• Janelle Healy

Ive lost 100 kilos. . .

over my lifetime said the client as they sat down for their first appointment. I thought about this statement afterwards and realised that I’m probably about the same. Its a guess but losing and regaining weight is what happens for most people, including me. Restricting what I eat, exercising like there's no tomorrow, getting sucked in with the latest fad. The frustration actually lead me to study dietetics to get a better understanding of what I was doing wrong. Energy metabolism is what I needed to understand and now that I can measure and monitor this in our clinic at Nutrition IQ, I can focus on enjoying food.

It was in the second year of my undergrad degree at Curtin Uni in Perth that I first learnt about RQ or respiratory quotient in a physiology lab. We were collecting our breath in a Douglas bag, forcing it into a gas analyser to measure the concentration of O2 and CO2 in our breath. Then we calculated the ratio of these gasses which estimates the ratio of fat, carbs and protein your body was using to produce energy. This is otherwise known as energy metabolism.

I was really excited and could see the value everyone could get from knowing this. Choosing foods to metabolise fat more sounds like the way to support health. Moving your RQ from 1 where you are metabolising mainly carbs, to closer to 0.7 where you are metabolising fats could help people gain metabolic health. The equipment was expensive and cumbersome to use, so I thought it was only ever going to be used in research.

I discovered that someone had developed and validated the eCAL machine which enables effortless calculation of your RQ and metabolic rate in a hospital room or private practise clinic. Applied research that everyone can access. I joined Nutrition IQ who were using this machine with clients to individualised the nutrient prescription for healthier energy metabolism.

Everyone can benefit from measuring their RQ, learning about their energy metabolism at a cellular level. I really enjoy understanding what enjoyable food choices to make which also improve and maintain cellular health. Achieving metabolic health reduces the risk of conditions such as obesity, diabetes, and metabolic syndrome.

I am making food choices that I like, eating when and how much I feel I need, knowing that at a cellular level, I am doing well.

Gaining a uni degree in dietetics is not for everyone but talking to someone who has, may be the best step forward for you.

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