Sunday, I had metabolic testing done. This whole thing came about when Michelle sent me a link to this blog post. I read it and thought, “this girl sounds just like me.” So I thought, why not get mine done? I did a little searching online but mostly found metabolic testing through blood panels, which wasn’t what I was looking for. I found the right one through St. Cloud Boot Camp, so I emailed them and scheduled an appointment. The test was $65, a small price in my eyes, if it helps me reach my goal.
I spoke with Chad, who I think is the owner of the boot camp. I emailed him a lot before the appointment and he was always fast to respond and super knowledgeable. Really great customer service, which for some reason, I didn’t expect.
So in case you didn’t click on that blog post I linked above, the metabolic test basically has you breath into a tube for approximately 8 – 12 minutes while a machine calculates how much oxygen you consume.
From the bootcamp website:
Your body consumes a fixed amount of oxygen per calorie burned. We measure the precise amount of oxygen in the air you exhale to calculate how much oxygen your body is consuming. Based on your oxygen consumption, we then determine the exact amount of calories you are burning.
Alright, so I was sick when I had the test done but Chad assured me beforehand that unless I was running a fever, the difference in test results are barely measurable. I was instructed not to exercise or eat or drink anything (except water) beforehand.
When I first arrived, Chad had me sit down for a little bit before starting since just walking from the car can boost metabolism. Once he set up the machine with my personal statistics (height, weight, sex), I breathed into a tube for about 10 minutes.
My nose was so stuffed that I probably didn’t need the nose plug, but I used it anyway just in case. I also realize that it looks like I could be smoking something, so don’t even think about it Photoshoppers!
Breathing through the tube makes your throat feel a little dry but other than that, it’s no different than breathing through a snorkel. Really no big deal unless your uncomfortable breathing through a snorkel.
Once the machine had enough time to calculate all my numbers, he printed up a paper with my results.
Chad talked to me for a good hour about my results and what changes I can make to reach my goal (to lose 10 lbs without starving myself). The major consensus between my friends and family is that I eat too little, so this is what I wanted to verify.
Here were my results:
1. My metabolism is slightly on the “fast” side. (Well, that’s depressing right there.)
Chad said he’s done well over 100 of these tests and that almost everyone’s metabolism is in the “normal” range. People think they have a slow metabolism, when in fact they just have terrible habits.
2. I burn approximately 1,584 calories doing absolutely nothing all day (i.e., if I layed in bed and did nothing but breathe).
3. I burn approximately 474 calories during my daily activities (i.e., running errands, chores, moving around, etc.).
4. To lose weight, I should eat between 1268 – 1584 calories a day.
5. To maintain my weight, I should eat between 1584 – 2058 calories a day.
Chad told me I was already ahead of the game (and most people he tests) for several reasons: I already keep a food diary everyday, I read food labels and am aware of what foods are nutritious, I’m active, and I underestimate my calorie burn for workouts. All that is great, but obviously I’m still doing something wrong.
On the daily, I average about 1300-1500 calories and if I work out, I’ll eat a little more. (Usually, I try to keep my calories around 1300-1400 including exercise. Fridays and Saturdays are usually higher.) He said the main goal to achieve is eating the most food possible without adding body fat and because I’m so active, he recommended that I eat in the Maintenance Zone.
He also mentioned that when you’re in decent shape (which I think I am), it’s harder to lose weight so you need to look at the details – not just calorie count but the quality of what you’re eating. So here are the changes I’m going to make for the next two weeks based on his recommendations:
- Eat 1700 calories a day.
- Do not count exercise calories.
- Eat more quality calories (i.e., lay off the damn Peeps, Paula).
Eating 1700 calories a day keeps my body’s fuel consistent and since I exercise most days, the calorie burn will drop me somewhere into the Weight Loss Zone hopefully resulting in a little less Paula.
I started this plan on Sunday and so far, it’s already a little weird. It’s a big change for me mentally to eat more and not count my exercise. Doesn’t seem big, but it is. But, I really like that I only need to pay attention to one thing now (nutrition) instead of two (nutrition and exercise). I guess it just seems a little less exhausting.
In two weeks, if my weight goes up, I will drop the 1700 calories to 1600. But, if my weight goes down, Chad suggested that I add 50-100 calories a day to see if I can still lose weight but get away with eating more. So basically, I’m experimenting for a bit to see exactly what works for me.
Have you ever had your metabolism checked through a breathing test or blood test? How’d that go?