Want to turn you body into a fat burning machine? By increasing your metabolism, you can do just that. Everyone’s metabolism is different so you may already be a fat burning machine.
For example, did you know that men tend to burn 10 to 15 percent more just because of their higher muscle mass?
Metabolism is the process that the body uses to convert food into energy.
So, YES in order to lose weight, we need to expend MORE energy than we take in.
It is practically impossible to accurately count calories.
Here is why calorie counting alone is faulty:
- People are not great at eyeballing calories.
- Food labels can have a % of error.
- Cooking and preparing foods can alter the calories and nutrients.
- Energy burned through digestion varies depending on macronutrients.
- The body burns calories in various ways and every person differs.
- It is hard to accurately know how many calories we burn when we exercise.
- Different forms of exercise have different calorie-burning effects.
Your body burns energy in various ways:
- Basal metabolic rate: the energy used to keep you alive
- Thermal effect of food: calories used to chew, swallow, churn the stomach, make the acid in the stomach, make the enzymes, etc.
- Physical activity: exercise
- Movement: everyday activities
Unfortunately, as we age, our resting metabolic rate naturally goes down. It is what it is. However, here are 4 ways to keep your metabolism in optimal condition.
- 1.Eat Regularly
- Digestion is a calorie burning process. Think of your body as a furnace. By eating regularly you are telling your body that there’s more food to come and that it can keep the furnace blazing. Also, people who have more regular meals are less likely to overeat or make impulse decisions.
- 2. Resistance Training
- Muscle mass requires more energy consumption. By adding lean muscle mass to your body you can naturally increase you calorie consumption at rest. In fact, scientific estimation of the metabolic rate of muscle is about 10 to 15 kcal/kg per day, which is approximately 4.5 to 7.0 kcal/lb per day. (3)
- Need a workout to try? Check this out.
Skeletal muscle is a crucial tissue for maintaining blood glucose control and energy balance. Muscle uses both glucose and fatty acids as fuel and serves as a source of amino acids for fuel utilization by other tissues during starvation. (1)Adipocyte. 2013 Apr 1; 2(2): 92–98.
- 3. Get a good night’s sleep
- A person burns the most calories during REM (rapid eye movement) sleep. The body will burn the most glucose and the brain is most active during REM.
- 4. Eat Protein
- It takes more energy to break down protein in comparison to carbohydrates and fat. In fact, 20 to 30 percent of the calories from protein will go towards its breakdown. (2) It also helps build fat-burning lean muscle mass.
There are other ways to increase your metabolism such as supplements, coffee, teas. However, the top 4 presented here are small changes you can make in your life right now. How awesome is that?
What are some small changes you’ve made in your life? I’d love to hear. Comment below!
- McPherron AC, Guo T, Bond ND, Gavrilova O. Increasing muscle mass to improve metabolism. Adipocyte. 2013;2(2):92-98. doi:10.4161/adip.22500
- Westerterp KR. Diet induced thermogenesis. Nutr Metab (Lond). 2004;1(1):5. Published 2004 Aug 18. doi:10.1186/1743-7075-1-5
- Elia, M. “Organ and Tissue Contribution to Metabolic Weight.” Energy Metabolism: Tissue Determinants and Cellular Corollaries. Kinney, J.M., Tucker, H.N., eds. Raven Press, Ltd. 1999. New York: 61-79.