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updated 9/4/2003 12:13:26 PM ET 2003-09-04T16:13:26

How do you know whether you have a high metabolism or a low metabolism? How do you determine it? Expert Martha McKittrick answers this reader’s question.

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Question:How do you know whether you have a high metabolism or a low metabolism? How do you determine it?

Answer: Indirect calorimetry is the “gold standard” for determining metabolism. The problem is that this is not a common test. You may be able to get it done at your local university or in a lab in a hospital.

Otherwise, your best bet is to estimate what your metabolism is like based on your activity level, your difficulty in losing weight, and your family weight history (for example, are people in your family overweight?).

Martha McKittrick, RD, CDE, is a registered dietitian, certified diabetes educator, and certified fitness instructor who specializes in weight control, cardiovascular health, diabetes, sports, and general nutrition.

WebMD content is provided to MSNBC by the editorial staff of WebMD. The MSNBC editorial staff does not participate in the creation of WebMD content and is not responsible for WebMD content. Remember that editorial content is never a substitute for a visit to a health care professional.

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