What is the role that metabolism plays in weight loss? How can you increase your metabolism to burn more energy and therefore lose weight faster?
First, lets look at what the term metabolism means. Basically, it is the rate at which your body burns energy to:
- keep itself at an even and warm temperature
- for daily maintenance & bodily functions
The metabolic rate of each person is different and directly influences how much fat you use and store. The good news is, we can increase our metabolism to burn more fat , the bad news is, we can also slow it down to store more fat. Also, having a slow metabolism will leave you feeling tired, unmotivated and lethargic.
THINGS THAT DECREASE METABOLISM
- Crash Dieting or YO YO dieting. Severely restricting calories may offer a quick result but this is temporary, and instead it eventually slows down the body’s metabolism by triggering a starvation response which causes the body to go into protection mode, storing fat and conserving energy.
- Age. Metabolic rate slows down at a rate of 2% per decade after the age of 20. This means after 30, it is harder to lose weight, and easier to gain it. Depressing isn’t it? But there is a hope for the future..
- Hormone problems. The Thyroid gland controls most of the hormonal balance in your body and also your metabolic rate. Certain chemicals, stress and unhealthy diets & lifestyles upset the functioning of the thyroid gland and therefore slow down the metabolism.
THINGS THAT INCREASE METABOLISM
- Exercise. Exercise builds muscle and also burns energy. Muscle is an active tissue which plays a role in metabolism. If you increase the amount of active muscle tissue on your body you will therefore increase your metabolic rate and you will also burn off stored energy and/or fat.
- Eating. Regular meals elevate the metabolism as the body works frequently to digest the food. However, to obtain weight loss, these meals need to be small, healthy and nutritious.
- Temperature. When the temperature is cool, the body will increase its metabolism and will usually initiate shivering to warm the body up. This in turn burns more energy, because the muscles are active. A good excuse to turn the heating down, yes?