A few months ago I picked up the Breezing Metabolism Tracker and was excited by what it could do. If the device worked as expected, it would be an extraordinarily affordable way to measure my metabolic rate. The main costs would be $349.90 for the device itself which can be used indefinitely and $5.00 for each sensor, which are one time use.
After forking out the initial cost, each measurement I wanted to run would only cost me $5.00 for the use of the sensor. In contrast, if I wanted to measure my metabolic rate in a lab it can run anywhere from $50-$100. Or if I wanted to buy one of the bulky machines used in those labs, it’d cost anywhere from $2000 to $35000.
Now that I have the Breezing there are many experiments I want to do, but the one I need to do first is calculate what my resting metabolic rate (RMR), which is the amount of energy my body uses while just sitting around doing nothing.
I measured this once before in the Cleveland Clinic metabolic lab which calculated my RMR to be 1390 cal/day.
But first… a few screw-ups
We’ve already seen my first two measurements the initial review: 1280 cal/day and 1520 cal/day, one right after the other, performed sitting at my desk in front of my computer.
In retrospect I realize this may not have been the most reflective since I before doing the measurement, I had done the standard stuff I do in the morning, ie got out of bed, peed, kissed the BJJ Cavewife, walked back and forth from the computer a few times, etc… which probably stimulated my metabolism a bit.
The next day as I was getting ready for work and in a rush and just about to make my morning coffee, I realized that I’d forgotten to measure my metabolism. Since I thought it was important to obtain consecutive measurements, I plopped myself onto the couch, lied down, relaxed for a minute, and then measured: 1670 cal/day.
As you can imagine, this was another spurious measurement since my metabolism was likely revved up in the tumult of getting my butt out of the house on time for work.
All three of these measurements needed to be tossed out.
Contacting the folks at Breezing
I had also been in contact with the folks from Breezing with a few questions. I was pleasantly surprised by how responsive the staff was. They even put me in touch with one of their app scientists! Here are their responses:
Why was there such variation when I took my first measurements, 1280 and 1520, one right after the other?
…breathing technique and exactly when to take the test are very important when you do metabolism test via Breezing tracker. Whether you how long since your last meal to what kind of excise you just did…
They referred me to this page which says:
Resting metabolism measurements are similar (in terms of fluctuation) to body temperature measurements, where you’ll find +/-10% change from the average.
While variation is inherent, to determine the most representative resting metabolism for your body, please review the recommended practices (see “How do I get a reproducible resting metabolism measurement?”).
Hour-by-hour, day-by-day, your metabolic rate reflects your body’s systemic adjustments, such as your liver’s processing of a macronutrient supply or your brain’s response to challenges.
When is the best time and what is the best position to be in to take the measurement? Lying down, sitting, reclined, etc.
Measurements conducted upon waking are the most reproducible because of the limited stimulation to your body (and thus your metabolic rate). You can sit at 45 degree angle and conduct the measurement.After getting up and moving about, there are various confounding factors out of your control. The best you can do is minimize the impact by refraining from eating, exercising, as well by removing any additional stimulants. These best practices, which are widely accepted for facilities that invite clients in to conduct such measurements, are described here.The recommendation has much to do with the limitations of the Breezing Tracker, as it is easier to handle & operate while reclined. Regardless of the degree of recline, the Client should be able to relax most musculature and feel minimally distracted.There are good publications seeking differences between RMRs in various positions, with no clear advantage (grouping everyone together and seeking an average). However, this is likely true for many biomarkers, and thus speaks to the need for understanding “different strokes for different folks, and that only with a few well-defined and reproducible methodologies (usually best made available by a professional) can the personalized positioning be discovered.Breezing Team encourages you to fit individuals with personal comforts, when possible/feasible.
If I measure first thing in the morning, will my morning breath affect it? What about my post tooth-brushing so-fresh-and-so-clean breath?
No and no.
Can I see what my actual respiratory quotient is?
At this time, the Breezing Tracker analyzes 6 Liters of your breath (over ~1.5 to 2 minutes), which is not enough data for a statistically significant RQ to the 10th’s place (currently averaging +/- 0.025); thus the output is restricted to those three zones for now [fat vs carb and fat vs carb].However, “Relative Oxygen consumption rate” or VO2 (ml/min) per kg body mass is an output.
Calculating My RMR
Knowing all this, I placed my Breezing and a couple sensors on my night stand and went to work. For 8 consecutive mornings, the moment my alarm woke up and my eye opened, I scooted myself into a 45 degree reclined position, opened a sensor, placed it in the Breezing, and took a measurement.
This is what the measurement screen looks like:
Here are my measurements:
Average RMR: 1541 cal/day
Now I know that on average, I burn about 1540 calories per day. I should also note that this is while eating a low carb Whole 30 diet which probably affects things.
It’s time to test out some other things…
If you’re interested in trying the Breezing out for yourself:
You can order directly from the Breezing store and use discount code: BJJCaveman
This will give you 10 additional sensor cartridges ($49.98 value) with the purchase of the Breezing. All you need to do is add an additional 10-pack of sensors to your cart, check out, and enter BJJCaveman as the discount code.
It’s important that you select a 10 pack, and not two 5 packs for the discount to work properly.
*Image found here