Nutrition Clinic resumes metabolism testing

By Janice Erdlitz, Lyster Army Health ClinicNovember 12, 2021

The Nutrition Clinic at Lyster is excited to announce metabolism testing is now available again for beneficiaries. The process had been temporarily paused due to the COVID-19 pandemic. Following all safety precautions and recommended cleaning procedures, the use of the handheld MedGem is back in the Nutrition Clinic’s arsenal of available tools to aid in improving overall health.

The MedGem is a FDA-approved, handheld medical device that accurately measures oxygen consumption (VO2) to determine a patient’s resting metabolic rate (RMR). Resting metabolic rate (RMR) varies dramatically between individuals and often changes as the result of weight loss, illness, age, and other factors.

Lyster Army Health Clinic’s Chief of Nutrition, Andrea Jones explained, “Our metabolism testing device is an invaluable tool in helping our patients, especially with weight control. By knowing a patient's RMR, we can determine the exact amount of calories a patient needs to consume to lose, gain, or maintain their weight. With metabolism testing, the idea is to stop guessing and start measuring.”

Metabolism is the number of calories a person uses each day. It is unique to each person and determines how many calories a body needs to consume each day at rest. Knowing one’s metabolic rate along with daily calorie intake from food and beverages along with calories used from activities can help individuals be more successful at controlling their weight.

Metabolism changes as one’s weight changes. Jones continued, “Having an accurate daily calorie target is a valuable piece of information for weight management. A decrease of just 100 calories each day can change a person’s weight by 10 pounds in a year.”

Jones went on to explain if the patient has never been seen in the Nutrition Care Clinic, they will need to schedule an initial assessment first before the metabolism testing can be scheduled.

After the metabolism testing, the dietitian will analyze the results and formulate a plan dependent on the patient’s goals. The entire appointment typically lasts 50-60 minutes.

Metabolism tests are usually performed first thing in the morning. Patients should fast and will also be directed to avoid exercise, caffeine, smoking, and certain medications before metabolism testing. The Nutrition Care Staff will provide patients will all pre-testing instructions before the appointment date.

Metabolism testing can be beneficial to those who are:

•            Concerned about possible depressed or low metabolism

•            Trying to lose or gain weight; trying to maintain weight

•            Training for athletic events

•            Diagnosed with diabetes

•            Sleep apnea

•            Hypertension

•            Heart disease or have other weight-related conditions

•            Interested in improving overall health

For more information about metabolism testing or to schedule an appointment, contact the Nutrition Care Clinic at (334) 255-7986. Learn more about services provided by the Nutrition Clinic by visiting

(Photo Credit: U.S. Army) VIEW ORIGINAL