What’s The Best Way to Calculate RMR? | Q+A

What’s The Best Way to Calculate RMR? | Q+A

Question:

What is the best way to calculate RMR?

– Mark B.

Answer:

The best measurement of resting (awake/alert) metabolic rate is to conduct an indirect calorimetry test using metabolic equipment, as done in a research laboratory or hospital setting. In lieu of a physical test, the second best way to predict resting metabolic rate is to calculate/estimate using a validated equation. I recommend the Mifflin-St. Jeor equation or the one used by the World Health Organization. For your computational pleasure here they are:

The Mifflin St. Jeor equations are used often in the medical and weight loss fields because of their accuracy, and are recommended by the Academy of Nutrition and Dietetics.

  • Women:          (10 x weight in kg) + (6.25 x height in cm) – (5 x age in years) – 161
  • Men:                (10 x weight in kg) + (6.25 x height in cm) – (5 x age in years) + 5

The World Health Organization, as well as the United Nations University and Food and Agricultural Organization, use the following equations, which were derived based off a large database, reflecting many countries over several decades.

  • 18-30 yrs:        kcal/d = 13.3 × weight (kg) + 334 × height (m) + 35
  • 30-60 yrs:        kcal/d = 8.7 × weight (kg) – 25 × height (m) + 865
  • >60 yrs:           kcal/d = 9.2 × weight (kg) + 637 × height (m) – 302

As is true with any equation, these equations are only estimations of your needs, so you might want to try both and obtain a range that your true RMR probably falls within. Neither of the above take into consideration lean mass versus fat mass, so they aren’t practical for extremely muscled or morbidly obese individuals. For teens, the Schofield method (previously used by the World Health Organization and the US government to formulate the RDAs) has different equations for various age groups.

– Debbie J., MS, RD

This article should not replace any exercise program or restrictions, any dietary supplements or restrictions, or any other medical recommendations from your primary care physician. Before starting any exercise program or diet, make sure it is approved by your doctor.

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How Do I Add More Protein Into My Diet? | Q+A

How Do I Add More Protein Into My Diet? | Q+A

Question:

I’m on a low-carb, high protein diet but I’m having trouble eating enough protein and too many carbs. How do I get more protein into my diet without adding any more carbs?

– Emma P.

Answer:

For fewer carbs, you may need to adjust traditional starchy meals that are typically carbohydrate rich and shift intake to typically animal or vegetable -based foods. For example, skip all traditional pizza, pastas, and sandwiches and instead substitute cauliflower crust pizza, meat/vegetable primavera, and lettuce wraps with healthier ingredients as toppings/filling.

These have negligible carbohydrate, and offer 5-8 gms protein per ounce:

  • Boneless, skinless chicken and turkey
  • Trimmed beef and pork
  • Eggs
  • Skinless fish
  • Scallops, shrimp, real crabmeat, lobster
  • Lamb
  • Brie, cheddar, mozzarella and Monterey Jack cheese

These offer at least 1 gram of protein for every gram of carbohydrate:

  • Almonds
  • Greek yogurt
  • Hazelnuts
  • Soybeans
  • Sunflower seeds
  • Walnuts
  • Ultra-filtered milk

These have 3-5 grams carbohydrate, yet offer 2-6 grams protein per serving:

  • Asparagus (½ C)
  • Broccoli (½ C)
  • Macadamia nuts (1 oz.)
  • Mushrooms (½ C)
  • Peanuts (1 oz.)
  • Pecans (1 oz.)
  • Spinach (½ C)

These provide 3-5 grams carbohydrate with about 1 gram protein per ½ C serving:

  • Lettuce
  • Cabbage
  • Carrot
  • Cauliflower
  • Celery
  • Cucumber
  • Green Beans
  • Tomatoes
  • Zucchini

 

By focusing on the above foods as the base of your diet, you should have enough wiggle room to work in a daily serving of nutrient-rich carbohydrates like beans and fruit, which are both good fiber sources.

– Debbie J., MS, RD

This article should not replace any exercise program or restrictions, any dietary supplements or restrictions, or any other medical recommendations from your primary care physician. Before starting any exercise program or diet, make sure it is approved by your doctor.

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Are Natural Sweeteners Better For You? | Q+A

Are Natural Sweeteners Better For You? | Q+A

Question:

After reading about some issues with artificial sweeteners, I have been trying to stop using them. Are natural sweeteners like Stevia or Monk Fruit, regarded as being better for you?

– Mary W.

Answer:

Yes, natural sweeteners are believed to be better for you than those synthesized in a lab. However, there are no long-term studies to date to support or contradict this notion. Research has tended to focus on blood sugar, insulin secretion and cellular responses to sweeteners. In regards to artificial sweeteners compared to sugar, the bulk of research tends to support benefits such as lowering the risk of diabetes type 2 and coronary heart disease and decreasing body weight.

