Can’t Lose Weight? Understand Your Metabolism

Do you find that you can’t lose weight no matter how hard you try? You may need to make some lifestyle adjustments to speed up your metabolism to get those pounds to drop off.

Metabolism is the rate in which your body converts its energy or burns calories. Everyone’s metabolism works the same way, but the rate in which it metabolizes its nutrients varies from person to person as a result of many factors, including age, diet, physical activity, and genes.

How Can You Find Your Metabolic Rate?

To get an idea of your basal metabolic rate (BMR), or the rate you burn calories while at rest, multiply your weight by 10.

BMR = weight x 10 kcal/pound

For example, if you weigh 160 pounds, your BMR would be 1,600 calories. What this means is that you can eat 1,600 calories of food a day and not gain any weight. Any more than that, and you will begin to gain weight.

This is just a general estimate and does not take into consideration your activity level, which if you are particularly active would support a much higher calorie count. For a more accurate estimate, contact a dietician that can provide you with a more comprehensive reading.

How Metabolism Affects Weight Loss

If you have a high metabolic rate, you are able to burn calories quickly. If you have a low metabolic rate, you burn calories at a slower rate. If a person with a slow metabolic rate does not burn all the calories they take in, then the calories are converted to fat.

Many factors can affect your metabolism like activity level, age, and genetics. Age and genetics can’t be changed, but you can always make adjustments to your activity level to increase your metabolism.

How to Increase Your Metabolic Rate

Aerobic exercise has been shown to increase metabolism greatly and is one thing you can do to assist your body in burning the extra fat it takes in and prevent weight gain. 20 to 30 minutes of exercise that raises your heart level, 4 to 5 times per week, can be effective in increasing your metabolism. This can be any number of exercises including:

  • running
  • walking fast
  • riding a bike
  • dancing
  • using a treadmill

By doing physical activities, you keep your metabolism running faster for up to 24 hours after you are done exercising. 

How you eat can also affect your metabolism. By eating 5 to 7 smaller meals throughout the day you can help your body maintain a more consistent metabolic rate throughout the day, allowing you to burn more calories throughout the day.

By following these tips, you can be on your way to increasing your metabolic rate and finally begin to lose those extra pounds.


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