Metabolism. This word is synonymous with the daily fat loss struggle for many. But metabolic weight loss is a real thing and with the help of this post, you’ll be able to take advantage of it.
It’s time to stop putting the blame on your slow or disrupted metabolism and start doing something to give it the extra oomph it so badly needs. Perhaps, the metabolism isn’t the problem but actually the solution to effective fat loss.
Your own metabolism cannot be the sole reason for having abnormal body fat levels. It simply controls the basic energy needs of your body, so, it’s not to blame for consuming more calories than you might need.
That’s why we’ll take a look at how you can optimize the metabolic processes in your own body in order to get rid of those few extra pounds!
So what does your Metabolism actually do?
In short, our metabolism is a chemical process that we need in order to stay alive. It’s responsible for converting food into energy and this is done through an array of complex mechanisms that connects the calories from food with oxygen and thus produces energy.
We all need this aforementioned energy in order to function since our metabolism works all the time, even when we are just laying on a bed. You’re probably not even thinking about it, but your body is currently spending energy to keep you breathing, your blood circulating, your cells renewing etc.
Then there’s a thing called basal metabolic rate. This is measured by how many calories you burn while resting, or how many calories your body utilizes just to function properly. There are certain primary factors that influence your basal metabolic rate, such as:
- Age – as you get older, you’ll most likely have fewer muscles mass and more fat leading to fewer calories being burned
- Gender – women tend to have high body fat levels and less muscle mass, thus burning fewer calories
- Body type – logically, bigger people or those with more muscles on their frame burn more calories, even without doing anything
For the most part, though, your body will keep expending the same amount of energy in order to function adequately. Our bodies are extremely efficient and if your body can maintain its base functions with only 300 calories (for e.g.), it will do so.
Other aspects that affect your metabolic rate
Age, gender and body type might be the main aspects, but there are other elements that play a role in determining your metabolic rate as well and they include:
- Body and outside (climate) temperature – if you live in a warm, tropical country then your basal metabolic rate will be higher due to the extra effort the body needs in order to keep your bodily temperature stable. And alternatively, if you live in extremely cold climates, then your body will use additional energy to keep you warm
- Hormonal levels – problems with the thyroid gland could lead to weight gain. Hypothyroidism is not uncommon, particularly in ladies near or after the menopause period.
- Thermogenesis – the process of digesting, absorbing, transporting and then storing the food you eat actually requires energy (calories). As much as 10% of the calories that you get from carbs and protein are expended for the digestion and absorption of nutrients
- Physical activity level – this can be anything from hitting the gym, playing soccer and even walking to a shopping center. All of this adds up and accounts for how many calories your body burns each day
- General health – certain conditions can double your resting metabolic rate. In particular, things like illness, fever and injuries may do that
Now you know which factors are crucial for determining your basal metabolic rate and why they play such a significant role in these processes.
Now it’s time to focus on certain aspects that can help you lose that extra weight.
How to effectively utilize metabolic weight loss
There are a few key elements that you have to take into consideration when it comes to optimizing your metabolism and losing the extra weight. Here are 7 awesome aspects related to utilizing your metabolic fat loss:
1. Assess your basal metabolic rate
This should be your starting point and as mentioned earlier, your basal metabolic rate means how many calories your body burns throughout the day. Here’s a good BMR calculator that you can use – click.
After you figure out your BMR, you’ll have a good estimate of how many calories you need every day. Then you can simply create a caloric deficit by working out more or eating less (and healthier).
And this brings us to another important thing:
2. Keep your blood sugar levels stable
What you eat affects your blood sugar and thus, eating right is vital for maintaining a healthy metabolism. Simple carbs (e.g. sugars) make your insulin rise but then it plummets drastically.
That’s not to say that you shouldn’t consume carbohydrates. It’s just that you have to keep in mind two simple principles for keeping your blood sugar levels stable:
- Try to eat more complex carbs – it takes more time for your body to process them, thus resulting in a lesser spike in blood sugar
- Add macronutrients to the carbs you eat – by adding fats and proteins, you actually slow down the absorption of carbohydrates and this leads to better blood sugar control.
Eating smaller meals more frequently also helps.
3. Get buff
Gaining more muscles is a superb method of revving up your metabolism. Muscles are more metabolically active than bone or fat tissue and this means that your body uses more energy to create your muscle tissues.
There are countless of options when it comes to building muscle, so feel free to choose the one that suits you the most. Even working out at home could prove beneficial, if you can adequately stimulate your muscles that is – there should be at least some resistance, otherwise you’re not working out in an optimal manner.
Weight training is a perhaps the best and fastest way to gain more muscle mass. Hitting the gym on a regular basis will ensure that you add quality muscle to your frame while also burning more calories at rest.
4. Sleep matters
Getting enough quality sleep is not only essential for banishing under-eye circles but sleep itself actually rejuvenates the body and plays a vital role in hormone balance and even your metabolic rate.
If you aren’t receiving enough sleep, your body will create more cortisol (the stress hormone) and that will hamper your blood sugar control. Not only that, but lack of proper sleep may start messing with your ghrelin (the hormone that promotes hunger) and leptin levels.
As a general rule of thumb, aim for around 7-9 hours of sleep per night to ensure that your metabolism is operating as it should.
5. Water is your friend
While drinking water offers a plethora of benefits, being dehydrated is even worse than being hungry since our bodies are 50-65% water.
That’s why you have to make sure that you’re properly hydrated, only then can your system operate at its fullest – including burning calories.
You don’t need to drink gallons of water every day, just create a habit of drinking water at regular intervals throughout the day to ensure adequate hydration.
6. Omega 3 is good for your metabolism
Those of you that are not too keen on eating salmon or tune might rejoice – Omega 3 fatty acids in the form of supplements are a great substitute. They’re known for:
- Regulating your metabolism
- Reducing inflammation
- Controlling blood sugar
There’s also a link between Omega 3s and a supposed reduction in the resistance to a hormone called leptin that helps regulate how fast fat is burned for energy.
7. Eat spicy foods
There’s a reason why you start to feel super hot when you eat even a tiny amount of wasabi – it’s called thermogenesis.
Even if you’re not a fan of spicy meals, you should know that the ingredient that gives chili peppers their brutal spicy strength, called Capsaicin, can rev up your metabolism.
Capsaicin has been shown to help burn more calories (or energy) at rest though thermogenesis – a process that increases the heat of your body. There’s even a study from 2009 that backs such claims.
Wrapping it up
Quite obviously, your metabolism can be used as a potent method for aiding you in getting rid of the unwanted pounds. But, at the same time, you can’t blame your metabolism for being sluggish since it can be affected by things such as age, gender and body type.
Still, that’s not to say that you can’t utilize your metabolism for your fat loss goals. As pointed out earlier, factors like staying hydrated and getting enough sleep do play a big role in maintaining a well functioning metabolism.
And feel free to leave us a comment in the section below – share your personal struggle or success at boosting your metabolism and using it as a weight loss tool.