Wednesday, April 3, 2013

The Hungry Writer

It's confirmed: I have a slow metabolism.

Our workplace has a nutritionist who comes by, and any employee can make an appointment with her. She has a device that measures resting metabolic rate. For my height and frame, the standard formula estimated I should have a RMR of about 1340 calories a day. The actual measured RMR was 1260.

This isn't big news to me, actually. Both my parents have historically struggled with weight, with varying success, and I noticed a significant decline in my own metabolism a few years ago. Like most women with moderately slow metabolisms, that means I have to be careful about what I eat in order to not gain weight. (Blargh.)

I do eat out. Like the food trucks that come by the work place each week: there's this Greek food truck that makes the most delicious lemon-soaked herb fries, and a dumpling truck with all sorts of delicious sauces. And of course I go to girls' night, where we do eat red meat and bacon and cheese and all sorts of unhealthy things...

...And where we also eat collard salads made with raspberries, cranberries, apple slices, banana slices, tomatoes, and balsamic vinegar. Where every meal has something green and delicious, like asparagus with lemon zest and cherry tomatoes, or cooked kale...

...And gravy, butter, and olive oil flow like water, and the ginger ale mysteriously disappears by the gallon.

The #1 thing trick to not gaining weight, for me, is being satisfied with what I do eat. And that means eating delicious things. Part of that means enjoying girls' night and using it to discover healthy new alternatives, while using the indulgence to restore my mental health.

I get 1325 calories most days (if it seems low, that's to accommodate the days I eat out, so I can still enjoy splurging with the girls and with writers' groups). And the local farmers' market is fantastic (excited jig because it's almost strawberry season). So hey, looking forward to a little bit of creative cooking!

I'm glad I did figure out what my RMR really was. Guessing has been troublesome, and I've often worried whether I was eating too much or too little. Now I know what I have to work with, so it should help me manage better.

Have you ever had your resting metabolic rate officially checked? Can you guess how it compares to average? How does that effect your eating habits and lifestyle choices?


  1. Never had mine measured. But it would fascinating to know. How do they calculate it?

    My son has a lot of dietary restrictions. (He can't digest gluten or casein and is allergic to nuts.) So it's changed the way we eat--but for the better. I use lots of herbs and spices to make up for the butter/cheese/etc.

    1. There's this little thing that looks like an inhaler for asthma medications. You don't eat breakfast or do any exercise before using it, and basically you sit, doing absolutely nothing, and breathe into it for 10 minutes, and it analyzes your breath to tell you how many calories you would actually burn if you did absolutely nothing all day long.

      The formula is based off height and age and I think body frame.