It’s not difficult to understand the very basic idea behind fat loss. You need to eat fewer calories than you need to burn during the day. That way, your body is forced to dip into its energy reserves, your body fat, and use those instead. Sounds pretty straightforward.
However, as with everything else in life, there are many different factors that come into play when it comes to weight loss. Among them, your metabolism is one that has a very large impact. Your metabolism refers to all the various different reactions and functions that occur within your body having to do with the use of energy. Therefore, it includes both the use of calories stored in food and fat stored on your body in order to make sure all your energy needs are met.
Every part of your body’s functions need energy, from breathing to running and even for digesting your food. That said, your metabolism is affected by a number of different things. So it can speed up or slow down the rate of energy burning in your body, depending on many of the factors that have influenced it. Therefore, if something is occurring within your body to slow down your metabolism, your efforts to lose weight may not be as effective as they once were.
To make sure your metabolism stays high and does what you want it to do – that is, burn through all that excess body fat – there are certain things you can do to keep it running at its best. They include the following:
• Move – The more inactive you are, the fewer signals your metabolism will receive to pick up the pace. As a result, it will run more slowly than it otherwise would. By getting up and moving around in a meaningful way, such as in cardio workouts, you’ll give your metabolism a huge boost. It will, after all, need to keep up with increased energy demands of your cardiovascular system and your muscles.
• Build muscle – This doesn’t mean you need to become one of those bodybuilders you see in competitions on television. Instead, focus on strength training a couple of times per week to build lean muscle mass. Muscles are natural energy burners. The bigger they are, they greater their energy demands. This forces your metabolism to run faster in order to keep up.
• Eat enough protein – Your muscles require protein to recover from your workouts and to grow. Use a nutrition tracker to make sure you’re getting the right amount of protein all day long. Also, if you’re getting more calories from proteins, this often means you’re getting fewer calories from carbs (an easier source of energy for your metabolism). This can require your metabolism to turn to stored body fat for a higher percentage of its energy.