When people are struggling to lose weight, they’ll often blame their metabolism. But what does this actually mean?
Most people understand that their metabolism is responsible for burning calories,
and that having a “slow” metabolism means that they won’t lose as much weight as they would if it was “fast.” However, few actually understand how their metabolism works, but it’s helpful to know this if you’re trying to lose weight.
In this article, we’ll explain the basic mechanics of metabolism and provide some simple tips to follow every day that will help you rev up your metabolism and accelerate your weight loss.
WHAT IS YOUR METABOLISM?
This may seem like a silly question, but it’s important to understand the basics before evaluating what you can do to manipulate your metabolism.
Your metabolism is the process your body uses to convert everything you eat and drink into energy. It’s an incredibly complicated procedure and you don’t need to know every step. However, you should understand that your body combines the calories in your food and drink with oxygen to release the energy it needs throughout the day for all its vital functions. These functions include breathing, repairing cells, regulating hormone levels, and circulating blood throughout the body.
The amount of calories required to carry out these basic functions varies from person to person and will depend on your individual basal metabolic rate. Basal metabolic rate is the amount of energy needed to keep your body functioning at rest. There are several factors that may affect your basal metabolic rate, including:
- Body size and composition: Larger people or those with more muscle mass or fat burn more calories at rest.
- Gender: Because men naturally have less body fat and more muscle than women, they tend to burn more calories at rest.
- Age: As people age, they lose muscle and gain fat. As a result, metabolic rates slow down.
It’s difficult to influence your basal metabolic rate. However, there are two other factors that play a major role in the number of calories your body burns each day which you can influence:
- Food Processing: Your body expends a lot of energy – up to 800 calories per day – digesting, absorbing, and storing the food you consume. This process holds fairly steady over time but certain food groups, such as protein, require more energy for digestion.
- Physical Activity: This also accounts for a significant amount of expended energy. Because you have control over how much physical activity you engage in, you can directly affect the amount of calories you burn each day.
HOW METABOLISM RELATES TO WEIGHT LOSS
Most people love to blame their metabolism for their inability to lose weight. However, your metabolism is a natural process and the body regulates it to account for your lifestyle and needs. In fact, most people only gain weight because of their metabolism if they develop a medical condition which slows it down, such as an underactive thyroid gland.
If you’re eating healthy, exercising, and making other efforts to lose weight but are still gaining weight, it’s unlikely that your metabolism is to blame. Regardless of this, taking steps to increase your metabolism is a simple way to boost your body’s natural calorie-burning processes which will support your weight loss efforts.
8 QUICK TIPS TO BOOST YOUR METABOLISM
Because your metabolism is a highly regulated process, it can be resistant to change. However, many of these simple tips to help boost your metabolism can help you lose weight too. As such, there’s no harm in trying each of the suggestions below to see whether they work for you.
- Build Muscle – Every pound of muscle uses six calories per day to sustain itself, while each pound of fat uses only two calories. Therefore building muscle will increase your basal metabolic rate.
- Engage in High-Intensity Exercise – Aerobic, high-intensity exercise gives an effective boost to your metabolism by keeping your metabolic rate higher for hours after your workout.
- Stay Hydrated – Your body needs water to break down calories. By staying hydrated throughout the day and drinking water before and during each meal, you can keep your metabolism running efficiently.
- Eat Smart Snacks – Eating every three to four hours during the day keeps your metabolism steady and helps you burn more calories throughout the day. Snacking on the right foods can also reduce cravings and keep your diet on track as an added bonus.
- Eat Protein – Protein is important after your workouts to rebuild muscles. The body also expends more energy breaking down protein than it does for either carbohydrates or fat.
- Eat Regularly – If you skip meals or eat too few calories per day, you’re going to affect your metabolism. Crash diets or restrictive eating often forces the body to feed off muscle to survive. With less muscle, your metabolic rate will fall.
- Drink Coffee or Tea – Caffeine can speed up your metabolism for a couple of hours.
- Eat Whole Foods – Eating foods in their natural form, i.e. not making all your fruits and vegetables into smoothies, forces the body to break them down. This uses more energy and gives your metabolism a boost.
It’s difficult to change your metabolism, so you shouldn’t follow any of the tips above and expect immediate results. After all, your body spends a lot of time regulating its metabolism, and while a series of small adjustments can make a difference over time, it won’t happen immediately.
With this in mind, it’s important not to blame your metabolism for your lack of weight loss either. Instead, you should focus on what you eat, your level of physical activity, and other factors within your control to identify why you’re struggling to lose weight. Doing so is a simple way to ensure you aren’t left spinning your wheels or blaming processes beyond your control, and means you’re taking active steps toward achieving your goals.
If you feel that your metabolism isn’t at the level you want, comprehensive weight loss supplements like PhenQ can help. Although PhenQ doesn’t increase your metabolism, it does burn stored fat, suppress your appetite, and block fat production. This can address some of the underlying factors keeping you from losing weight, and help you stay on track.
Is your metabolism to blame for your lack of weight loss? Probably not. But by taking the steps we discuss above, you’ll be a healthier version of yourself and you could potentially increase your metabolism.