Have you ever really figured out what your metabolism is? Do you think your metabolism is truly the culprit when it comes to those love handles? Do you know if there is a link between weight gain and metabolism and whether you can manipulate it to begin seeing better results in your weight loss journey? Let’s start by defining metabolism.
Your Basal Metabolism
When you consume food or drink, your metabolism is the system that converts your intake into energy for your body to use. It is a complex biochemical process that involves both calories and oxygen to produce this energy. Your body requires energy at all times – whether you are being physically active or not, standing, sitting, or even sleeping. It requires energy to circulate blood, renew cells, fight infection, digest food, breathe, repair damage, and many others. The energy to perform these basic functions is termed the basal metabolic rate, and it is not easily changed. It is determined by a few factors like age, gender, and body composition as well as body size.
The Link Between Metabolism and Weight
The truth is, it is extremely rare for slow metabolism to significantly cause weight gain, and this occurs in the case of medical problems like hypothyroidism or Cushing’s syndrome or even certain medications. In essence, weight gain is actually a complex process involving many factors that overlap and integrate like hormones, genetic makeup, environmental factors, dietary choices, stress, physical activity, and sleep quality. Any imbalance of one or several factors has an effect on your weight because it directly affects the number of calories your body burns. At its simplest, weight gain is caused by consuming more calories than what your body is burning or burning fewer than you are consuming which is essentially the same thing.
Manipulating Your Metabolism
There is little you can do to affect your basal metabolic rate, however, having a muscular body will increase your resting metabolic rate as muscles naturally consume more calories. Thus, changing your body composition by increasing your muscle percentage can result in you burning more calories just by existing! Otherwise, the only reasonable way to lose weight is to manipulate your calorie intake and expenditure. Ensure that you burn more than you consume because everyone loses weight this way – no matter what their metabolism is like. The principle is simple – the more active you are, the more calories you burn (which means you’ll lose more weight if you maintain a constant calorie intake below your expenditure).
What About Metabolism Boosters on the Market?
Yes, there are dietary supplements, shakes, and many more products available on the market that claim they can increase your metabolism so that you burn more calories. But it is important to bear in mind that these manufacturers are under no obligation to prove to the Food and Drug Administration (FDA) that their products are either effective or safe, so all you have to trust is their word on the label which shouldn’t be enough for you to introduce the product to your system. Remember, even natural products with herbal ingredients and natural extracts can have serious side effects and may cause more interference in your system than you expect. Just because a product touts itself as natural does not mean nothing can go wrong by consuming it.
Say goodbye to all those crash diets and dieting aids and say hello to a new lifestyle. Make changes to your life slowly and allow yourself to fully embrace each change before moving on to the next. If you want to start your day with a green smoothie, cut on carbs, take up strength training, and do cardio, don’t just plunge right in. Instead, first, learn to enjoy that green smoothie every morning. When it is part of your lifestyle, you can take up walking after work. Once you love that and it’s a part of your routine, start strength-training twice a week. Get the idea?
Give your metabolism a break – it works hard every day to help your body perform the hundreds of thousands of functions it has to perform on a daily basis, so we doubt it will like you very much for blaming your weight gain on it! Take charge of your weight by taking charge of your calorie deficit.