Behold the magic machine (I know it's not magic, but *science machine* doesn't sound as snazzy) that tests resting metabolic rate.
In the end, dieting always comes down to energy input versus energy expenditure. It can, and will as we head into silly season, be dressed up in many seemingly alluring ways: low carb / low fat / ketogenic / low GI / fat burning / red days and green days / juices and potions / points and sins (I'm sure I've missed some). But ultimately the principles of commercial diets are always about restriction (there is only so much steak and cheese anyone can eat).
There are many things that can impact our RMR (Resting Metabolic Rate) and they are even more prevalent in our modern lifestyles: hormone disruptors, chemicals, alcohol, drugs, industrial vegetable oils, psychological stress. And it is the RMR that governs amongst other essential things (but lets be honest, we are here for the looks right now ;)) whether we maintain our weight, lose or put weight on.
Despite this scientific explanation of how our bodies function, the majority of diets are based on guess work – at best. Using averages of averages to calculate how many calories are needed to fuel individuals is like saying a vehicle with four wheels needs 14 gallons of petrol to do 100 miles.
Even those approaches that utilise RMR, generally work on implementing a deficit in order to encourage weight loss, rather than looking to increase the RMR.
Historically RMR testing has been expensive and hard to access and I guess because as much as anything, its not been sexy enough to be appealing to the mass market. Its not a topic that lends itself to a nifty three page spread in Grazia in the way a juice fast does; and therefore we tend to lean towards what feels like quicker and less complicated solutions. However because they are so unscientifically developed, they can (and often do) cause more harm than good. Losing weight in your 20s may well be a case of 3 days of fasting to deliver immediate results. Roll forwards 10 years and add in a reduction in RMR due to stress, ageing, and scattergun diets; and its likely that the fast will need to be longer and / or more extreme to deliver the same results. The more pressure the body is under – dieting and over-exercising being the most common – the more the RMR will reduce as the body looks to conserve its precious resources and expend less, in order to protect vital organs and functions. This is why you see serial dieters having to eat less and less just in order to stand still.
There are a wide range of mooted success rates for diets, depending on where you look but even Weight Watchers own figures, which are probably an optimistic figure, only come out at 16%. That is pretty low by anyones standards, especially when you consider that it may have been subject to some, lets call it, creative data capture.
The metabolic rate is responsible for far more than weight control; it’s at the centre of all core / essential functions and is subsequently responsible for how fast we age, for example. When you consider this, it becomes an altogether more compelling reason to understand what yours is, and to raise it. A raised metabolism will make you leaner, healthier and more youthful. What's not to like?
I've studied metabolic health for the last 4 years under the watchful eye of the Geek Genius that is Billy Craig, fixing my own health issues along the way, and I'm delighted that I'm going to be able to start practising using his methods, beginning with Metabolic Rate Testing. If you are in London,Oxfordshire or Derbyshire, then please get in touch to find out more about it.
Love from Sarah x