Know how your metabolism affects your weight and how to increase the calories you burn.
There have been lots of discussions everywhere on how metabolism affects weight gain and loss. This topic affects everyone, and this is why it is necessary to understand how metabolism really works and its relationship to weight regulation.
While it may be true that your metabolism is related to your weight; contrary to popular belief, a slow metabolism is hardly the cause of excess weight gain.
Your metabolism has a major influence on your body's primary energy requirements but the major determinants in your weight are dominantly what you eat, drink and how much physical activities your body gets.
A better understanding of metabolism will make it easier to know your body’s metabolism and how to burn more calories effectively.
What is metabolism?
Metabolism is the chemical reaction in your body that changes the food you eat into energy. The body needs this energy for a wide range of processes like growth, breathing, digesting food and thinking.
During metabolism, calories in food and beverages are combined with oxygen to release the energy the body needs to function.
Even when the body is not in motion, basic needs such as respiration, blood circulation are being carried out. Thus your body requires a specific amount of calories known as “Basal Metabolic Rate (BMR)” to carry out these basic body needs.
The question now is… Are there factors that affect the body metabolism?
There are specific factors that affect your basal metabolic rate which are:
Body size: People with a larger body or with more muscles burn more calories even while at rest due. This is due to the high demand of energy to move their body around.
Gender: Men have a faster metabolic rate and can usually be seen with lesser body fat and more muscles than women.
Age: As you age, the amount of muscles tends to decrease while fat accounts for more of the body weight. This slows down the metabolic rate or calorie burning rate. It could also be seen during stages in a child’s life where he has a surge of his metabolic rate.
Physical activity: This is the most varying of the factors affecting the amount of calories burnt each day. Physical activities make up for a large number of calories your body burns.
Environmental factors: Environmental changes such as increase in heat or cold makes the body work more to maintain its normal temperature and BMR.
There are some other factors such as genetics, hormones, drugs, diet and muscle mass.
It is often easy for you to fault your metabolism for weight gain. But metabolism is a naturally occurring process with many mechanisms regulating it to meet your individual needs.
In fact, weight gain could depend on a series of factors such as; genetics, diet, sleep, physical activities and stress. These factors result in an imbalance in your body’s energy equation. It can be explained as this; you gain weight when you burn less calories than you consume.
It is important to note that while some people tend to lose weight faster and easier than others, it is general that everyone loses weight when they burn up more calories than they consume. Thus to lose weight, it is important to create an energy deficit by eating fewer calories or increasing the number of calories your body burns by introducing more physical activities into your lifestyle.
Now, how are physical activities related to metabolism?
Physical activities and metabolism
Physical activity is one of the major factors affecting the rate of metabolism. You can control how much calories your body burns by increasing your daily physical activities.
Physical activities can protect you against diabetes, some of them are efficient in raising metabolism and burning calories are aerobic activities such as; walking, bicycling, swimming, skipping and running.
You might want to include 30 minutes of physical activities in your everyday routine. The time can be increased based on your fitness goals. You can also opt for a lesser time like a 10-minute time frame if you have a busy schedule. Fitness experts often recommend strength training exercises like weight lifting as it helps in building muscle which is more effective in burning calories than fat tissues.
There is no easy way to lose weight, and the most profound foundation is physical activities and diet.
Thus, do ensure to always take in less calories than you burn. Also, always aim for extra movement in your day to day activities, like going for the stairs rather than the elevator and taking a stroll when you can.
Eat well, stay fit and stay healthy.