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Controlling Your Metabolism

Controlling Your Metabolism

Weight loss programs continue to be at the forefront of everyday health news.  Fad diets replace each other almost as quickly as they are created.  Doctors and health advisors are constantly recommending strategies for improved nutrition and caloric control.  While most diets and nutritional strategies hold some value to the average person, the true formula for weight control can be found in the body’s natural process of metabolism.  In fact, diets themselves are essentially formats for controlling metabolism.  The reality of dieting is that you are likely to find just as much success by increasing your metabolism.  This can be done by implementing some simple and natural lifestyle choices.

Your basal metabolic rate is the number of calories your body burns in an average day.  This rate is influenced by such variables as your age, gender, percentage of fat, and amount of daily exercise.  While some of these variables cannot be manipulated, it is rather easy to control others.  By targeting your dietary intake and amount of exercise, anyone can increase their metabolism.  As the metabolic rate is increased, a higher number of calories are burned each day.  Combine this with a decrease in calorie consumption and you have a successful weight loss strategy.  The best part is you can achieve this without spending $25 on the next fad diet book!

The easiest part of the metabolism formula to control is your dietary intake.  The important thing to remember when preparing food is that calories count.  Every calorie you consume beyond your basal metabolic rate will be stored as fat.  Thus, it is important to limit your calories to only the essentials.  In addition to watching your calories, there are also certain foods that increase metabolism.  Spices and peppers help you burn calories by requiring your body to decrease its core temperature.  Ice water accomplishes the same thing, requiring an increase in temperature.  Most berries stimulate detoxification activity which also burns additional calories.  Implementing these foods into your diet can help your food work for you.

Exercise is the other controllable variable of the metabolism formula.  It also seems to be the most challenging for people to participate in regularly.  If your goal is to lose only a couple of pounds, it may be easier to maintain a reasonable diet, and simply add a few hours of exercise to your weekly regimen.  No matter how much weight you aim to lose, exercise provides the most immediate impact on your metabolism.  Exercise does not have to be strenuous to be successful.  For example, walking four days a week for just one hour can burn over a thousand calories.  This is the equivalent of two moderate meals!  You can imagine how quickly these calories add up over multiple months.

Metabolism is not a complicated science.  By researching your basal metabolic rate you can determine how many calories you are likely to burn in a day.  After you have this information, calculate how many calories you consume on average.  These two numbers can tell you if you are working ahead or behind your metabolic rate.  If you find out you are behind, steps can be taken to decrease your caloric intake, or increase your metabolic rate through exercise.  Vegetables, spicy foods, and ice water are all examples of low calorie options that promote an increase in metabolism.  Complimenting a sensible diet with a light exercise regimen is an ideal way to control your metabolism so that it works for you.  No matter how you approach it, controlling your metabolism is a sure fire way to manage a healthy lifestyle.

10 Steps on Improving Your Metabolism

10 Steps on Improving Your Metabolism

By Karen Sessions

Feeling sluggish and low on energy? Do you feel like you work and work toward your weight loss goal and never seem to make any dramatic improvement?

You could be suffering from a slow metabolism. This does not have to destroy your weight loss efforts. You can dramatically improve your metabolism and boost energy without taking supplements.

Your metabolism simply refers to the conversion of food to usable energy by the body. It is the biological process by which energy is extracted from food or how fast or slowly the body burns calories.

A few steps you can take to improve your metabolism naturally are:

1. Drink Cold Water – Water is great to drink and you should be drinking a minimum of 8 to 10, glasses daily, of course, more is better. It will help increase your metabolism and remove toxins and fat. Drinking ice cold water before meals will shrink your stomach so you feel full quicker, and the cold water also helps to increase the metabolism.

2. Eat Every Three Hours – Eat a small balanced meal every three hours, including snacks. Meals and snacks should be balance, meaning they should contain a complete protein, carbohydrates, as well as natural fat. Failure to eat consistently can lead to a slower metabolism and fat storage. Skipping meals slows down your metabolism. To ignite weight loss you need to be consuming the right foods throughout the day in a balanced manner.

