Tuesday, September 24, 2013

The Anti-Diet

J and I did our testing at the Army Wellness Center. It is a 3 part test series, and not everyone does all of them.

First, we did the Resting Metabolic Rate (RMR) and Body Comp tests first. RMR is how many calories your body would burn in a 24 hour period of you laying still. So, if I were in a coma, I would burn 1472 calories in a 24 hour period. I laid still on a bed with a breathing mask on for 16 minutes and a machine monitored my breathing and some other stuff. I don't understand it all.

This isn't so startling until you consider that most diet plans recommend around 1200 calories per day. Well sure, that would work for me, and did back when I was out of shape and (likely) had a slower metabolism. But now, I workout regularly; I run 3.5 miles on an easy day; I spend 4 hour on my bike in one ride; My metabolism is higher than their recommended intake. SO, if I were to sit on my but all day and eat 1200 calories a day, I would lose weight. Lazy person's dream!

But I'm trying to NOT be lazy. I want to be in shape and have a lower body fat percentage. OH hey! That brings us to the next test - Body Comp. I had to wear spandex shorts (compression shorts, now-a-days), a sports bra, and a nylon swim cap (that they provided). I got in a contraption that looks like an escape pod from a sic-fi movie and they shut me in. I think it pressurized, from the sounds it made, for 45 seconds. Then the guy opened it, shut it, and ran it again.

I got out and they printed out my results. Turns out my body is 36.1% fat and 63.9% everything else. That's higher than I expected. I don't know why. I have big boobs. I have a whole blog about my big boobs. And boobs are made of fatty tissue. I'll post more about that on that blog.

That was part 1.

Part 2 was a VO2 Max test. We did that this morning. It measures your cardio and respiratory health. They put the same breathing stuff on me and put me on a treadmill. It started slow with a slight incline, and both speed and incline increased every 3 minutes until I hit  85% (I was wearing a heart rate monitor). According to that test, I am excellent. Yes, excellent, close to superior.

Finally, Part 3 - the Metabolism Class.

They require that you attend the class to get your full results from the RMR testing. We each got a printout of our RMR results, a list of online resources, and a sample 7-day meal plan, specific to our individual caloric needs.

Based on my RMR and how much I work out, They recommend that I get 2200 a day to lose half a pound a week. I would like to lose 1 pound a week, so I set my daily goal at 2000. If I stick to my new training plan for the marathon, I'll burn plenty to accommodate that.

I got J signed up on My Fitness Pal (I'm char362, BTW), and we customized our calorie goals according to our test results. We'll use this week to get used to the changes, like adding in 3 snacks a day, and really dive into it next week. This also gives J a chance to get used to the food tracker app.

So. This is the new plan. Eat more food to lose weight. Well, J is actually trying to gain back a little of what he lost while being sick all July. But anyway, I was, in a sense, starving my body. By not giving it enough calories, it was storing fuel as fat. If I eat more, my body won't feel the need to store it all as fat and will be more willing to burn it as needed.

Of course, we have to still eat healthy, and I need to make sure I'm getting enough protein. We both need to work harder on balancing our meals and eating plenty of fruits and veggies. But we're doing this together, and that makes it all seem a little more manageable.

P.S. If you want to estimate your RMR, check out http://www.health-calc.com/diet/energy-expenditure-advanced (and thanks to Jaci for that link, and for putting this whole idea in my head a while back).


  1. how facinating! I might try doing this.

    1. It's harder than you think at first! At least it is for me after years of eating less. I think my body is taking a while to adjust (might be why I had an upset stomach yesterday) and I read that I will likely gain a little weight as my body gets used to having all it needs, but I think it will be better for me in the long run.