The two main types of plant/fruit based sweeteners on the market are stevia and monk fruit. According to the FDA, stevia is comprised of “certain steviol glycosides obtained from the leaves of the stevia plant (Stevia rebaudiana Bertoni),” and monk fruit sweetener is an “extract obtained from Siraitia grosvenorii Swingle fruit, also known as Luo Han Guo or monk fruit.”

Since we posted our article “Is monk fruit extract a natural sweetener, and is it better for you than sugar? three years ago, not much has changed in the world of natural sugar replacements. In addition to stevia and monk fruit, there is now allulose (also called psicose). Its chemical structure is similar to fructose, the sugar in fruit. Launched in 2015, it is sold as Dolcia Prima® in North America. In most cases, these “natural” sweeteners are naturally derived, meaning that the identified natural compound is somehow produced from its origin or another source. Not surprisingly, even raw sugar is actually a byproduct of sugarcane processing. Oh, and honey and maple syrup may exist in the same form as found in nature, but are both pasteurized for safety.

– Debbie J., MS, RD

This article should not replace any exercise program or restrictions, any dietary supplements or restrictions, or any other medical recommendations from your primary care physician. Before starting any exercise program or diet, make sure it is approved by your doctor.

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I’m a Vegetarian: How Much Protein Do I Need a Day? | Q+A

I’m a Vegetarian: How Much Protein Do I Need a Day? | Q+A

Question:

I’m a vegetarian and concerned that I may not be getting enough protein in my diet (now getting around 50 grams a day). I lift weights and do cardio 6 days a week but feel I’ve stalled and am not making new progress. Can you please confirm how much protein I need a day and provide suggestions on how to achieve that goal?

– Sara M.

Answer:

Your question centers around a popular subject on Living Healthy!

  1. Can I replace chicken, seafood or turkey with tofu to get my protein? (2015)
  2. What are vegetarian things I can eat that contain a lot of protein? (2014)
  3. 5 Foods with the Most Protein (2014)
  4. Is Protein an Issue for Vegans? (2013)
  5. What are vegetarian things I can eat that contain a lot of protein? (2013)
  6. The Benefits and Basics of Going Vegetarian (2013)

How much protein you need depends on your age and weight, as well as your overall caloric intake. In general, people’s base requirements are 0.8 gm protein per kilogram body weight and at least 1.0 gm/kg if over the age of 65. To gain lean mass, the need increases to 1.2-1.6 gm/kg for resistance training. With an energy-balanced diet, protein should provide about 15% of calories. But for those that are restricting calories, a greater proportion of energy should come from protein, about 20-30%.

To reach 60-70 grams of protein, I’d suggest the following daily servings – 2 servings of beans, 4 servings of vegetables, 1-2 servings of dairy if lacto-vegetarian, 6-8 servings of grains, 1 egg if ovo-vegetarian, and any remaining energy from fruit and fat (not protein sources). If whole foods are an obstacle for whatever reason, you can always supplement with a protein powder as a last resort. Most vegetarian plant-based ones provide at least 10 grams protein per 20 grams powder.

– Debbie J., MS, RD

This article should not replace any exercise program or restrictions, any dietary supplements or restrictions, or any other medical recommendations from your primary care physician. Before starting any exercise program or diet, make sure it is approved by your doctor.

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Nutritional Advice for Those with PCOS | Q+A

Nutritional Advice for Those with PCOS | Q+A

Question:

I have Polycystic Ovarian Syndrome (PCOS) and have issues losing weight. I am 5’5″ and currently weigh 210lbs. I am interested in knowing what types of food I should eat and what types I should avoid.

– Cali D.

Answer:

As you may know, polycystic ovary syndrome may not cause you to have elevated insulin blood sugar levels, but the hormone disorder is often related to this condition. Losing weight often helps improve PCOS.

Sugars and refined starches (like white bread and pasta) should be managed. Keep them to a quarter of your plate. An example would be to have fajitas with only 2 corn tortillas, then eat the remainder with your fork. For stir-frys, opt for brown rice and have only 1 fork full for every 2 of meat and vegetables. Whole grains like oats, quinoa, wheat berries and corn on the cob are better choices than baked goods or processed potato products. For example, have oatmeal instead of waffles and fresh baked sweet potato instead of tater tots.

You can’t go wrong filling up on vegetables… aim for about half your plate every time you eat! The dense nutrients, low calories, high fiber and plant proteins in veggies can help with both insulin control and weight loss. In addition to typical meal sides, add veggies to breakfast (beet ginger smoothie, anyone?) and snacks (try homemade kale chips). Also include lean proteins, fruits, nuts, beans, and low-fat dairy to round out the remainder of your meals.

Your weight loss struggle is understandable. Besides focusing on the food choices above, pay attention to calories and when/why you eat. Only eat when truly hungry, stop when satisfied, and cleanse your palate to deter you from dessert/extras. Perhaps shift more of your intake to earlier in the day when you are more likely to burn it.

– Debbie J., MS, RD

This article should not replace any exercise program or restrictions, any dietary supplements or restrictions, or any other medical recommendations from your primary care physician. Before starting any exercise program or diet, make sure it is approved by your doctor.

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