Are you struggling to lose weight? It may be time to add a new tool to your arsenal.
A Resting Metabolic Rate (RMR) test can provide powerful insight into your target daily calorie needs in order to achieve your weight loss goals.
I’ve worked with people who, in their well-meaning attempt to lose weight, severely restrict their calorie intake. Usually an article or blog post leads them to select a very low daily caloric intake target (sometimes as low as 1,000 kcals per day). They begin with great enthusiasm but fall off the wagon within a few weeks. Despite their good intentions, they have made a few major mistakes, which resigned them to fail right from the start.
Here are some of the most common mistakes people make when trying to lose weight:
- Selecting an unsuitable calorie level: Everybody is different. Depending on your size, body composition, activity levels, and other factors, 1,000 calories might be your maintenance intake and you would see no weight loss, or it might be such a significant reduction that it leads to unwanted muscle wasting and low energy levels.
- Not setting reasonable expectations: Let’s say your goal is to lose ten pounds. That’s a pretty reasonable goal, but how long will it take? A good rule of thumb is that a 500-calorie daily deficit will lead to a one-pound-per-week weight loss. So, if we know our calorie deficit, we can set realistic expectations around how long it will take us to reach our target weight. Without knowing what our caloric deficit is, we can’t determine how long it will take to reach our goal, which leads to unrealistic expectations and frustration when the results don’t occur as fast as we would like them to.
- Self-Sabotaging. If you set your calorie intake levels too low, then you’re inviting unwanted side effects. Insufficient calories can lead to a down-regulation of your metabolism. If you reduce intake levels too far below your body’s needs, your body will respond by slowing your metabolism, and your efforts will be wasted. Another undesirable effect of excessive calorie restriction is muscle wasting. Muscle is your metabolic engine, and if you start to lose muscle mass, you will cause your metabolism to slow down.
A better way to achieve weight loss is to understand your body’s unique calorie needs and then set your nutrition intake accordingly. A Resting Metabolic Rate test will show you the exact number of calories you need to maintain your current weight. With knowledge of your maintenance level, you can plan your calorie deficit through a combination of calorie restriction and increased physical activity. Then you can calculate how long it will take you to reach your target weight.
Body Insight’s RMR test offers a simple, accurate way to determine your calorie needs. With a definite number in mind, you can plan a much better health and fitness regimen. Book your RMR test today