There is a reason why some people are seemingly able to eat whatever they want to without putting on weight, and it is likely due to their metabolic rate or metabolism.
Simply put the higher your metabolic rate the more energy (calories) your body will be able to burn.
Lets look at some other frequently asked questions and discover the truth about your metabolism.
What is your metabolic rate?
Your metabolic rate is what decides how many calories you are able to burn, and is calculated by looking at how much energy your body uses when completely sedentary.
Those with a high BMR or Basal Metabolic Rate are able to burn more calories than those with a low BMR.
There are numerous things that can affect your BMR including:
- Your gender
- Muscle mass
- Your diet
Your thyroid also has an impact on your metabolic rate, as it releases hormones that can boost the rate that energy is produced. This is why those with an underactive thyroid often struggle with weight gain.
What happens if your metabolic rate slows?
If your metabolism slows then chances are you are more likely to gain weight. This is because you are less able to produce energy.
You will also find that you will feel more fatigue, a slow pulse and depression.
If you suspect that your low metabolism is a result of an underactive thyroid then it will be worth speaking to a doctor.
Does exercise affect your metabolism?
One of the best ways to boost your metabolism is through exercise. If done right then your metabolic rate could be raised long after your workout has finished.
Rather than focussing on cardio-only workouts I would recommend that you incorporate some weight training or resistance work too.
By increasing your overall muscle mass your metabolism will also increase accordingly.
Will your diet affect your metabolism?
Your diet can affect your metabolism, with certain foods shown to both boost and slow down the metabolic rate.
Often when attempting to lose weight people will try to dramatically cut back on their food and calorie intake, but this will not work.
What will occur is that your body will go into a sort of starvation mode where your metabolic rate will slow in an effort to hold onto its fat reserves.
Not only will you not be able to burn off whatever calories you do consume, but your body will also turn towards its muscle mass for fuel.
As the muscle is broken down your metabolism will slow even further.
Chances are if you use this approach to losing weight once you start eating normally again any lost weight will quickly return.
What foods should you eat to boost your metabolic rate?
If you want to boost your metabolic rate then you need to ensure your body is getting the nutrients it requires. Good health usually equals a healthy metabolism.
There are also certain foods that have been shown to boost your metabolism, including:
- Caffeine; a natural stimulant
- Green coffee; contains polyphenols that can boost metabolism and burn fat
- Green tea; contains both caffeine and polyphenols
Another way to boost your metabolism would be to consume foods that cause thermogenesis to occur.
This is a process whereby your internal body temperature increases along with your metabolic rate.
Foods that cause thermogenesis to occur include chillies and turmeric.
Your metabolism plays an important role within your body, and has a huge impact on your weight. If you wish to lose a few pounds then hopefully a few of the tips mentioned will help increase your metabolic rate, helping you to burn off a few more excess calories.