Once again, we are back to the topic of weight loss. The age-old problem for many women and men. From dieting to exercising, every method has been recommended by nutritionists and health experts. However, over time we have realized that these methods do not produce the same results in everyone, at least not in the same space of time. How fast do you burn up calories?
The human body is unique, and individuals digest different micronutrients at varying rates. In other words, the body metabolizes food at its own pace, and genetics has a role to play here. Hearing tips on how to lose 40 pounds in 30 days is not so appealing when you know that it could never work out that way for you. Let’s face it, some people process faster than others, whether mentally or physically.
Metabolism and the body
This process translates to the breakdown of food into their components. Only after being broken down can nutrients be absorbed and burned the body. Using up this energy depends on two factors:
- Physical activity level
- Resting Metabolic rate (RMR)
The bone of contention in most weight loss dilemmas is the RMR. This is basically the number of calories or amount of energy required to maintain normal bodily functions like breathing, digestion, and so on, while at rest. Now you know why some people can eat a bag of chips or down a bucket of ice cream regularly and still look like they’re Heidi Klum. It boils down to the efficiency of metabolism. They burn more calories at rest because they have a high RMR. Life’s unfair, I know.
However, there are ways to work around your slow metabolism and give your system a boost of adrenaline.
Metabolism and diet
The big question is, “Are there foods that increase metabolic rate?” The answer is Yes and No.
The rate of metabolism has to do with the balance between your hormones and the environment, so there isn’t exactly a magic food or nutrient that can change it. But, studies have shown that some foods require more effort to be broken down.
- Whole foods
For instance, the complexity of proteins will require an extra 5 calories to digest.
These foods also curb hunger cravings so you can stay longer hours before feeling the need to eat again.
Spice up your life by incorporating some chopped red and green chili pepper in meals. The effect is temporary, but it kicks your metabolism a gear higher.
The body is a funny machine. Eating less does not always favor weight loss. The body tends to slow down on burning energy when it is running excessively low on fuel. It goes into the energy-saving mode, and your metabolic rate takes a dive. The trick is not just to eat less, but to eat less the right way. Other boosters include; vitamins, liquids and coffee.
Metabolism and work out
The battle with weight loss can be long and arduous for some people. If you are working out because you want to lose weight, you may find yourself on a challenging and outright frustrating journey. While exercising can jump-start your weight loss, you will often hit a weight loss plateau. See our article on plateau-busting ideas. Try making exercising a lifestyle. Remember that apart from being healthy, it makes you look good.
What you are looking for is gaining muscle mass. Men usually have a faster rate of metabolism because they’ve got large amounts of muscle tissue. Hence, they have a higher calorie allowance than women. Muscle sustenance takes up a considerable amount of energy and revs up your RMR. Exercise is particularly helpful in boosting metabolism and keeping it hyperactive for up to 39 hours after a session. We recommend HIIT (High-Intensity Interval Training) workouts over weightlifting and cardio.
Metabolism and Rest
There is a misconception that stress is slimming; in reality, it is not. When people are stressed, Cortisol levels change. Disrupting the balance of this stress hormone makes it difficult to lose weight. A major stress-inducing element is sleep, or in this case, the lack of it. Cortisol levels rise in the bid to save energy when you are sleep deprived. This leads to a decrease in RMR and overall metabolic rate.
The human body is routine-oriented. It needs to clock out at night and get into action in the morning in order to function properly. Getting enough sleep cannot be over-emphasized. An adult requires 7 to 9 hours each night, and to achieve that, one needs to go to bed on time. Consequently, you begin the day energized and with a clear mind.
Inadequate sleep at night causes you to doze off during the day, and experts advise that you cut down on daytime napping. Apparently, when you take naps, your body burns fewer calories. It messes up the body’s circadian rhythm and dampens your RMR. Research places the difference at about 50-60 calories.
Metabolism depends on numerous factors, such as age, gender, activity level, and genetics. Some people inherit a speedier mechanism than others. Men burn up a lot more energy just to stay alive than women do. Also, the older you get, the slower you metabolize. While we can’t control these aspects, a proper diet and a generally better lifestyle can raise your average daily metabolic rate. The body relies on balance and regularity and, unknowing to you, it works towards maintaining your set weight. With these lifestyle adjustments, over time, it adapts to a new weight set point.