One reason people often use as an excuse for weight gain or limited weight loss is a slow metabolism. You hear it frequently in Honolulu, HI, but it’s common no matter where you live. Just what does that mean? What exactly is your metabolism, and how does it affect your weight? Metabolism includes all the changes and chemical processes in your body at the cellular level and the energy required.
The food you eat provides the calories.
Food provides the calories the body uses for energy. Your body uses energy for more than exercise. It uses energy to create cells, circulate blood, and breathe. Every function of your body requires energy. Your body even requires energy to convert food into usable energy. Cell replacement, elimination, growth, and tissue repair all use energy. Two processes make up metabolism, anabolism and catabolism. Anabolism stores energy to maintain the body, such as building cells. Catabolism breaks down energy for use. Digestion and changing food to a form the body can use is a catabolic process.
Your basal metabolic rate includes basic functions while resting metabolic rate adds a few more.
If you’re resting, the calories you burn to keep your body functioning is the basal metabolic rate. It accounts for about 70% of the calories you burn. Resting metabolic rate includes a few other functions, such as short periods of walking, eliminating waste, or maintaining body temperature by sweating or shivering. It is a slightly higher percentage of calories burned. Increasing your metabolic rate makes weight loss easier since you’ll burn more calories 24/7 without extra effort.
You can increase both rates by building muscle and reducing fat.
A pound of body fat only burns two calories daily, while a pound of muscle tissue burns six calories. Increasing your muscle mass increases the calories you burn daily. One study found that after a group followed a nine-month strength training protocol, their resting metabolic rate increased by 5%. If your resting rate was 1000 calories daily, it increased to 1050. It takes a deficit of 3500 calories to burn one pound. That means you’d lose a pound in 70 days without extra effort.
- Boost your metabolic rate and improve your weight loss by eating more protein. Protein requires more calories to digest, so it boosts metabolic rate by as much as 30%.
- Drinking 17 ounces of water also increases metabolic rate by 30% for an hour. Besides boosting metabolism, it makes you feel fuller so you eat less. Green and oolong tea or coffee also boost metabolism.
- Get adequate sleep. Lack of sleep increases the risk of insulin resistance, boosts the amount of ghrelin, the hunger hormone, and decreases your metabolism.
- Eating a healthy diet, getting adequate sleep, and building muscle tissue are all healthy lifestyle changes that can boost your metabolism and make weight loss easier.
For more information, contact us today at Hawaii Fit Camp!