Metabolism and weight loss always come up when discussing one or the other for good reason, metabolism is what turns our food in to the fuel we use to function.
Even when we are at rest our metabolism is still hard at work performing essential functions in the body like maintaining our breathing, keeping our heart pumping and repairing cell and DNA damage done as well.
When your body is at rest it isn’t using as much as it would when you are exerting yourself, but it still requires a significant amount of calories to do so. This is called your resting metabolic rate which is related to the minimal amount of calories you can consume daily in order to function.
This is one of the major aspects of weight loss, hitting that sweet spot where your body can still perform all its functions properly without being negative affected. The more you go over or exceed this amount of calories, the more weight you are going to put on when you’re at rest, so it is important to recognize this.
Everyone knows that cutting calories through dieting can help you lose weight, but it can have the opposite effect as well if you don’t cut calories properly.
As mentioned earlier weight loss is about that delicate balance between eating just enough calories to where you can function properly but not over eating to the point where you are gaining weight.
The problem with many diets out there is that they instruct the user to cut too many calories period, or cut too many calories in too short of a frame of time.
Instead of causing the person using these diets to lose weight, the person ends up gaining weight. This is because more often than not the person is over stressing themselves to where they end up giving up and binging.
A good general rule to use to avoid this is to only cut your calories when dieting by 25% of what you would usually eat, at the maximum.
When it comes to stress, we know that too much can have negative health effects and to not surprise stress can cause you to gain weight as well.
Chronic stress is what we are worried about here, because of what the body does in response to this constant feeling of stress over a long period of time.
Some stress like lifting weights, running, swimming, and other exercise for example is good for the body in small amounts. This stress allows the body to adapt and grow, and is generally a good thing.
Like most other things, too much stress can be a bad thing as well. When the body is under a lot of stress, it produces a hormone called cortisol. This hormone cortisol encourages the body to start storing extra fat reserves, which in turn causes weight gain.
Stress also encourages the production another fat causing hormone, known as insulin so avoid causes of stress whenever possible.
Take a few minutes out at the start of your day for some relaxation and mediation, or if you really feel up to it sign up for a yoga class.
Weightlifting, boxing, swimming or other similar activities are great when it comes to stress relief and you get the added benefits of exercising as well.
Adding more muscle mass through weight training is another great way to boost your metabolism. The reason why adding more muscle can help you lose weight is because of the anatomy of the muscles themselves.
Skeletal muscle tissue differ from other types of tissues in that they have a much higher concentration of these organelles called mitochondria.
You may have heard of these mitochondria before often referred to as “the powerhouse of the cell”. These mitochondria are where our cells convert glucose in to ATP, which they use for energy.
Making this energy costs a lot of energy to do so in itself which is what makes muscle tissue require so much energy in order for it to be maintained.
Getting more protein in your diet will help you gain more muscle and maintain it too.