Your basal metabolic rate is going nowhere

Good morning.

Basal metabolism is very constant, depending on your height, weight, age, body composition, and health status. It can change, but it’s a slow and gradual process.

It’s like the recurring bills in your budget - you know pretty much what they are.

Due to this consistency, a daily rate of expenditure can be applied with a level of reliability (kJ or kcal/day). It might vary a bit, but it will usually remain within a narrow range.

This is called the Basal Metabolic Rate.

And this is the beginning of where people start to get the metabolism confused.

They see that Basal Metabolism has a rate, so they apply the same thing to Total Energy Expenditure/Metabolism. 

This is often referred to as the **Metabolic Rate, or something similar (the “**” indicates it’s not a Tom Fitzgerald term).

This isn’t a crime, it does create a layer of confusion for everyone involved.

Remember that Total Energy Expenditure contains four components (basal metabolic rate, exercise and non-exercise activity, and the thermic effect of food). 

This means that it will vary, unlike Basal Metabolic Rate.

The fluctuation in Total Energy Expenditure means that assigning a rate is not a great idea.

If you burn 500 kcal during exercise today, but don’t do any tomorrow, your energy, expenditure will be 500 kcal greater today (ie. 2000 kcal vs 2500 kcal).

This means that your **Metabolic Rate has increased by 25% - a big increase. 

However, your Basal Metabolic Rate is the same on both days, because exercise is not a component.

And this is where it all goes wrong.

You can increase your **Metabolic Rate by exercising more or even eating more food, as you will see on Friday.
However, this is a result of these actions - it’s not an increase Basal Metabolic Rate. If they stop, the increased expenditure stops.

But this is where the agenda gets hijacked. People push training or nutrition systems that increase your **Metabolic Rate, under the guise is it increases your Basal Metabolic Rate (ie. you burn more doing nothing).

This is not true.

With the exception of heavy stimulants that will massively increase your heart rate, core temperature, and chances of death, nothing will increase your Basal Metabolic Rate.

Tom Fitzgerald