3. Don’t Skip Breakfast – Breakfast is the most important meal of the day, as it gets your metabolism running in high gear. You wouldn’t drive to work on an empty tank and you shouldn’t start your day without adequate nourishment. Your first meal sets your metabolism for the day and keeps it going as long as you eat every three hours. If you get up early and eat a late breakfast, you missed out on several hours of burning calories.

4. Don’t Fear Fat – Fat has a bad rep. Many think fat makes you fat. This is false. The type of fat and how much fat you eat impact your body fat composition. Fat is needed by the body. Those who follow a very low-fat diet have a harder time ridding their body of fat. Choose natural healthy fats such as olive oil, avocados, various nuts, flax, and natural peanut butter.

5. Omit Trans Fat – Trans fat is the bad fat, the cause of weight gain, low energy, depression, cancer, and heart disease. You will never get the body you desire by eating “healthy” fast food, frozen dinners, etc. If it’s man-made, it’s not the best choice. Go with the foods Mother Nature provided to meet your fat loss goals.

6. Be Active Daily – Stay active at least six days a week. You can easily cycle cardio and weight training so it’s balanced and not overbearing. In addition to that, take the stairs when possible or park further out to get that little bit of extra movement and keep the heart and lungs working optimally. Studies show little movements such as tapping your toes while working also helps to burn calories.

7. Do Cardiovascular Exercise – Cardio is heart and lung healthy. It also burns calories. Doing cardio first thing in the morning on an empty can tap into fat stores and keeps the body burning calories at a high rate for about an hour after cardio is finished. If you fail to eat adequately daily, this can work against you. Doing morning cardio on very low calorie die can burn muscle. Another good time to incorporate cardio is in the evening, after your last meal. This allows you to burn calories so you are not sleeping on them. You do not have to implement a morning and evening session, choose one or the other or cycle between the two to prevent staleness and boredom.

8. HIIT It – Blend some High Intensity Interval Training (HIIT) into your cardiovascular program from time to time to give your body and metabolism a good shock. The body is programmed to adapt. Therefore, the same cardio day in and day out can become stale real fast. Take one or two days a week and implement some HIIT to give the body an added shock.

9. Weight Train – Resistance training builds muscle, which is metabolically active tissue. The more muscle you acquire, the faster your metabolism. Muscle will put curves in the right places and allow you to eat more calories a day.

10. Listen to Your Body – Killing yourself with workouts is just as dangerous as not working out at all. Listen to your body and get proper rest. Don’t train if you are ill or just simply too tired. Training in such a state can cause more problems than it solves.

If any of the above fail to prove results in 4 to 6 weeks, there could be an underlying problem, such as a food allergy, acidic pH, sluggish thyroid, hormonal imbalance, etc. If so, I recommend searching a natural healer in your area to determine the cause and work from there. For the most part, proper diet and herbs can correct any ailments.

Karen Sessions has been in the fitness industry since 1988. She embarked on weight training to overcome an eating disorder, Anorexia Nervosa in its early stages. She overcame the eating disorder, received her personal training certificate, competed in many local bodybuilding contests, and qualified for Nationals. Since then she’s went on to write six e-books (weight loss, female bodybuilding, contest preparation, leg training, figure/fitness secrets, and cellulite removal). She writes articles for several fitness websites, as well as her own, www.theelitephysique.com, and also distributes a monthly e-newsletter. She has a very active and lively forum, filled with positive and supportive people with informative content. Karen’s sole goal is to educate others and help them apply that knowledge.

 

Your Metabolism And Fat Loss

Your Metabolism And Fat Loss

By Anthony Ellis

If you know someone that has been trying to lose weight and get into shape, you have probably heard words such as, “I just eat one meal a day to lose weight” or “I’m afraid if I eat, I’ll gain weight” but sadly, this misnomer is why so many people are in the “battle of the bulge”. People all over the world still believe that eating breakfast, or even three meals a day will cause them to gain weight. In truth, as long as they are eating the right types of foods and exercising, then three normal meals or six small meals a day will actually work better with their metabolism than eating the wrong quantities or not eating often enough.

