Improving your metabolism
We know that our bodies need fuel, as does a car. We can increase the
performance of a car with good fuel, and we know that cheap or incorrect fuel
causes unnecessary wear and tear on the engine. For us it’s the same: we work
better on good quality fuel and burn more fuel when inactive, to power basic
processes such as breathing and blood circulation.
Fat loss can be achieved
by restricting the number of
calories you eat, but the other important factor in
weight control is the
amount of exercise that you do and the effect that exercise has on your
metabolism. Start to regard movement and physical effort as a privilege
each time you climb stairs or
of drive, garden, clean, carry items , or play with children rather than
watching them. The accumulation of all these small bursts of energy
throughout the day will make a big difference to your total activity during a
The metabolic rate
Our energy output increases during exercise, but exercise also speeds up the
metabolic rate at which we burn off
calories for up to 24 hours after activity. Exercise also increases the
amount of muscle
mass in the body, and the more muscle mass you have the more calories you
use up. Muscle burns up energy 24 hours a day, whereas fat is relatively
inactive metabolically-it just sits there doing very little.
Genetic or medical causes of
obesity are very rare. However, some people do eat large amounts and remain
slim (because they burn it off) while others, particularly long-term dieters and
those who are inactive, still struggle to control their weight.
Secret to efficient metabolism
Water is great to drink and you should be drinking a minimum of 8 to
10, glasses daily, of course, more is better. It will help increase your
metabolism and remove toxins and fat.
No more than 10 percent of your daily calories should come from simple
carbohydrates, or sugars. A diet lower in sugars or simple carbohydrates
and higher in complex carbohydrates is usually lower in
fat and calories,
and higher in important nutrients.
take more calories to digest than any other food, therefore
they help to keep your metabolism running optimally throughout the day.
Move towards replacing foods high in fat with foods higher in protein
and complex carbohydrates. No more than 25 percent of your total calories
should come from
fat, and fewer than 10 percent from
metabolic rate "revved" all day long by eating small
and snacks four to six times a day.
Muscle weighs more than fat
Muscle is heavier and denser than fat and weighs more. Think how a lump of meat
drops to the bottom of a pan and how the fat sits on top. Muscle cannot turn to
fat since they are two separate types of body tissue. Muscle is an active tissue
with nerves and a blood supply while fat is a relatively inert fuel store. This
means that someone who has low body fat and a high proportion of muscle will use
up calories faster than someone of the same weight who has more body fat and
Exercise vs Calories burned
Every type of activity burns calories, but the amount burned depends on how
long, how hard, and how often the activity is performed.
combined with body conditioning exercises is the optimum way to achieve fat
loss, increase muscular
strength and endurance and improve your metabolic
rate. It is a common misconception that using weights results in oversized
muscles look. In fact, one feels leaner and
firmer with increase in strength. The
also become stronger and heavier with exercise, so weighing yourself without
measuring your dimensions is misleading.
A raised metabolic rate and increased muscle mass offers more benefits, too.
Exercise boosts the immune system, improves memory, regulates appetite and
moods, and encourages fat loss. It gives us the ability to respond to any sudden
demands made on us without causing damage to our bodies. It might be a physical
demand, such as running for a bus or catching a child from a fall, or it may be
a mental challenge such as working through the night to meet a deadline.
Physical activity will actually keep you mentally alert and help you cope with
Fitness offers us the opportunity of a full life with more confidence, energy
and ability. The combination of good
nutrition and physical fitness and the
third component, emotional balance, all makes for a better quality of life.
Exercise speeds up the metabolic rate, that is the rate we burn off
calories even after exercise is over.
Energy output increases during exercise.
Exercise increases the amount of muscle in your body, which burns up more
energy than fat when the body is active or at rest.
Fat is lost from the whole body only when energy output exceeds input, so
change your metabolism and your body composition by exercising.
We become fat if we take in too much fuel and do not expend it.
AVOID CRASH DIETS
If you do need to lose weight, take it slowly and avoid very low calorie crash
diets. They might cause rapid
weight loss, but this is mostly loss of fluid
since they make the body use up its mix of glycogen (a type of carbohydrate) and
fluid stores. This can lead to a 2kg (4-5lb) loss on the scales in days. Once
you eat normally again, glycogen and fluid are rapidly restored and weight goes
back up. Many people find they put back even more weight as they’ve been so
deprived on their diet that they eat more than usual to make up for it.
Losing a maximum of 450-900 grams (1-2lb) a week by eating wisely and being
active means that most of your weight loss will be fat rather than fluid or
metabolism-maintaining muscle. This healthy approach also means you’re more
likely to keep the weight off.