Resting Metabolic Rate (RMR) testing is becoming much more common in weight management programs today and for good reason. The RMR provides an accurate starting point for individuals beginning their weight loss journey.
Your RMR is essentially the amount of calories it takes for you to maintain basic bodily functions and it represents the approximate amount of calories you would burn if you were to lie in bed all day for 24 hours doing absolutely nothing.
It is important to know what your RMR is especially if your goal is weight loss, because it can estimate how many calories you need to consume and not exceed to reach that specific weight goal. Estimating your calorie needs can be done taking into account your height, weight, age and sex using a mathematical prediction, such as the classic Harris-Benedict equation.
However, obtaining a measured RMR is more accurate than using a standard equation. RMR is actually measured by an indirect calorimetry machine which measures Oxygen consumption and CO2 production while you sit or lie still for 10-15 minutes. These numbers can then be directly linked to caloric expenditure.
What if you have a slow metabolism, or a fast metabolism? Will your calculated calorie needs for weight loss or muscle gain be accurate, if it is based on your height, weight, age, sex? What if you have hypothyroidism, or subclinical low testosterone, or if you are keto-adapted on an Ultralow-carb Paleo diet? Your metabolism will be different and you need to measure your baseline caloric requirement.
Learn more about the RMR test below: