Functional Metabolic Testing
Your body's metabolism is like a car. It converts the food or calories you eat into energy for your body to use and needs fuel to work efficiently. If you had a faster metabolism, the more efficient your car runs and the easier to lose weight and keep the weight loss off. A way to know how fast your metabolism works is by taking a test with a professional who can then recommend diet changes or exercise programs personalized for you based on their findings.
Metabolic testing is a screening that can help you determine how your body works. A doctor might order these tests if they suspect a problem with the way your metabolism functions. Metabolic testing measures how fast the chemical processes happen in our bodies, and it helps doctors understand whether there's something wrong. There are many different kinds of metabolic testing, and each test tells us about an essential part of our metabolism including:
Resting metabolic rate (RMR) is the amount of calories used or burned while your body is resting. If you're looking to lose weight, this could be an excellent way to track what's happening with your metabolism.
Maximum volume of oxygen (V02 Max) indicates how well your body uses oxygen during exercise, so it might not be as useful for weight loss but could still provide information about an individual's fitness level.
Lactate threshold test. Lactic acid naturally occurs in the body. It is created by the body during exercise. Lactic acid is also flushed out of the body at a constant rate. The difference between the rate lactic acid is created and the rate of disposal from the blood during exercise is called the lactate threshold. Excessive lactic acid causes muscle fatigue. If you're an athlete who wants to get better at your sport, the metabolic test for lactic acid can improve your performance.
Metabolic testing may cost a lot, but the results can help you determine if there's a need for changes to your diet and lifestyle. Checking with your insurance company may help you make an informed decision on where to have a metabolic test.
Your metabolism is tested by various means:
Resting metabolic rate (RMR)
Resting metabolic rate provides a measurement of how much energy is used at rest. To measure the RMR, you are seated and connected to an oxygen sensor that measures your breath volume and frequency. The test requires 15-30 minutes for the data to be gathered accurately by measuring how much oxygen is consumed through breathing. For a calorimetry test, you may need to wear a mouthpiece or lie down under a plastic hood over your face and breathe into the tube connected to the monitor.
Maximum volume of oxygen (V02 max)
The maximum volume of oxygen, or V02 max, is measured while performing an exercise like running on a treadmill. The mask or hood collects air as it circulates, is breathed and exhaled. The V02 max determines how much air you can take when trying to maximize performance and endurance levels, so you mustn't hold back.
The test starts with a gentle incline. The speed is set to a comfortable pace. As you become more and more tired, the pitch will increase, and so will your speed. The completion time of the VO2 max is dependent on how long you can keep up as it becomes increasingly challenging.
The test results are analyzed with formulas that compare the amount of oxygen inhaled and carbon dioxide exhaled. V02 max is a measure of how much oxygen an individual can take in per minute, which gives insight into how many calories they're burning.
Lactate threshold is a measure that detects the amount of lactate in your blood and predicts how much longer you can exercise and maintain safe levels. If you have this test done, it will involve being hooked up to a machine while running on a treadmill or pedaling on a stationary bike. Lactate threshold testing should only be conducted in a medical facility due to the procedure's risks.
The results of metabolic testing are very useful, but should only be considered part of a complete fitness or healthcare program. Metabolic testing provides information about the calories burned daily, which may lead to a change in physical activities, exercise and eating habits to increase (or decrease) this number.
Your metabolism and fitness levels are something you can't lie about. Whether it's after a meal or on the day of your test, your metabolic rate will be different for each individual. These test results can show levels of metabolism and fitness on the particular test date. If you change your lifestyle, specifically your exercise and activities, or your fitness improves or worsens, your metabolic rate and measurements will also change. You may not notice significant changes on a daily basis, but you will see a difference over longer periods..
If you blame genetics for your weight gain as you grow older, you're probably right because metabolism can speed up or slow down by changing your lifestyle habits.
One way to get an edge on weight loss is by boosting your metabolism. Exercise is one of the best ways to do this. Your metabolic rate fluctuates on any given day. You have a higher metabolism when you move compared to when you are resting. The more active you are, the faster you burn calories. In addition, you will still have raised metabolism for several hours after vigorous exercise.
You may be wondering what exercise to do if you're sedentary, overweight, or elderly. Well, the answer is simple: any activity. Both aerobic and anaerobic exercises can raise your metabolic rate. Consult your doctor about an appropriate workout routine that will suit you best.
Activity is a great way to improve your metabolism. You don't have to go to the gym every day, try some short exercise like brisk walks, or stand instead of doing nothing and lazing on a chair.
A balanced diet is essential for your health. Eating balanced meals often can boost your metabolic rate. Proteins with every meal can get you the energy you need to power through workouts and live life to the fullest.
Eating, as an activity, requires calories for chewing, mastication and digestion. This is the thermic effect of food (TEF). Eating proteins, including vegetable protein, causes the most TEF activity to occur. Eating does not require burning as many calories as other more intense exercises, however, it helps your metabolism to increase accordingly.
The vast majority of people struggle to lose weight due to overeating and lack of exercise; however, other factors can affect body fat composition, such as age or genetics. One factor that is more controllable when trying to lose weight is dieting. Dieting involves limiting caloric intake, which causes the body to utilize its energy stores for energy rather than digesting new sources from our diets - this phenomenon is known as "the thermic effect."
Don't let the idea of portion control scare you. It will become second nature with a little practice to ensure that you are eating healthy portions at each meal.
Researchers have found that eating enough, but not too much, is the key to weight maintenance. Consuming more calories than you use in a day will typically lead to weight gain. Crash diets don’t work because if you eat fewer calories, your metabolism starts to slow down.