Friday, March 20, 2009

Increase Your Metabolism ~ Fitness Friday

Can you increase your metabolism? Have you heard people say they can't lose weight because they have a low metabolism? Is this a cop-out?

On this Fitness Friday, let's talk metabolism, OK?

Let's start with a few basics. Your metabolism is the amount of energy your body burns to maintain itself. It's how fast your internal motor is running. The speed at which your body burns calories is your metabolic rate. Even when you're sleeping, your body constantly burns calories. However, it burns more calories with more activity.

Bottom line: If you take in more calories than you burn, the unused calories get stored as fat and ...you will gain weight.

What are some of the causes of low metabolism?

  • Low calorie diets
  • Eating or drinking lots of sugar foods throughout the day
  • Fasting
  • Underactive thyroid
  • Inactivity

People with a slower metabolic rate have a harder time staying slim because they tend to store fat easily. The slower the metabolic rate the greater the weight gains.

People who have a lower percentage of body fat have more muscle. Muscle requires more calories to maintain itself than fat. Another advantage of having more muscle is that it increases your metabolic rate.

So, if you have built up more muscle you can eat more and have a higher metabolic rate.

Sounds good to me!

Did you know that one pound of fat burns 2 calories a day while one pound of muscle burns 50 calories a day? Which would you prefer? DUH!


How is metabolism impacted by aging?

  • At birth, you have a high metabolism.

  • In your mid-thirties, the metabolism begins to slow by about 3-5% per decade.

  • By the age of 55, your body requires about 150 calories less per day than when you were in your mid-thirties.

What about men versus women?

  • Men typically have about a 10-15% higher metabolic rate than women because they typically have more muscle mass.
  • Women have a slower metabolic rate because they tend to store more fat and have less muscle. Figures, doesn't it?

So, how can you increase your metabolism?

  • Eat 5-6 small meals during the day. If you go for long periods of time without eating, your metabolism slows down.
  • Exercise daily. Go for a walk!
  • Begin to build your muscles. The more muscle that you have, the faster your metabolism becomes. I'll have to write another post about using free weights to get started.
  • Avoid sugars.
  • Drink 8 glasses of water daily.

I guess I keep coming back to the same thing. You've got to come to the point of making the choice to establish a healthier lifestyle; something you can live with. Why not start today?

While you're at it, don't forget to stop by and visit Sandy's blog God Speaks Today. She's adding her unique commentary to many of the news headlines related to health. I can't wait to see what she has up her sleeve.

11 comments:

  1. I've been doing more strength training lately and see a big difference in my muscle tone. I also have gained 6lbs but I'm hoping that is muscle weight because my clothes aren't tighter which is what I judge that on. But still who wants to "gain" weight? LOL. I know that muscle weighs more than fat but I wish the muscle would start burning some of that fat! LOL.
    Great post.
    Blessings to you.
    Kim

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  2. Great Post, Debbie. It is so hard to convince some women that they won't bulk up if they start lifting weights. That they'll actually get smaller. I wrote a post on that a few Fitness Friday's ago. But anyway, the beneifits to your metabolism, especially as you age, is clinically proven.

    And the muscle thing also explains why men lose weight so much more quickly than women (which is extremely frustrating, I might add). Because they have so much more muscle.

    I love the stat about how many calories fat burns vs. muscle. I did not know the exact numbers. Pretty amazing.

    You rock, girlfriend!
    Sandy

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  3. Great post, Debbie!

    Understanding metabolism is so important to getting ourselves healthy and strong - I'm so glad you discussed it today :)

    Enjoy your weekend!

    Blessings,
    Kate :)

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  4. ooohh I have some problem with my metabolism...... read your articles make me know about that... thanks and nice to meet you, friend......

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  5. that's why staying fit at my age is quiet harder... I have been going to the gym now and it's a struggle even though I have a great support from my husband, I'm just not that motivated anymore:( & every time I see my tummy getting bigger, I get really upset, hahaha! they said, laziness is a sin... guess, it's time to break it:) thanks for the information, Ms. Debbie...I should work on building more muscles:)

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  6. Debbie,

    Wow ... I didn't know how much muscle burns versus fat ... good to know! And I'm on the water intake...doing it daily, my friend. I haven't walked the last few days (headache)..but need to get back to it. As always, I loved your post. Happy Friday!

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  7. Hi Debbie, thanks for sharing these facts. It makes me feel better that I can barely touch my muscles from using free-weights yesterday (ha). I started doing the Firm workout again and OUCH! Burn those calories muscles! Burn!

    The 5-6 meals a day works. I did that years ago, but who can keep up with that lifestyle?

    Bless you!
    Beth

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  8. Great post. Information I really needed to hear. I feel like my metabolism has just shut down.

    I am new to blogland, so when you have time come by for a visit.

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  9. Actually, there are recent studies that show the ideas of metabolism are wrong - people who are overweight do not have a slow metabolism - it's a myth. In fact, overweight people have a high metabolism because they need to use more energy to keep their larger bodies functioning.

    It has been found that different people the same age, with the same weight and same activity have the same metabolism rates. So there is no such thing as a naturally slow or fast metabolism.

    If a person is fitter - does more activity than another - they will likely have a faster metabolic rate because they need more energy to function.

    Many people complain that they eat very little but 'must have a slow metabolism' because they can't loose weight. Studies have found that these people have a low perception of how much they really eat - (they actually eat much more than they think!- and in fact, when they record their intake for calorie control they claim to have consumed way less than they have, therefore supporting the myth.)

    Some people think that if they eat less they will speed up their metabolism. This is false. Eating less will only reduce your calorie intake. This will help you to loose weight, yes - but an increase in activity will prove to be a dynamite choice.

    The only way to increase your metabolism is to do more activity (which will make your body more hungry for calories ;).

    You can read more about the myths of metabolism here:

    http://www.bbc.co.uk/health/healthy_living/your_weight/medical_myths.shtml

    http://www.cbass.com/METABOLI.HTM

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  10. Dear Debbie,
    don't forget; using your body is fun.
    I'm still folkowing your advise about writing down what I eat.
    My ME forces me to live a "slow" life.
    I'm learning to see the big in small changes.
    One easy 4 hour hike pr. week is now added with 1 hour of physiotherapy.
    I get an energy kick from my physiotherapy, and that again allows me a few hours of garden work.
    Needless to say my husband love the happy me!
    So do I
    Keep up your good blog work, dear Dianne.
    It is so inspiring.
    From Felisol

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  11. Great tips, here! Thanks. I'm not usually a breakfast eater, but have started in recent days in hopes of boosting the metabolism process. I've got the exercise thing down, so am beginning to work on the eating... again!!!

    Thanks for checking in. Love the Chris Tomlin song.

    peace~elaine

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Am I a kid or what?

Am I a kid or what?

I love this place...Carmel, CA

I love this place...Carmel, CA