When people start to gain weight or have trouble losing it, many times they blame it on their metabolism and ask themselves; how can I increase my metabolism? It is possible for anyone to increase their metabolism. The benefits of an efficient metabolism are the ability to burn the necessary amount of calories daily, replace fat with muscle and increase energy.
It is important to understand what metabolism is, find out what is influencing it, counteract those influences with the correct exercise and diet and the appropriate number of daily meals.
What is Metabolism?
Metabolism in the simplest terms is the rate at which the body burns calories. This varies in individuals because of different lifestyles and how those lifestyles influence metabolism. You and someone you know may have the same level of activity, diet, and weight but lose or gain weight at different rates because of different metabolisms.
What influences a Slow Metabolism
There are a number of things that will slow down your metabolism:
Going on starvation or low calorie diets - These diets never work because the body holds on to the fat as an energy source because it isn't getting enough calories. If these types of diets are continued for a long period of time the body will begin to break down muscle tissue for fuel. This releases nitrogen which the body will quickly wash away. This will cause unhealthy weight loss of water and muscle. The water will quickly be regained and the loss of muscle will cause problems with the metabolism for a long time.
Not getting in enough physical activity in your daily lifestyle
Overeating and drinking of foods and beverages full of sugar
More body fat than lean muscle - Your metabolism will increase as your muscle mass increases)
Throwing your metabolism into overdrive because of too little sleep
Effective Ways to Speed Up Metabolism
Aerobic exercise - At least 30 minutes a day is needed. This will increase your metabolism for 4 to 8 hours after you stop exercising so you will be burning calories long after you stop exercising.
Weight training - Muscle burns 73 more calories per kilogram of fat per day than does fat. So the more muscle you have, the higher your resting metabolic rate will be. The more muscle the better because it burns calories 24 hours per day. This is the only way to increase your resting metabolic rate, which is responsible for 60 to 70 percent of the calories you burn each day.
Drink lots of water - Lack of water will have a similar effect as lack of food. It will result in the body holding on again and restrict proper metabolism. By drinking enough water the liver will be able to work on metabolism rather than water retention.
A Healthy Diet - There is no concrete evidence that any food will increase metabolism significantly enough to effect weight loss. However, a healthy diet(this means avoiding junk food) when combined with the proper exercise training program will eventually turn a fat body into a lean, muscular body, increasing the burning of calories 24 hours a day.
Determine your resting metabolic rate and adjust your diet accordingly - to determine your resting metalic rate. Once you know your resting metalic rate you can calculate what your daily calorie intake should be to safely lose weight. For example, if your resting metalic rate is 1800 multiply this by 1.15. Your maintainance intake is 2070. You can count calories by looking up the calories for each food item(check the food packaging or look at the tables online or in books).
Eat small meals more frequently throughout the day - Eating smaller meals more frequently will avoid starving the body for calories which will prevent it from holding on to calories and storing them as fat.
The key to effective weight loss, proper weight maintainance and ideal energy levels is to speed the metabolism to a level of peak efficiency. Taking the necessary steps to accomplish this will be well worth the effort in the long run.
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