The Sleeping VO2, How to get your Metabolic Rate on Track

The Sleeping VO2, How to get your Metabolic Rate on Track

Author Cory Fagan

The Sleeping VO2

Have you dreaded the thought of getting a VO2 done?  Well, fear no more!  Our most popular lab assessment this past year is the Resting Metabolic Rate, aka as the "Sleeping VO2." The hardest part is not having breakfast before the assessment!  And yes, you can fall asleep during the assessment.  Many people are looking to improve their gut health and lose a few pounds. However, the nutrition component to their life lacks direction and specificity.  The RMR gets you started on the right path.

Resting metabolic rate - what is it?

The sleeping VO2 requires you to be rested in the morning and "unplugged" in order to get an accurate result.  The RMR provides you with the minimum requirement of food in a day in order to meet to your living requirements.  This is the amount of calories needed to function and go about your daily living.  Daily living includes housework, going to the office, running errands and chasing kids.  Typically, RMR scores range from 1200-1800 calories depending on the person, genetics, metabolism and activity level.

We then take this RMR number and work with a Registered Dietician.  We refer a lot of our clients to Rory Hornstein who has a clinic based out of Calgary.  Rory requires all her clients to get their RMR as it allows her to provide specific nutrition advice to each client based off their metabolism.  Below is the range of RMR scores based on some recent tests.  As you can see, there is a large variance in metabolic rates.



Digging deeper, what's inside the bars?

Once you get your RMR measured, there is some more data derived from your breath.  What state is your body in?  Do you have some inflammation?  Are you under a lot stress?  How is your gut health?  Part of getting to a healthy metabolism is getting your body to burn more fat at rest instead of carbohydrate. 

Fat is our big fuel source that we need to survive.  We can literally live three weeks without food if we just burn fat!  But please don't try that!  Carbohydrates are intended for "flight or fight."  We need our glycogen (carbs) to workout and move quickly.  You don't need to burn carbohydrates while sitting at your desk!  However, many people struggle with their metabolism and often burn more carbohydrate than is necessary due to numerous factors such as colitis, inflammation and a high carbohydrate diet.

At rest, a healthy metabolism should be burning at least 3/4 fat and 1/4 carbohydrate.  Protein is only used in extreme circumstances.   See the graph below of the food breakdown within a RMR test of seven recent tests (same subjects as the first figure above).  There are only two of the seven people with ideal fat burning metabolisms.


I'm interested, what do I do?

Step one.  Get a food log done.  Write down everything that enters your mouth; everything!  Record it for Tuesday, Thursday and Saturday.  A snapshot of your eating habits during the week and weekend.  Three days will give you good look of what you consume.  It's often different than what you think.  If I had a dollar every time I've been told "I eat pretty good..."  What is pretty good?  How is your digestion?  How is your energy?  

Step twoBook the RMR test

Step three.  Book time with a Registered Dietician

Step four. Get ready for change and feeling good

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