How your metabolism affects changes in weight

Sudden, unanticipated change in your weight can be both shocking and frustrating. You can be sticking to your regimen as well as you feel you can. You’re making great progress and feeling great about how it’s going, and then…surprise!

What’s happening? Your metabolism is probably the culprit. Whether trying to lose weight or packing on mass, taking control of your metabolism will help you reach your weight management goals.

You’ve probably heard about metabolism, but what is it, really? And how does it fit into not just watching your weight, but actively changing it? Let’s delve into it and answer your weight management questions.


Metabolism in control

A universal truth about weight loss is that to lose weight, you need to burn more calories per day than you take in. It’s just the way the body works. If you can start to burn more calories, and keep that going, you’ll be on the right track.

The rate at which the body chemically converts food and liquids into useable energy is actually governed by your brain’s control of your metabolism. That energy is generated by calories, and your metabolism determines how quickly that happens.

Do you know if you have a fast or slow metabolism? If not, you should find out.

If you’ve been told that you have a slow metabolism, losing weight may be more of a challenge. But, it is still very doable! If you have a fast metabolism, weight management will be easier. But if you’re looking to pack on size and muscle, you’ll still need to consume more calories throughout every day. 


How to influence metabolism

The good news is that once you understand your metabolism, you can begin to take back control of it.  Several key factors that influence it, including:

Exercise Every time you train your body, energy is expended (removed from it). Since all energy comes from calories, when exercising regularly, you’ll be speeding up your metabolism. Your body will be burning more calories at rest, and that will certainly help rocket you toward your weight loss goals.

Diet Together, exercise and diet comprise your basic fitness regimen. It’s vitally important to pay close attention to what you consume. Eating more protein is a great way to help you speed up your metabolism. The reason why is that the body needs to work harder to digest protein than when digesting carbohydrates. This extra work requires energy, and that ignites calories to produce that energy. And, consuming protein is even more beneficial. It builds and repairs muscles. That, in turn, starts to “burn” even more caloric energy. And remember, even if you’re skinny and want to add size, it’s always a good idea to avoid the “empty calories” of non-nutrient-rich foods. (Well, except perhaps on your designated “cheat day”.)

Rest As important as training and diet are, rest is also equally essential. When your body gets proper rest, you’re also repairing muscle fiber. Through this ongoing repair while sleeping, our musculature grows. The more lean muscle mass you have, the more calories you’ll burn. As you add strength training to your workout routine, watch the amount of sleep you’re getting, to manage muscle repair. Lack of sleep has been linked to weight gain, so if you’re looking to lose weight, be sure to get a solid 8 hours of sleep per night. Even if you aren’t trying to bulk up.

Avoiding metabolism myths

One of the biggest metabolism misunderstandings is that to lose weight, you need to drastically cut calorie intake. It is true that you’ll need to burn more calories per day than you take in to lose weight. But that doesn’t mean you should drastically reduce your calories. In fact, if you do, your body will be triggered to go into starvation mode —  when the body tries to conserve energy by slowing down metabolism. That can actually result in fewer calories being burned, and will make losing stubborn body fat even more challenging. 


Also frustrating: putting on mass 

The opposite is true for weight gain. And, if you’re in the higher metabolism range, it can feel like a never-ending battle, trying to add or “pack on” mass. You need to consume more calories than you burn each day to pack on the pounds. It can be a struggle. Again, the solution is that if you’re looking to add mass, you need to exercise, get proper rest, and take control of your diet. 

For adding mass, scheduling an extra meal into your daily diet can help you get the extra surplus of calories you need. Eating well-rounded, complete meals is the recipe you want to follow to add quality size and muscle to your physique.

However, you might’ve discovered that eating enough every day can sometimes can be difficult. In that case, consider the specific kind of protein shake called a “weight gainer”. That can quickly add hundreds of calories to your daily consumption, and the deliciousness can help keep you on course. 


Metabolism is like the engine in a car

And, some engines consume more energy than others. Once you understand the kind of metabolism you have (fast or slow), take the necessary steps to monitor and control how much energy you’ll need to consume, daily. 

It’s easy to get discouraged from time to time. Don’t be. Look at the speedbumps as an opportunity to learn more about your body. As you increase your understanding, apply those lessons learned to your diet and exercise regimen.

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