If you are like many people, you are probably asking yourself, "I wonder how I can increase my metabolism and lose weight."
Or you might have heard about your metabolism and how it affects your body, but perhaps you didn't quite understand what it is or how it works.
If you are over 40, then you have certainly heard that, unless you increase your metabolism, you can't lose weight.
We are going to explain what the body's metabolism is, what it does, what affects it, and how you can manipulate it to help you lose weight.
Your metabolism converts the food and liquids you eat and drink into energy
In a nutshell, your metabolism is a biochemical process that controls many functions in the body. One of the main functions of your metabolism is to convert the food and liquids you consume into available energy. Even when you are simply watching television, your body is still carrying out functions that require energy, such as breathing, digestion, thinking, and circulating your blood.
All of these basic functions require calories, similar to the way your car needs gas to move. The number of calories your body needs to operate these function every day is called your basal metabolic rate or BMR. Alternately, it can be said that the BMR is the minimum amount of calories the body need to function at rest.
Use this calculator to find out the TOTAL calories your body needs on a daily basis.
Generally speaking, the energy needs for your body's day to day functions don't change much and can't be easily altered.
You might know some friends who seem to eat anything and everything, yet never gain an ounce. This is likely due to a very high metabolism. How does the body determine what the correct metabolism level is for you?
Use this formula to measure your BMR:
What does this mean?
For example, if you were 6’ and weighed 200 lbs, the amount of calories your body needs at rest is 2,017 calories.
The amount of physical activity is the most variable factor that will determine how many calories your body needs and burns each day. Exercise will greatly increase your metabolic rate, even after you have finished working out!
Aerobic activity, such a walking, jogging, Zumba, and dancing burn calories.
I.E; a 200lbs man will burn 250 calories for jogging 30 minutes.
Challenge your muscles
Building more muscle with strength training will naturally rev up your metabolism
While you don't have to exercise to increase your metabolism, remember that having more muscle will naturally rev up your metabolism, making it run higher 24 hours a day, 365 days a year. This is especially true for those over 40 and 50 as physically inactive people can lose as much as 3% to 5% of their muscle mass each decade after age 30.
Try adding two days of strength training (weight lifting) to increase your overall muscle mass. Muscles are sore after resistance training due to tiny tears in the muscle tissue. While this sounds harmful, this is actually a good thing. Over the next two to three days post-workout, your body will heal the broken-down tissue, and build new, stronger muscles. This rebuilding process requires an extra energy requirement that increases your calorie burn by 5 to 9 percent!
Don't forget to challenge your muscles! This means increasing the weight by a pound or two when you can complete all reps without your muscles becoming sore or tired after you have finished your weight lifting sets.
As we mentioned above, simply increasing your metabolism won't be enough to get you a bikini ready body this summer or even next year. However, when used in combination with diet, supplements, and exercise, it all adds up to significant weight loss.
Let's take a look at the best ways to increase your metabolism without exercise.
Don't forget that while you should cut back on calories, you still need to eat enough to keep your metabolism running high. Without enough fuel, your body will lower your metabolism as a means of self-preservation.
One last note; don't forget to get a good night's sleep. Your body's metabolism is "reset" each night while you sleep. If you skimp on sleep, your body's metabolism easily becomes confused and might end up running on the slow side. Try to keep a regular schedule and get 7 to 9 hours of sleep each night. Don't keep your cell phone by the bed, either. Those white screens tend to interrupt our sleep hormones and make it harder to fall asleep.