Standing on a Weight Plateau

Weight plateau.
Are you as sick of reading about it as I am of writing about it?


Then let’s get moving so we don’t have to talk about it anymore.

Today I went to my initial consult with Anne Moore (M.S., CWC) the exercise physiologist at FitMed Partners here on Daniel Island.  This is the first time since my weight loss fail at MUSC that I have sought out not only professional advice, but medical advice as well. She took great interest in what I had been up to to lose the weight that I have lost so far and she also gave me a run down of what we need to do to figure out what I need to be doing to break the weight loss plateau.

So here is a run down of what I will be getting into in the the next couple of weeks:

Resting Metabolic Rate Measurement
Resting metabolic rate (RMR) is the energy required to perform vital body functions such as respiration and heart rate while the body is at rest. About 50 to 75% of one’s daily energy expenditure can be attributed to resting metabolic rate. The RMR will determine how many calories I burn during the day WITHOUT exercising. It is measured using a gas exchange system where I have to sit quietly and rest while breathing through a mouth piece with my nose clamped. It is supposedly the most accurate method of determining the RMR. Knowing how many calories my body burns without exercise will be an important factor in determining what is happening with my weight plateau and will be used to help determine a course of action in my caloric intake.

VO2Max Testing
VO2Max or  maximal oxygen consumption is in layman’s terms, how efficiently your body uses oxygen while exercising. This is the test where I don a space age looking snorkel mask while I run on a treadmill. I feel like I will be training to join the Imperial Army or something. So anyway the test will determine at what point I am over-exercising or under-exercising. There is a specific point at which oxygen consumption plateaus even if the exercise intensity increases. This plateau marks the V02 max. Apparently there is a point where your body stops burning fat if you exercise TOO hard. Huh, who knew. The exercise physiologist will use this information to determine the correct fitness zones in which I should be exercising.

Body Composition/Lean Mass vs Body Fat
Body composition is very important for overall health and for athletic performance and it provides more useful information than just total body weight alone. An excessive amount of body fat is a risk factor for heart disease, type II diabetes, and other diseases. At the same time, having too little body fat can be detrimental to your health. FitMed uses something called a GE DEXA  scanner to determine body composition. The great thing about the DEXA method is that it not only tells you your lean mass vs. your body fat percentage, it also tells you where on your body the fat concentration is.  I am excited to get this done because it has been determined that I carry a lot of lean mass under my fat weight. I want to know just how much.

So with these three tests the FitMed folks are going to help me determine not only how to reach my goals, but what exactly my goals should be at this point.

Yay for expert analysis!


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