February 23, 2019
A Surprise About Metabolic Rate and Weight
Wellness Tip

A Surprise About Metabolic Rate and Weight

by Berkeley Wellness  

A low resting (basal) metabolic rate does not increase the risk of weight gain, according to surprising results from a study in the American Journal of Clinical Nutrition. Basal metabolic rate (BMR) is the rate at which calories are burned for basic bodily functions, and some people blame weight gain on a low BMR.

Researchers from the Mayo Clinic looked at the BMR of 757 volunteers and compared changes in their weight over the next 10 years, on average. After controlling for age, sex, and initial body fat, they found that the 15 percent of people with the lowest BMRs did not gain more weight than the 15 percent with the highest BMRs, even though their resting metabolism burned 500 fewer calories a day, on average.

Information on the diet and exercise habits of the volunteers was not available, but the researchers hypothesized that “adults with low BMRs either eat less or expend more energy in physical activity than do those with high BMRs under free-living conditions.”

Also see The Truth About Metabolism.