Test Your Resting Metabolism

resting metabolism

What is your Resting Metabolism?

Resting Metabolism is basically defined as...


Life-sustaining chemical activity: the series of processes by which food is converted into the energy and products needed to sustain life

But what does that actually mean to you? To your health? To your weight loss?

We typically refer to metabolism in the term of calories. Burning calories and calorie intake. This is a very simplified version of what it going on in the body when we talk about metabolism. There are many different factors that can effect your resting metabolism.

Some of the major factors that effect your metabolism include height, weight, muscle, hormones, gender, genetics and age. I'm not going to get into the specifics of how each of these effect your resting metabolism in this article as I want to focus more on the metabolic testing and utilization of that for creating nutrition plans.

Test your Resting Metabolism

​The test I had performed was done by putting a mask over my nose and mouth which is connected by a tube to an analyzer. This analyzer measures the amount of oxygen I breathe in and the amount of CO2 I breathe out. Scientifically speaking we can use this data to calculate the exact number of calories I am burning at that given time. The basic principle of this is that oxygen is used to burn calories and CO2 is the byproduct. For example, in your car, you put in gas as a fuel which gets burned and make the car go. What is left as a byproduct is the exhaust which comes out of the tail pipe.

resting metabolism

We also know that burning fat is an aerobic process which means that it requires oxygen to burn while burning sugar does not require oxygen to burn. We use this knowledge to calculate what is called Respiratory Quotient (RQ). This ​simply shows us how much oxygen you are using and how much you are not and based on that we can know what percentage of fat vs carbs you are burning at a given time during the test.

Check out my Active Metabolic Test here to see how well I burn fats while exercising!!​

​So based on this all I had to do was sit in a chair and relax with this mask on. What this allows us to test is how many calories does my metabolism burn while I am at rest. What this will be able to tell us is how many calories does my body require just to function and perform basic life-sustaining chemical activity.

Here are the results from my Resting Metabolism Test!!​

​My resting metabolism is...

​2,898 calories per day

​Keep in mind that number is just my resting metabolism, which is the number of calories I would burn if I literally laid still all day long and did nothing at all. Which i almost do but not quite! so let's add in an estimated amount of calories for someone my size with a low activity level. After a few calculations we come up with 869 calories burned during normal daily activity. This gives me a total daily burn of...

3,767 calories per day​

​Why is this important?

​What this allows me to do is to plan a nutrition program that will avoid falling into the dreaded "starvation mode" we always hear about. Here's a quick graph showing the effect of "starvation mode" on resting metabolism.

resting metabolism

As you can see "starvation mode" is a big contributor to weight regain and the Yo-Yo dieting or "Fad" diet cycle (CLICK HERE for a link to our "Fad Diet" article) and should be avoided!!

​How much FAT do I burn?

​Based on the respiratory quotient I mentioned earlier in the article we were able to calculate what percentage of those calories I burn come from FAT and Carbs. While at rest you should be burning primarily Fat. This is you long and slow energy source and since your at rest you don't need any large bursts of quick energy like what sugar will provide for you. So, the higher the fat burning the better for you body (and you waistline). I burned about 58% of my calories from fat which is considered pretty normal. (keep in mind this test was done months after I did my blood test which showed a serious sugar dependence and would have shown VERY different results).

resting metabolism

Based on this information, It looks like by cutting out the sugar from my diet has been making a big difference in my health and metabolism. 


My next steps and action plan needs to include some calorie tracking to make sure I am eating enough calories and ​am avoiding "starvation mode". I also need to continue cutting out sugar from my diet and start adding in more active aerobic activity to get my fat burning up higher.

I also did an active metabolic test and will post an article about that as well as my exercise plan to help increase my ability to burn more FAT!! Stay tuned!​

Make sure to follow my progress with my resting metabolism on our Facebook page!!​

Stephen Cummock

I am a Certified Strength and Conditioning Specialist through NSCA, Strength and Conditioning Coach Certified through the Collegiate Strength and Conditioning Coaches Association, Level 1 Sports Performance Coach through the USA weightlifting Organization, Level 1 Precision Nutrition Certified, as well as a Corrective Exercise Specialist, Performance Enhancement Specialist and Certified Personal Trainer through NASM. I have over 10 years of experience in the health and fitness industry and 3 years of experience as an NCAA D1 strength and conditioning coach. I completed my bachelor’s degree from University of Northern Colorado in Exercise Sciences in 2010 and finished my Master’s in Exercise Physiology and Biomechanics in 2012. I have worked with a wide variety of clients ranging from special populations, weight loss, and even up to professional athletes. I have trained and educated people on how to become top notch personal trainers.