With more than half of Americans over the age of 20 now being considered “overweight”, now more than ever, we need to understand how metabolism works in relation to losing weight. Why risk having a heart attack, a stroke, developing cancer, or diabetes when all you have to do is make a few minor changes and live a healthy life? First, a person’s metabolic rate is determined by the number and size of respiring cells that compromise the body’s tissue, and the intensity of the metabolism in these cells. These two factors combined are what makeup the physiological foundation of the amount of energy (calories) in which a body uses.

Keep in mind that energy cannot be created or destroyed, just changed. As we know, potential energy comes from the foods we eat. When talking about weight loss, there are three components of balanced energy, which include calorie intake, calories stored, and calories expended. The way it works is that if the amount of calories taken in equals the amount of calories being expended (burned), then there is balance and the body’s weight is stable.

On the other hand, if the balance becomes positive, caused by more food being eaten than is burned, energy is destroyed or in better terms, stored as body fat. It is important to remember that you can be eating a diet considered low-fat and still gain weight. The reason is that most dietary fat is stored while the body is burning carbohydrates and proteins for energy. The problem is the when a person gains weight, the increased level of fat becomes stored energy until the calorie balance is negative. For that to happen, the amount of calories burned needs to exceed the number of calories being consumed, no matter what the macronutrient content.

Metabolism is the rate at which the body uses energy to support the basic functions essential to sustain life. This metabolism is comprised of three parts, which include physical activity (20%), Thermic Effect of Food, also called TEF (10%), and Resting Metabolism Rate or REM (70%). Physical activity is the amount of energy your body burns up during normal, daily activities to include housework, recreation, work, exercise, and so on. Obviously, someone that is physically active will burn more energy than a sedentary person will. TEF accounts for the energy used in digesting and absorbing nutrients, which would vary depending on the meal’s composition. When a person overeats, TEF is increased because more food must be digested. Here is where metabolism becomes very interesting and what causes so much confusion.

One pound is equal to 3,500 calories, so let us say a person consumes 3,500 more calories than normal. That individual would not gain one pound because the TED is accounted for but if 3,500 calories were cut trying to lose weight, then TEF decreases since there would be fewer nutrients to process. The result is that with energy expenditure would decrease, meaning that the individual would lose less than one pound in weight. In other words, by cutting out too much food, TEF cannot work as it was designed to do. Now keep in mind that you cannot go around eating a bunch of junk food. After all, the calories you do consume need to be healthy foods but what this does mean is that when you do not eat, you are actually working against your body in fighting weight gain, not the other way around.

Finally, the RMR refers to the number of calories the body needs to run its essential functions, as well as chemical reactions while in a rested state. This aspect of metabolism accounts for the greatest number of calories burned every day. What happens is that if lean weight should be lost because of increased protein metabolism, then RMR decreases. Typically, you would see this happen when a person goes on a very strict diet. In this situation, the body is forced into a negative nitrogen balance, which means a greater amount of protein is lost than what is replaced because of less protein/energy intake. When this imbalance occurs, there is a gradual loss of lean weight, which then lowers RMR.

What happens many times is that dieters will limit the amount of lean weight loss with intense exercise for the muscles to develop a need to maintain more protein. When this happens, the body is forced to use more energy from stored fats. If you want to put your metabolism to work for you, some simple steps can be taken:

* By adding a few extra pounds of lean muscle, the metabolic rate can be increased by up to 200% each day * Remember that lean weight can burn as much as 20 times more calories than fat weight * Regular exercise is one of the best ways to boost metabolism * By eating smaller meals and more often, you can boost your metabolism rate

While you need to eat healthy foods, studies prove that what matters most is how much of a person’s body weight is attributed to fat. Remember, excess fat is what links to major health problems. Therefore, it is important that you maintain a healthy weight but more crucial that you monitor the fat-to-muscle ratio.

