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Baptist Body Balance: Indirect Calorimetry

What is Indirect Calorimetry?

Indirect calorimetry is an easy, proven technique to determine exactly how many calories your body needs each day.  This quick and painless procedure is performed during an outpatient appointment at Baptist Health Lexington.  You do not need to change clothes or perform any special exercise activities.  You will have accurate information about how many calories your body needs each day to help you reach and maintain your desired body weight.

Is Indirect Calorimetry Something New?                          Body Balance

This technique has been used for decades to help determine caloric needs. The equipment used at Baptist Health Lexington is considered the "gold standard" by experts in nutrition.  We are now making this procedure available in an outpatient setting so that individuals can have the benefit of this state-of-the-art body analysis approach.

How is Indirect Calorimetry Better Than the Resources I Already Have?

Healthcare professionals have primarily used mathematical equations to predict the amount of calories individuals need.  The result is an estimate and does not always prove to be reliable.  Indirect calorimetry reveals your true metabolic rate (how your body uses food) by measuring the amount of oxygen and carbon dioxide from your breathing.  The device will measure the amount in (consumption) and the amount out (expired) which accurately shows your metabolic rate.  In 30 minutes, you will know the exact number of calories you need each day.

Who Can Benefit From Indirect Calorimetry?

Anyone who is interested in achieving or maintaining a specific body weight can benefit from this procedure.  Everyone's body is different, so it makes sense that a mathematical equation or Web-site calorie calculator does not work for everyone who is struggling with weight issues.  Knowing the precise amount of calories your body needs will help you determine the right amount for you to eat each day, whether you want to lose weight, gain weight, or maintain a specific weight.  Some of the individuals who could benefit from this knowledge include:

  • Individuals who have been unsuccessful with other weight loss methods
  • Individuals of all ages who are overweight
  • Individuals with diabetes who are counting calories and/or carbohydrates
  • Athletes
  • Children who are not at ideal weight (under or overwheight)
  • Individuals on restricted diets
  • Individuals who want to maintain their current weight
  • Individuals with any health-related complications (ex:  blood pressure, diabetes, arthritis) that are caused or aggravated by being overweight.

What Do I Have to do for the Procedure?

Very little!  You will be asked to fast (go without food) for 12 hours, therefore, your appointment will likely be in the morning hours.  You will be asked to lie down in a quiet room and a qualified Respiratory Therapist will place a comfortable mask over your nose and mouth.  You will be asked to relax and breathe normally while the device measures the oxygen and carbon dioxide exchange in your breath.  The procedure will last no more than 30 minutes.

What Happens With the Information From the Procedure?

Following your procedure, you will meet with a Baptist Health Lexington Registered Dietitian who will go over the information with you in detail, and provide you with an individualized meal plan to help you meet your body weight goals.  The Registered Dietitian will provide you with reliable information about foods and nutrition so that you can succeed with your goals.  In addition, follow-up appointment will be set to help support you along the way.

Where is the Procedure Performed?

Baptist Health Lexington main campus at 1740 Nicholasville Rd, Lexington, KY.  Our location is convenient to New Circle Road as well as the downtown area.  You will need to register at our Registration department.  You will have your procedure performed in our Respiratory Therapy department, located on the fourth floor.  A map will be sent to you to inform you about our free parking and registration needs.

What do I Need to do to Get an Appointment?

A physician's order is needed to set up your appointment for the procedure.  Baptist Health Lexington's Outpatient Nutrition Services has made it easy for you and your physician.  We have a simple referral form we can send (e-mail, regular mail or FAX) to your physician, and they can fill it out and send it back to us.  As soon as we receive the permission, our staff will call you to set up and appointment to meet your scheduling needs.  Our registration staff will also call you to start the registration process a day or two before your appointment.

Who Do I Call?

If you have questions about indirect calorimetry or want help to start the referral process, please call our Outpatient Nutrition Services at 859-260-5122.