This may be the only thing you read about metabolism that isn’t trying to sell you some type of product or magic solution.
What’s metabolism? Your metabolism is the rate at which your body burns energy.
Your body uses calories for energy, like your car or truck uses gas to move. You need calories to power your body’s internal systems, such as digestion and circulation. But you also need calories to keep you moving.
When you eat too many calories, they get stored as fat. Let’s go a little deeper: Calories from sugar are more likely to be stored as fat because sugar tricks your body into thinking “here come a lot of calories.” And it’s usually right: It’s really easy to pack a LOT of calories into sugary foods.
When our bodies burn a lot of calories, that means we have a fast metabolism. Most of us want a FAST metabolism. I’m sure you’ve heard it before, If you’re trying to lose weight, you need to burn more calories than you eat. Obviously, you should eat less in some situations. But here are three ways that you can burn calories.
- Basal metabolic processes: the number of calories your body burns “at rest” or not moving. This is measured as “basal metabolic rate,” or BMR. Yay, acronyms! The more muscle you have, the higher your BMR will be. The less muscle you have, the lower your BMR will be. Muscle burns calories to stay alive. Bring on the muscle 💪
- Thermic effect of food: This is the energy expended when we eat food. Yep, we need energy even to do that, but not much. Also of note, it takes slightly more energy to break down proteins and fats than to break down carbs. This is maybe 10% of your total daily intake, at best.
- Energy expenditure from physical activity. These are the calories required to move you in exercise, up the stairs, walk to your car, carry your kid, or chase your dog. The more you move, the more you burn. Now, walking and shopping don’t count for much moving, despite what the news tells you. You won’t lose weight mowing the lawn or taking the stairs. But if you want to help with our gardening, drop us a line. Even if you do an hour of intense exercise that might only improve your daily calorie use by around 20%.
That’s it. A whopping 20%!
The real way and fastest way to burn calories is to increase your muscle mass. That means lifting weights. Any weights. All sizes, small and large.
Let’s say you have a basal metabolic rate of 1,000 calories per day. You eat 1,500 calories per day (yeah right—no one eats that little) and you do a crazy online spin class for an hour. Let’s say you made some pretty good food choices in your day, and you have protein and fat with every meal.
Now we are going to drop some math on you.
Your BMR + thermic effect from food ( chewing ) + exercise = 1,300 calories. You’re still gaining weight. If you did this exact thing every day, you’d gain a pound around every 18 days. 🤯
Now let’s say you boost your BMR ( those muscles and tone we talk about ).
If your new BMR is 1,200, and you eat the same 1,500 calories per day, the thermic effect of food will be the same. But the calories you burn during exercise will go up along with the calories you burn to live.
Your new BMR, thanks to a bit more muscle, is 1,200.
Your BMR + thermic effect from food + exercise = 1,530. You’ve actually lost a bit of weight.
You burn calories right after exercise, when your muscles are hungry and need to feed themselves.
The first step to losing fat is creating a caloric deficit, but it’s not the only step. But if I were going to tell a person the first step to weight loss, I’d tell them to lift weights. The second step: Cut out that nasty sugar.
We’re a here to help you build that muscle, lean out, and clean up your food. Click here to book your Free Call and hear how.