Most of us blame the dreaded “metabolism” monster when we aren’t losing weight. We often don’t know the factors that play into metabolism, and whether or not we can change them.
What does ‘Metabolism’ even mean?
Metabolism refers to the process of converting the calories you eat into energy. It determines your daily calorie intake to maintain your weight.
What affects your metabolism?
- Basal metabolic rate (BMR): the number of calories needed to maintain
- Activity level: the number of calories you use up during exercise. Your activity level accounts for about 20% of the total calories you burn each day.
- Food thermogenesis: the number of calories you need to digest and absorb your food. It accounts for about 10% of the total calories you burn each day.
Anything that affects the three major things would change the number of calories you need to maintain your body weight. Your BMR is adaptable, and it will increase or decrease to provide for your body’s needs.
Ways to Combat a Slowing Metabolism
With some guidelines, they do not need to be followed precisely. Incorporating these “ways” into your everyday lifestyle will have a positive effect on your metabolism.
Aim to train at least 2-3 times per week (body-weighted exercises are great too). Adding muscle mass increases your BMR, allowing you to burn more calories even when you’re not exercising.
Increase your heart rate
Think running, swimming, and cycling. Exercising at higher intensities allows you to reap the benefits of “afterburn,” a phenomenon where you burn extra calories post-exercise. To benefit from this effect, you should move at a pace where it’s difficult to talk. If you can push a little harder, then do so.
Eat enough high-quality protein
Legumes, nuts, seeds, poultry, and fish are among some of the best protein sources. These sources supply amino acids to your muscles post-workout so, that they can repair and grow.
Keep well hydrated
Water is important as all the chemical reactions in your body require water—including the ones that burn calories.
Don’t starve yourself to lose weight
You need to consume a moderate amount of calories to lose weight. If you eat a significantly low number of calories, you’ll lose weight rapidly, however much of it will be from water and muscle loss. Plus, you will likely lose hard-earned muscle mass that’s responsible for maintaining a higher BMR.
A balanced diet can help keep your body full of fuel that it needs and aids a body’s engine to help it digest better.