Have you tried using resting metabolic rate (RMR) for fat loss with clients?

Ever wonder how accurate the estimations of RMR are with an individual athlete/client?

Ever have a client that is trending the wrong way, and you can’t figure out why?

Maybe your RMR numbers (if you were using that) were off?

New Study Shows Wide Variation

Brand new research that came out literally the other day showed that even the best-selected equation for RMR will only get you in the ballpark.

From the study below in female rugby players.

“….Individually, prediction accuracy to within 10% varied widely depending on the equation used (range 44% [n = 16] to 86% [n = 31]). “

You’re thinking, “In English, please, you geek.”

On an individual level – which is what most of you reading this would be doing – that is a massive range of accuracy.

Some times you will be close or even dead on.

Some times you won’t even be in the same city.

Which is why I don’t really use many equations to predict RMR anymore.  I used to, and it was a nightmare.

Resting Metabolic Rate in Female Rugby Players: Differences in Measured Versus Predicted Values

How to get Close

Instead, as part of my initial assessment with clients, I’ll have them log everything they eat for 7 days + daily bodyweight and see if they are 1) gaining weight,  2) neutral or 3) losing weight.

I’ve found that’s far better than trying to use an equation to determine a client’s resting metabolic rate for fat loss; unless they are at my place for direct RMR testing, which I do using a metabolic cart (PNOE).

If you are stuck with a client, and they are going the wrong direction, maybe it was your assessment that was off?

For more info on an entire system for using metabolic flexibility and flexibility dieting for nutrition and recovery, you can implement with your clients in short order, check out the Flex Diet Cert at www.flexdiet.com

Dr Mike



O’Neill, Jack Eoin Rua G.; Walsh, Ciara S.; McNulty, Senan J.; Gantly, Hannah C.; Corish, Martha E.; Crognale, Domenico; Horner, Katy Resting Metabolic Rate in Female Rugby Players, Journal of Strength and Conditioning Research: April 30, 2020 – Volume Publish Ahead of Print – Issue – doi: 10.1519/JSC.0000000000003634