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.

  1. Don't miss these Health stories
    1. Splash News
      More women opting for preventive mastectomy - but should they be?

      Rates of women who are opting for preventive mastectomies, such as Angeline Jolie, have increased by an estimated 50 percent in recent years, experts say. But many doctors are puzzled because the operation doesn't carry a 100 percent guarantee, it's major surgery -- and women have other options, from a once-a-day pill to careful monitoring.

    2. Larry Page's damaged vocal cords: Treatment comes with trade-offs
    3. Report questioning salt guidelines riles heart experts
    4. CDC: 2012 was deadliest year for West Nile in US
    5. What stresses moms most? Themselves, survey says

The opinions expressed herein are the guest’s alone and have not been reviewed by a WebMD physician. If you have a question about your health, you should consult your personal physician. This event is meant for informational purposes only.

Sign up for our health e-newsletter
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.

© 2013 WebMD Inc. All rights reserved.


Discussion comments


Most active discussions

  1. votes comments
  2. votes comments
  3. votes comments
  4. votes comments