Understanding how your metabolism works and how it relates to losing weight is very important if you are interested in losing weight, dropping a few pants sizes and toning your body into what you’ve always wanted it to be. Learning how your metabolism works is important when it comes to burning calories efficiently and losing weight as quickly as possible. This piece will aim to educate and inform you about how your metabolism works and what tips and tricks you can use to burn calories quicker and more efficiently.
How your Metabolism Works
Metabolism can be defined as the process of various chemical reactions that take place within your body to convert the food you’ve eaten into energy that your body can use for building muscle, doing work and staying strong and healthy. Eating too much food can place an overload on your metabolism, causing excess glucose in your bloodstream to be converted into stored body fat instead of being burned off as energy.
Everybody’s body has a different metabolic rate. The metabolic rate is the approximate rate at which your body is able to digest and process the food and liquids you’ve consumed. Some people have fast metabolisms, meaning they must eat more food in order to sustain the energy requirements their body needs to stay healthy. People with fast metabolisms are generally skinnier and have less body fat than people with slow metabolisms. If you suffer from having a slow metabolism you are probably overweight and find it frustratingly difficult to lose weight no matter how little food you eat.
There are numerous factors that determine your basal metabolic rate including:
- Body size and composition – People who have more fat on their bodies will burn less calories than people who have more muscle on their bodies. If you have a large body size you will burn more calories naturally, even while resting.
- Gender – Because men generally have more muscle, and women have more body fat, men burn more calories than women.
- Age – You will find your body losing muscle and gaining fat as you grow older. This translates into a slower metabolic rate and therefore slower calorie burning.
In addition to your basal metabolic rate there are two more factors that account for how your body burns calories. Food processing, also known as thermogenesis is the energy requirements your body needs to transporting, storing, absorbing and using the food you consume. This accounts for roughly 10% of calories burned each day. Physical activity (or lack thereof) is the other factor that determines how fast your metabolism works. More physical activity translates to a faster metabolic rate and more calories being burned.
Burning Calories more Effectively
The trick to burning calories more effectively does not lie in “weight loss miracle pills” or “metabolism boosting pills.” In fact there are no known medications or supplements that have been scientifically proven to boost your metabolism. There are certain supplements, such as capsicum, that work by increasing the temperature within your body which may increase your metabolism. Keep in mind there is no “magic bullet” when it comes to improving your metabolic rate and burning more calories.
There are three primary ways in which you can burn more calories without relying on supplements, pills or surgery. The first method is getting regular aerobic exercise. Aerobic exercise is the best type of exercise for burning calories because it gets your heart beating faster, blood circulating quicker and it burns calories much more efficiently than other types of exercise. Running, jogging, swimming or bicycling each day for at least 30 minutes is generally enough exercise to stay in shape. If your goal is to lose weight then you will need to increase the amount of exercise you get, perhaps up to an hour per day.
The second way in which you can burn more calories is through strength training. The action of lifting the weights themselves is not what burns calories, but your body burns calories because more muscle mass will be added to your body. If your body has a large ratio of muscle to fat then you will burn more calories than if your body was primarily composed of fat and not muscle.
Remember that the key to losing weight is bridging the difference between the amount of calories you consume each day and the amount of calories you burn.