Metabolism is the amount of energy that you need per day to keep your body functioning and to complete physical activity.
The energy, or calories, used for these functions comes from the foods that you eat. Your resting metabolic rate (RMR) accounts for 60%-70% of the total calories that your body burns for necessary functions like regulating body temperature, keeping the heart pumping and organs working. An additional 20% is fuel for physical activity, including working out, fidgeting, walking and even holding our bodies upright while standing. The remaining 10% is used for digesting food.
Many people are interested in knowing how to increase their metabolic rate for weight management; however, the reality is that our options for increasing our metabolic rate are limited.
Here are some FACTS about Metabolism:
Can your metabolism be increased?
Some people say that they gain weight easily because they have a “slow metabolism.” Is this true?
Studies show that the difference in metabolism between two people of the same age, gender, height, and body composition is probably less than 3%. If two 35-year-old women who are both 5′7″ and have the same percentage of body fat would both have their metabolism tested, and woman A burned 1600 calories/day, woman B would most likely burn somewhere between 1552-1648 calories/day. Keep in mind that overweight people usually have faster metabolisms than thinner people. This is because the more you weigh, the more your body must work.
Is it true that strength training increases your metabolism, helping you to burn more calories even when at rest?
That’s true but the resulting calorie burn is modest. If you increased your muscle mass by 15%, you would only garner a 5% increase in RMR, which would mean that a person who generally eats 2000 calories/day, could eat an extra 75 calories.
Is it true that your metabolism slows down with age?
Yes, this is true. Beginning at age 30 and each decade thereafter, the average person’s metabolism slows down by 2%-3%.
How will dieting affect my metabolism?
Crash dieting can have a very strong impact on your metabolism. After 2 weeks of eating a very low calorie diet, RMR is likely to drop by as much as 15%. Once you have cut your daily calorie level to 1000-1200 calories/day, your metabolism will slow down. However, once a person begins to eat a sufficient amount again, metabolism will “bounce back.” Contrary to popular belief, chronic dieters cannot permanently slow down their metabolism.
Is it true that eating more frequently will keep my metabolism running faster and cause me to lose more weight?
Unfortunately, this is not true. Frequency of meals is not correlated to overall metabolic rate. However, this type of meal plan can keep blood sugar and insulin levels steady, which may result in less hunger and lead to weight loss.
Does working out increase your metabolism for several hours after you have finished?
It will if you work out hard enough. Following a high-intensity workout, your body may burn what equates to 15%-20% of the calories that you burned during exercise every hour for a few hours. However, the increase of post exercise calorie burn and the length of this effect haven’t been decisively established.
Is it true that eating spicy foods will increase my metabolism, helping me to lose weight?
If it were that easy, we would all be bingeing on chili peppers! Spicy foods do cause a slight increase in metabolism, but the effect is so minimal and short-lived that it does not make a difference as far as weight loss is concerned.
If you’re struggling with weight loss, determining your metabolic rate can make the difference. Knowing your metabolic rate provides you with the perfect calorie level to satisfy hunger, to feel positive and to result in successful weight loss. At Fairfax Nutrition, we can test your unique metabolic rate with a 10 minute breath test using the Korr Indirect Calorimeter.
Click here to book a meeting with our Dietitian, Deborah Jeffery for more information.