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A popular notion among many dieters is that some people are blessed with a fast metabolism, meaning they can eat whatever they want without gaining significant weight. (Or, conversely, a slow metabolism that makes it hard to stay slim and easy to put on fat.)

We’ve all heard such comments and maybe even said it about ourselves, but does this idea really hold true?

Resting metabolic rate (RMR) simply refers to the amount of energy required by your bodily organs to stay alive and accounts for approximately 70% of total energy expenditure in sedentary individuals. With that in mind, is it possible that lean individuals have a higher or ‘faster’ metabolic rate when compared to those who struggle with maintaining or losing weight?Although there can indeed be differences in RMR between individuals, the difference is a lot less than often assumed. In fact, most people, at a given body weight, will remain within a range of just 100-300 kcal/day (the equivalent of a chocolate bar) to sustain the body’s most basic functions.

And contrary to popular belief, individuals who have excess body fat have a higher metabolic rate due to carrying a heavier body mass.

The greater discrepancy among sedentary individuals and the most variable component of total daily energy expenditure is ‘non-exercise activity thermogenesis’ or NEAT.

​NEAT involves spontaneous activities such as fidgeting, maintaining one’s posture, walking etc. and has been shown to be significantly more responsible for an individual’s likelihood to gain weight. One classic overfeeding study found that NEAT can account for a ten-fold difference in body fat accumulation (0.36kg to 4.23kg) over an eight-week period, despite participants being over-fed the exact same number of calories.

Age can also affect metabolic rate, which decreases slightly in later years. Part of this decline is simply an effect of the age-related loss of lean body mass, coupled with a reduction in overall activity and food intake. Getting older, however, does not have to be synonymous with a decrease in metabolic rate. Interestingly, the decline in RMR with age does not seem to occur in those who maintain exercise volume and/or energy intake to match their younger counterparts. 

To sum up, it is true that some people find it harder than others to lose body fat but the idea that it’s down to your metabolism is almost certainly false, at least for the vast majority.

Written by Kevin Garde, Nutritionist and Bodyscan Consultant

Countless diet regimens that promise body fat loss have come and gone, but there are only a few that stay and even make a comeback due to their astounding benefits. One of them is the ketogenic diet, which has shown tremendous results when put under the DEXA Scan for an accurate body fat measurement and body composition test.

What is a ketogenic diet?
The ketogenic diet, or keto diet, first rose to fame in the 1920s when it was developed as part of the holistic treatment that successfully managed the condition of epilepsy in young children. Through the years, the ketogenic diet has also been praised for its brilliant effects in improving various health symptoms of women with polycystic ovary syndrome (PCOS), Alzheimer’s disease, diabetes and even cancer.

Currently, the ketogenic diet is put in the spotlight and is hailed as one of the most effective and fastest body fat loss strategies ever. What sets the ketogenic diet apart from other popular low-carb weight loss diets, such as the Atkins diet or South Beach diet, is its emphasis on consuming moderate amounts of protein and significantly high amounts of healthy fats in the form of grass-fed butter, avocado, olive oil or coconut oil.

Intermittent fasting, which involves not eating anything for a specific timeframe, is another key factor in the ketogenic diet that brings successful fat loss results.
How ketogenic diet works
As its name suggests, the goal of the ketogenic diet is to reach the ketosis stage. The premise is by depriving the body of glucose, which is the major energy source of the body obtained from grains, bread, pasta and other carb-loaded food items, a reserve fuel source called ketones is produced.

As abody fat loss approach, the ketogenic diet is said to produce the following helpful effects:

  • Feelings of satiation for an incredibly long period
  • Reduced appetite and cravings for unhealthy foods
  • Optimal body composition due, i.e. higher body fat loss versus lean body mass

Experts credit the weight loss of keto diet from the elimination of carb-rich food (which brings on the water weight) and refined sugar and processed foods (which can be really fattening).
DEXA Scan results of a keto practitioner 
Back in 2016, we published an article that featured Bodyscan client, Joanna (not her real name), who has then been practising the ketogenic diet and intermittent fasting for four months.

We put her on for a body fat analysis or a body composition test through our DEXA Scan, which is the most accurate body fat measurement available in the market. Her Bodyscan results show that in a span of fewer than five months, she lost 11.5 kg of body fat and gained 6.4 kg of lean body mass. This was one of the most incredible progress we’ve ever seen documented through our DEXA Scan.

Interestingly, Joanna was initially inspired to try the ketogenic diet after seeing her firstDEXA Scanresults with us a year before.

At 34, she was working hard to qualify as a clinician and was naturally committed to eating healthy food and exercising regularly. She was joining bodybuilding and bikini contests competitively but always had a high body mass index that made her overweight. She blamed it on too much muscle from lifting weights.

“But when I had the DEXA scan, I was shocked. Everything on it was bad. I had 40% body fat, high visceral fat and my muscle mass was barely average,” she thought. She said her DEXA scan result made her rethink what she originally thought was the truth about health and nutrition. Learn more about Joanna’s body fat analysis in this article.

DEXA body fat measurement in London
Joanna’s inspiring story proves the pivotal role that an accurate body fat measurement plays in your weight-loss journey. It gives you a clear picture of your current state, helps you track your progress and reflects how far you have come. Ready to see your own results?

Get a DEXA scan with Bodyscan. Register by completing this form, then call us on 020 3490 4171 to confirm your appointment.