There are various myths, theories and old wife’s tales about how to boost our metabolisms and get them working faster and more effective, but not all of them are true. Lets firstly understand what a “metabolism” is.
In its simplest terms, our metabolic rate is the rate our bodies burn calories. Not many of us have a fast metabolism weight and even if you do it doesn’t necessary mean you are going to be that slim catwalk model. Although it may shock you, overweight individuals generally have relatively fast metabolism rates because they weigh more, however like most things in life everything is in moderation. If your weight is staying constant and your metabolism isn’t working quick enough to work off those calories your body is absorbing then your body will struggle to lose those extra lbs. in essence, by increasing your metabolism you will find it easier to work off that stubborn weight.
There are a number of factors that can control your metabolism rate, some of which include age, gender, heredity, thyroid disorder, and weight. Although you cannot change some of these factors you can have control over others. It is important that you have control so you can really work on improving your metabolic rate which will help you reach our weight loss goal.
Take a minute and work out your individual RMR rate. An RMR rate is your Resting Metabolic Rate and helps you understand how much energy is required by your body to stay alive with no activity. You RMR rate is one of the main contributing components of energy expenditure (around 70%).
How to work out your RMR rate:
Many use the Mifflin-St Jeor equation to calculate their RMR rate:
- RMR = 9.99 x “w” + 6.25 x “s” – 4.92 x “a” + 166 x “g”-161
- “w” = weight in kilograms; if you know your weight in pounds, divide by 2.2 to get your weight in kilograms
- “s” = height in centimeters; if you know your height in inches, multiply by 2.54 to get your height in centimeters
- “a” = age in years
- “g”= gender = 1 for males, 0 for females
Your RMR rate will tell you how many calories your body needs when it is resting. Your daily consumption should be your RMR x 1.15.
For example RMR=2000 x 1.15 = 2300.
If you want to lose weight do not exceed your above calculated RMR. To help you do this make sure you check the back of food packets and keep track of how many calories you are consuming.
Eating smaller, more frequent meals cannot only help speed up your metabolism, but it often results in you eating less. People who eat smaller meals more frequently generally tend to eat less overall especially if you eat more fruits, oats or anything with a “high volume to calorie content” as these types of foods often leave you feeling fuller for longer.
Often when you think you are hungry and want to reach for the nearest chocolate biscuit it is actually your brain telling you that you are thirsty. As with food, depriving your body of water can encourage it to “hoard” rather than “burn”. By drinking ice-cold water your body actually burns more calories warming it up to your body temperature.
You can boost your metabolism temporarily with aerobic exercise. Varying on the exercise you take part in depends on how many calories you will burn. However the important thing is to raise your heart rate and keep focussed in the activity for approximately thirty minutes. This way you will boost your metabolism and burn off those calories faster.
Although this is more common amongst men, weight training can help boost metabolism in the long run. Muscle burns more calories than fat does. An interesting fact is that our muscles can burn 73 more calories per kilogram per day, so the more muscle you can build, the higher your RMR rate will be.
Young healthy men typically have anywhere between 35 to 50 kg of muscle mass on their bodies. As you can imagine the most muscular men burn extra calories than the not so muscular men. In total this equates to around 6.9kg (15pounts) of fat per year.
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