thirst!
Amanda Perry @ Sistas of Strength says
Yah I eat all the time too so I had days where I was fine, but man there were some days nothing could cure that hunger beast. I was definitely a lot more hungry nursing than during pregnancy!
Shanna like Banana says
Oooo this is fascinating! I’ve never had my metabolism checked but I’m quite curious to see where it’s at.
Where do I pick up this nifty device?
be careful with your milk supply! I’ve tried dieting like 3-4 times and every time I’ve had a decrease and bumped up my calories. I need close to 2000 calories a day to keep my milk in, of course, the healthier I eat, the better things seem to be as well, but I’m still making sure to get in lots of good fats and carbs. I think that’s a big reason why I haven’t lost a ton of weight but I’m feeding 2 babies so you might not have as hard of a time since you only need about half the milk I need haha
This is SO interesting to me, Brittany. Things like this make me so excited. I feel like knowing this can really give athletes a competitive edge. Once I get back into shape, I really want to learn my RMR- and I’d love for Jeff to learn his, too. 🙂
Thanks for this info! As an RD, I would not only be concerned with the quantity of your calories, but the quality as well. I know you are a healthy eater, so you don’t eat many empty calories. Listening to your body and watching your milk supply are great plans. With a low calorie budget, you just want to make sure that those calories include adequate dairy (or calcium-containing foods), healthy fats, whole grain carbs, fruits & veggies for adequate nutrition as a nursing mama. If you aren’t already, you may also want to take your prenatal vitamin. Good luck!
Oh and protein too!
Very informal post! I always wondered how they did this…I thought they used one of those body pod things or something. At least this seems scientific!
What are your plans for 3.5 hours of exercise each week? That sounds like such a great goal with a new baby!
Love this. I’m jealous though — I want my metabolism checked so bad!