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Lessons from metabolic testing in 2021

My goal with Box Nutrition and Performance is to be the number 1, affordable metabolic testing practice in the UK, for individuals who need help with performance and or weight loss.

This year, since I opened back up in April, I’ve conducted 383 metabolic tests so far and there’s a few key trends I’m seeing over and over again.

1. Your metabolism is unique to you

Some people have an RMR less that they expect, some people have a metabolic rate far higher than they think, and others have an RMR exactly the same as the NHS website. So calculators are useless. If you do want to find how many calories to eat, just track your food and weight for a week and see how much you eat affects your weight. Or book in for an RMR test.

N.B. I have a tested a fair few people now with thyroid issues. Anecdotally, if medicated, then the RMR is not often that low.

To help with tracking download my free macro tracking guide. here

2. People who exercise a lot have a higher metabolic rate

Now despite muscle NOT burning many more calories than fat, active people do seem to have higher metabolic rates than more inactive individuals. So it definitely pays to move more.

3. Bigger people have a higher metabolic rate

Weight plays a big part in your metabolism. If you are bigger, you will likely have a higher metabolic rate, meaning you can eat more than you think, which is a good thing. This is one of the reasons why low calorie diets fail if you have a lot of weight to lose. Massive restriction will make sticking to your plan impossible.

4. Everyone should try and get fitter

VO2Max is a predictor of mortality. If it’s low you’re likely to die younger. Even if you don’t classify yourself as an athlete, a higher VO2Max will give you more energy, health, wellness and help with your fat loss goals (you can more calories and fatty acids). Also see point number 2.

5. Pretty much everyone will benefit from more zone 2 work

Most fit people exercise too hard, too often. I usually see CrossFitters, recreational runners and avid gym goers with a good engine (VO2Max), but poor fat burning and inefficient at lower intensities. Adding low intensity (zone 2) support your high intensity exercise. Build your house with strong foundations.

6. VO2Max intervals are the most potent stimulus to change your overall fitness, IF done correctly.

You can see a big change in your VO2Max within 6 weeks if you do the High Intensity Intervals (HIT) correctly. Base them on your speed or power at VO2Max and keep the work:rest ratio at 1:1 as a basic guideline.

7. Tracking your food is the number 1 tool to help see progress if weight loss is your goal

If you know your RMR, then tracking what you eat is an incredibly powerful tool to help with your weight loss goal. I’ll say this again and again, the goal is not to track forever but to understand how much you’re eating compared to how much you should be eating. It is also one of the best educational tools to learn about food values to give you more flexibility with your diet.

How can I help?

For more help with your diet or performance, contact me at to discuss different options available.

If your goal is weight loss, then I do a weight loss programme which uses metabolic testing to tailor a plan specifically around your needs. Find out more here


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