Posts Tagged ‘Research’

Meta WHAT?!?!?!

October 4, 2009

When we talk about metabolism and metabolic rate the first thing that comes to mind is energy. We all know people who have “slower” (gain weight easy) and others who have “fast” (can almost eat whatever they want without gaining) metabolisms.

But how do you measure this? Is there a numeric scale?

The answer to what your Resting Metabolic Rate (RMR) is comes down to how many calories you need to survive to maintain your weight.

And yes once you attain that number you then apply your activity level and then that changes your calorie needs to what you require.

Up until recently in order to get an accurate number you would spend time in an atmospheric controlled chamber known as a calorimeter. The amount of heat that you produced at rest would then be measured. Problem is this chamber was quite expensive. So it was very difficult to find one.

Technology is a wonderful thing. Recently, a hand held device has come on the market. This device is called a MetaCheck and it can calculate your RMR in about 10 minutes. You breathe into its mouthpiece where lung gases are collected and their oxygen content analyzed. Formulas are applied and your answer is given in calorie requirements.

So why is Resting Metabolism so important? Don’t we speed it up through exercise?

Our metabolism absolutely increases while we are active. But we don’t spend the bulk of hour 24 hour day exercising. Most people burn 70 to 80% of their calories at rest.

So how does this apply to weight loss?

Sometimes weight loss plateaus occur because excessive calorie restriction causes your metabolism to slow down to conserve energy. When you know your RMR then your diet can be adjusted so that the maximal amount of calories can be taken in without risking weight gain.

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I Am Not A Mouse!!!

September 17, 2009

The other day I was told by a client about a recent article released by the BBC that spoke about the effects of eating late at night.

This study was conducted at Northwestern University in Illinois. At first I was very intrigued by this. A HA! A study that shows what we trainers have been telling our clients for quite sometime, not to eat before going to bed!

And the information they gave, in fact showed that mice did gain weight when they were fed during a time that they normally would have been sleeping. This was compared to a group of mice that were fed the same amount during their normal waking hours.

What really struck me was that once again we were being compared to mice. How does this happen? At the end of the article they stated “At this stage, the results could still be interpreted as controversial when applied to humans”. Really?!?!

Couldn’t they have found a group of humans to have done this with? I understand when doing studies that you don’t want to subject humans to, that animals are used. But I have to believe that there would have been a willing group of students at this university that they could have used.

Seems to me like a waste of time and money. Northwestern, next time you want to do this study, why not go down to the local 24 hour donut shop and talk to the kids who are getting a quick bite in between cramming for finals.

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