Sunday, June 14, 2009

Some info on Metabolism

The goal in any weight loss program is to keep your metabolism elevated through any of the factors that you can control. The bottom line is that people with a high metabolic rate burn more calories throughout the day compared to those with a low metabolic rate. And of course, to lose weight, you must burn more calories than you eat, so a high metabolic rate is in your favor!

Metabolism Influences You Can Control

* Low-calorie dieting - A "
quick weight loss diet" will significantly decrease your metabolism in 3 ways:

1. Eating increases metabolism due to the energy required for digestion and absorption of the food. Skipping meals causes a decrease in your metabolic rate until you eat something. Skipping breakfast and lunch and eating a large dinner means missing out on two important chances to increase your metabolism and boost the number of calories you burn.

2. Significantly reducing calories lowers the body's metabolism. Your body treats any reduction in food intake as an impending starvation situation and prepares itself by slowing your metabolism to conserve calories. The more drastically you cut calories, the more your metabolic rate drops.

3. Losing weight through dieting alone without adding exercise depletes your muscle tissue stores. Muscle requires many calories each day to maintain itself. The faster you lose weight through dieting alone, the more muscle tissue you lose. Exercise prevents muscle tissue loss and adds muscle!

* Eating - The calories required to digest, absorb, transport, and metabolize the food that you eat can cause a 10% increase in your caloric expenditure each day. Every time you eat, your body's metabolism gets a temporary boost. So, one way to increase metabolic rate is to eat smaller, more frequent meals and snacks when you are hungry!

* Body Composition - You hear it over and over again, but the more muscle you have and the less fat you have, the more calories you burn each day. Every pound of muscle in your body requires 50 calories a day for maintenance. By contrast, every pound of fat only requires 2
calories per day to maintain. To lose body fat, devote a good portion of your exercise time to strength training. By gaining 10 pounds of muscle, you could burn 500 additional calories each day!

* Exercise - Exercise increases metabolic rate in two ways. The first is the actual number of calories you burn while doing the exercise. For example, a 5-mile run might burn 500 calories during the time you are actually running. A second elevation in metabolic rate occurs even after you have stopped exercising. Your metabolic rate could take as long as 12 or more hours to come back to your normal level after exercise. Higher intensity exercises that use large muscle groups such as your thighs and buttocks will result in a longer elevation in metabolism after you stop exercising.

To sum it all up, the best way to keep your metabolism elevated, and to burn more calories, even at rest, is to :

* Eat frequent small meals or snacks throughout the day when you're hungry
* Add more muscle to your body through strength training
* Burn more calories through aerobic activity


This is from Women's Health Magazine:

To KO fat -- and keep it off...
Cardio's edge
Calorie for calorie, cardio has a slight advantage. You'll burn 8 to 10 calories a minute hoisting weights, compared with 10 to 12 calories a minute running or cycling, says Wayne Westcott, Ph.D., director of research at the South Shore YMCA in Quincy, Massachusetts.

Strength's edge Lifting weights gives you a metabolic spike for an hour after a workout because your body is trying hard to help your muscles recover. That means you'll fry an additional 25 percent of the calories you just scorched during your strength session, Westcott says. "So if you burned 200 calories lifting weights, it's really closer to 250 overall." And if you lift heavier weights or rest no more than 30 seconds between sets, you can annihilate even more.

And there's more good news when it comes to iron's fat-socking power. "For every 3 pounds of muscle you build, you'll burn an extra 120 calories a day -- just vegging -- because muscle takes more energy to sustain," Westcott says. Over the course of a year, that's about 10 pounds of fat -- without even changing your diet.

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