What Is Metabolism?

“Your metabolism is your body’s fat-burning engine”.

What does it mean?  Well, it is pretty simple.

Your body depends upon you metabolism to supply it with energy.  This energy is produced when fat, protein, and sugar are burned in your body’s cells.  Of the energy produced by your metabolism, about half is used in general body maintenance, and in allowing you to complete physical activities.  The rest is released from your body as body heat.  Excess calories are stored as fat.  That’s your metabolism.  It’s an engine, which burns food (fat, sugar, and protein) as fuel.

Everyone has a metabolic rate–a rate at which his or her body burns fat.

How to Determine Your Metabolic Rate

To figure out how fast your fat-burning engine is burning calories, do this simple test (although a doctor, or sports specialist could do a more accurate accounting or your “basal metabolic rate”).

Multiply your weight by 11 t arrive at the minimum number of calories you need daily to maintain your body (with no activity).   Now, multiply your metabolic rate number by your activity level rate (To determine your activity level , you need to do a little math.   If you are getting little or no exercise, use 0.30 to 0.50 as your activity level multiplier.  If you are “slightly” active, multiply by 0.55 to 0.65.  If you get a “moderate” amount of exercise, multiply by 0.65 to 1.0.  So, if you are a 175lb man wh0 exercises  moderately three days a week, you would multiply 175 by 11 to reach the number 1,925.  That would be the number of calories you body would need as a minimum before any activity is figured in.  Then you would multiply by 0.70 to arrive at 1,348 (your additional caloric needs).  By adding these two totals together you would get a rough idea of the number of calories you need to take in daily: approximately 3,273.

To a certain extent, metabolic rate can be hereditary.  If one or more of your parents tend to be “heavy” there is an increased chance (though it is not a certainty) that you will have your work cut out for you in staying slim.

Your metabolic rate is not necessarily fixed.

For instance, over fat people who go on starvation diets end up worsening their metabolism problems.  In a crash diet situation the body, believing there is a crisis, begins to hoard fat.  Just like a squirrel storing up nuts for the winter.  This famine response slows down the metabolism/engine and makes it harder to lose body fat.

Over eating is an even more certain way of gaining unwanted body fat.  That’s because calories that are not used as fuel are stored.  So for every 3,500 calories you consume over what your body can use a pound of fat is gained.    All you have to do to gain two pounds a month is eat about 300 more calories a day than you burn off.  That is about a piece of pie.

However, lest you throw your hands up in despair, stoking your metabolism to burn more fat is easier than you think.  To burn more fat 24 hours a day you need to increase the size of your fat-burning engine.  The best way to do that is to get exercise that increases your muscle mass.  How you ask.  Weightlifting!!!!  You can put on pounds of muscle which will in turn burn hundreds of extra calories a day.

Weightlifting can also help stop the so-called “natural” slowing of the metabolism that starts to affect most people in their 20s and 30s.  That slow down occurs because people who are inactive begin losing muscle at the rate of half a pound a year.  The less muscle you have the slower the burn rate of your fat burning engine.

Again, to fire up your calorie burning metabolism, at what ever age, you need to get regular exercise that includes resistance training (weightlifting).



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