You’re working out and eating well, but just can’t seem to lose weight. Could a slow metabolism be keeping you from your weight-loss goals? It just might. What is your metabolism and what relationship does it have to weight gain? Can you speed up your metabolism to help your body burn more calories? Hang on tight, ‘cause you’re heading for a crash course in metabolism!
What is Metabolism? The calories in your food or beverages combine with oxygen and create the energy necessary for your body to function. Metabolism is the complex, biochemical process in which your body takes what you eat and drink and converts it into energy. Your metabolism is constantly at work, even during rest and sleep when your body needs energy to breath, circulate blood, adjust hormones, repair cells, and grow new cells.
Your basal metabolic rate is the amount of calories it takes for your body to perform its basic functions. It affects how much energy your body needs to do its job and helps determine the number of calories you’ll burn each day. Many factors play a role in your basal metabolic rate.
The first is your body composition and size. Larger people and those with more muscle mass burn more calories even while resting. This means overweight people usually have a faster metabolic rate than their thinner peers. The second factor affecting your metabolic rate is your sex. Men generally have more muscle and less fat and therefore burn more calories, giving them the advantage when it comes to metabolic rate. Third, your metabolic rate changes with age. The older you are, the less muscle you’re likely to have. As a result, you burn calories slower.
Besides your basal metabolic rate, the amount of physical activity you get and the way your body digests and processes food determines how many calories you burn. While many factors go into your metabolism, the most variable is physical activity. However, exercise also makes the most difference in the number of calories you burn, so amp up your exercise and watch your metabolism rise as well.
Slow Metabolism = Weight Gain?Contrary to popular belief, a slow metabolism rarely causes excess weight gain. While it would be easy to blame your weight on a slow metabolism, the most likely culprit behind those extra pounds is the amount of calories you consume versus the amount of calories you expend in physical activity. When you eat more calories than you expend, your body stores that away as fat.
Your metabolism is a natural process, and your body balances your metabolism to meet your individual energy needs. This is made clear when folks jump into a starvation diet. When you don’t eat, your body slows down the metabolizing processes to conserve calories and energy to survive.
You don’t have much control over your metabolism, but you can control the number of calories you burn during exercise. The more activity you perform, the more calories you burn.
You may think a thin person has a faster metabolism, but they’re usually just more active. Having a slow metabolism is rare, and it usually doesn’t cause obesity. Medical conditions such as hypothyroidism and Cushing’s syndrome may slow metabolism and lead to weight gain. But for the most part, the factors that contribute to weight gain include consuming too many calories, genetics, family history, unhealthy habits such as too little sleep or not eating breakfast, and certain medications. If you want to kick-start your metabolism with challenging progressive workouts then join come join Burn Boot Camp and kick butt with us!