Your Metabolism and You

Your Metabolism and You

Your metabolism is a complex network of hormones and enzymes that convert food into fuel.  Your metabolic rate is what determines how many calories you burn each day. It is controlled by your thyroid and is largely a factor of muscle mass. Muscles burn calories to function. The more muscle you have, the more calories you'll burn.

Everybody is different of course, but as a general rule 35-50 additional calories are burned for each pound of muscle added to your body. Adding 10 pounds of muscle to your body requires approximately 500 calories a day to maintain.  500 calories a day are burned by that muscle while just sitting on the sofa!  That equates to approximately one pound of fat (3,500 calories) every 7-10 days = roughly 45 lbs a year. Not even counting all of the calories burned developing or maintaining that muscle over that year.

Break the yo-yo diet cycle.  Increasing your metabolic rate is the real key to long term fat loss and body composition change.

And keep it off....
Regardless of which trendy diet you follow this year, one constant remains: You must burn more calories than you consume to burn fat and lose weight. Dropping pounds quickly with fad diets usually means you are starving your muscles and losing muscle mass as well as the fat. Of course as soon as you start eating again, you gain back all the weight. Since you lost muscle mass during the diet – you burn even less calories than before, and gain the fat back that much faster. Because you didn’t increase your lean muscle mass – you didn’t add to your daily calorie burn – and your weight loss only lasts as long as you are eating less or healthier.

"Speeding up your metabolism”, as some people refer to it - or more simply just increasing your metabolic rate is the real key to long term fat loss and body composition change.

Josha Krueger is a NSCA-CSCS certified personal trainer, an AFPA Sports Nutrition Consultant, and owner of Kru Strength + Fitness.

Filed under: Exercise, Nutrition


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  • Great article, very important to realize that each person has a unique metabolism and there fore will require a unique calorie intake.

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