Metabolism is a word that gets thrown around a lot in regards to weight loss. Some people don’t even know what it is, and others think that a thin person most certainly has a “fast metabolism.” A lot of people believe that boosting the metabolism is the answer to losing weight. This theory is mildly correct, but there is a lot more to it than that.
The word “metabolism” is used to describe all chemical reactions in the body. Metabolism is not the same as metabolic rate, although the two are often incorrectly interchanged. A person’s metabolic rate is the amount of calories he or she burns. The higher the rate, the more calories one burns, making it a little easier to keep excess weight off. A higher metabolic rate also gives you more energy.
What Is Your Metabolism?
The body doesn’t solely burn calories during exercise; rather, the body burns calories every minute of every day to keep you alive. Every chemical reaction and bodily process contributes to your total daily energy expenditure (TDEE). It’s also important to note that one’s metabolism is made up of three things: basal metabolic rate (BMR), exercise, and non-exercise adaptive thermogenesis (NEAT).
Everybody has a different BMR, which is the number of calories the body burns to keep you alive. From converting food into energy and beyond, the BMR comprises 70% of your metabolism. NEAT makes up 20% of your metabolism, and it accounts for everything that the body does that isn’t exercise (texting, shivering, or fidgeting, for example). Exercise burns additional calories, but only comprises 10% of your metabolism.
Can You Boost Your Metabolism?
Boosting the metabolism can be thought of as how to increase the total number of calories burned per day. While exercising more is beneficial for overall health, eating a healthy plant-based diet is one of the best ways to improve your BMR. This supports the theory that losing weight is about 80% diet and 20% exercise. Exercise helps with endorphin production and boosting circulation, but it is isn’t the main aspect of weight loss.
When we refer to a well-balanced diet, we mean that it is integral to have adequate protein, healthy fats, carbs, and fiber to keep hormones balanced. A hormonal imbalance can lead to weight gain and other health problems. Protein burns more calories than carbs and fat, and fiber is another nutrient that requires more energy to digest. Maximize your BMR by getting sufficient amounts of fiber and protein in your diet. Remember that you can get a lot of protein from plant-based foods!
You May Need To Increase Muscle Mass:
Muscle burns six calories per pound, whereas fat burns two calories per pound. That may not seem like a huge difference, but those four extra calories can have a bigger impact over time. Increasing muscle mass must come with a little restraint, though. As you build muscle and exercise more, you’ll need to eat more. This means that you have to put weight loss goals in place while building muscle mass. It’s also integral to allow the body sufficient recovery time between workouts. Adequate sleep and rest is key to allow hormones to normalize. Remember, the longer you stay awake, the more likely you are to eat late at night, which can disrupt normal digestive function and throw the metabolism out of whack.
In conclusion, there is no “one-size-fits-all” answer or a quick fix for boosting one’s metabolism. There are small changes you can make: taking part in high-intensity workouts, standing instead of sitting, eating right, and walking more. All of these things help increase the amount of calories you burn each day.