Think of your metabolism as an engine. It's ability to "run" means biochemical processes that keep us alive are ongoing. Your metabolic rate is the pace at which your body uses energy, which is measured in calories. So it's important to know just how many calories you need to "exist" so you can then decide if you are overeating and therefore gaining weight or under-eating and therefore capable of dropping weight.
What do you specifically need the calories for??
•1- To run basic body functions like breathing, blood circulation, to maintain body temperature, basically just to exist.
•2- Calories to burn - they are used in eating, digestion, absorbing nutrients, and storing food. About 10-15% of daily calorie intake goes here.
•3- Calories for physical activity.
So your metabolic rate can increase to process what you eat and of course, to help you move. Many of us feel that our metabolism is sluggish, when in fact, you are just overeating or not moving enough to burn what you are eating. That being said - how do you boost metabolism??
Quite simply, certain situations automatically make you a "better burner." Being male, being young, having full levels of hormones (associated with being younger), clearly give you an edge. Having more muscle mass gives you an edge, which is why we are always telling women (and men)to weight train. People who fidget a lot also burn extra calories. What you have to remember is just having a slightly lower BMR (basal metabolic rate) does not mean your destiny is obesity. As a matter of fact, BMR tends to be slightly higher in obese people, because they need so much more energy to move their body. But - if you start off as a 250 pound person, and manage to diet off 70 pounds, your new BMR will be lower - because you are now supporting a less weighty body.
Is a high protein diet the answer?? Not really since calories in has to be less still than calories out to create a negative situation and cause weight loss. High protein diets seem to work because so many people struggle with controlling the number of calories they take in from grain foods. Who can have just one roll or just one small serving of pasta?? So a forced situation that allows few if any grains means you don't eat the foods that cause you poort control. Green tea, may help a bit - but you need to drink about 6-8 cups daily to achieve the levels of phytochemicals (and probably caffeine) needed to nudge your weight a bit.
So what's most significant?? How you exercise meaning - do you just "go through the motions" or do you really get your heart rate up, significantly, for an extended period of time so that your body uses up all glycogen stores and makes an effort to dip into fat stores. That means you need to reach 70-80% of maximal heart rate and you need to sustain it for about 45-60 minutes to really get the "burn." Check out www.caloriecontrol.org/calculate.html to estimate your daily calorie burn.
Published On: November 30, 2008