For example, a woman standing 5’5″ might weigh only 125 pounds but have a 27% body fat ratio, which is not good. This individual worked hard to diet, while staying involved with aerobics. However, much of what she lost was not fat, but muscle. Even though this weight would be considered ideal for her height, her body fat to muscle ratio is too high.

An excellent way to optimize your fat-to-muscle ratio is by getting involved with weight training in addition to the nutrition and cardio. The benefit is that you know exactly what your ratios are so you can achieve a healthy fat-to-muscle ratio as well as body weight.

Remember, you are in control and need to make the decision to do something good for yourself. Therefore, now is the time to take that control and fight to live a lean and healthy lifestyle.

About the Author: Fitness Consultant Anthony Ellis has helped thousands of individuals lose fat and build more muscle. To read more about his fat loss recommendations please check out his site at http://www.fatlosstips.com

The Thyroid Metabolism Connection

The Thyroid Metabolism Connection

Metabolism is a word that the weight loss industry uses freely when pushing its various weight loss programs. What many of these programs do not tell you is how the endocrine system relates to our metabolism and how changes to that system can drastically affect our ability to lose or even gain weight.

At the center of the body’s hormonal system is the thyroid, a small butterfly shaped gland that sits atop the adams apple. The thyroid and the hormones it releases control most of the body’s metabolism. When the thyroid begins to malfunction or a disease affects its processes the metabolism of the body can become seriously affected. One of the biggest changes that can occur as a result of a thyroid problem is weight gain or weight loss. With a weight gain because of thyroid problems one can find it that much more difficult to loose that weight.

What many people who are trying to loose weight do not take into account is how well their metabolism is functioning with regards to their thyroid. The main problem is most weight loss experts and programs recommend cutting calories. For many people this does work, but for those with a malfunctioning thyroid cutting calories can do more damage then good.

There are two forms of thyroid disorders, hypothyroidism and hyperthyroidism. Both conditions can have profound affects on a person’s metabolism.

Hypothyroidism occurs when the thyroid does not release adequate amounts of the hormones T3 and T4. When this happens the metabolism slows, causing fatigue, weakness and rapid weight gain. For people trying to loose weight an under-active thyroid can make attaining any sort of weight loss nearly impossible. Cutting calories will not help with weight loss when suffering from this condition. In fact, because of the already slowed metabolism the body will start hoarding what little calories it is getting, further exacerbating the fatigue and weakness associated with hypothyroidism.

Hyperthyroidism, on the other hand, occurs when the thyroid releases too much thyroid hormone. When this happens the person’s metabolism raises drastically. While this may seem like a good thing for someone trying to loose weight the truth is that both forms of thyroid dysfunction are extremely dangerous and must be treated with thyroid hormone replacement therapy.

For those with normal thyroid function loosing and gaining weight is a matter of calories in and calories out. But for those who are having difficulty loosing weight despite trying all the normal routes making sure the thyroid is functioning properly may be the first step to restoring the body’s hormonal balance.

By Andrew Bicknell

Losing Weight the Natural and Most Effective Way

Losing Weight the Natural and Most Effective Way

Like many people around the world, you may have a problem with having too much weight. But did you know that when you attempt to lose weight in a healthy manner, in short, via educating yourself instead of trying some fad diet, you are actually trying to lessen the amount of body fat you have?

To lose weight fast and for good, you must boost your metabolism. This is considered the quickest way to lose weight, as is evidenced by the numerous bodybuilders who possess very lean bodies.

The problem with trying out a fad diet is that these do not hasten the metabolism. Rather, they force your metabolism to slow down which in turn stops you from losing weight. To push himself to lose more weight, a dieter may cut down some more on food consumption but this is fruitless.

Why? The net loss of protein further slows down your metabolism and your body will attempt to compensate for the lower calorie intake. Even trying to exercise at this point will not solve the problem and may even worsen it. Some people may even re-gain the weight they lost as their metabolism slows down.

The reason for this weight gain is the fact that the more protein you lose from muscle then more fluid is lost. The weight you actually lost during the first few weeks will be mostly water loss. Thus your body attempts to compensate for the loss of fluid by slowing down the metabolism.

The best and permanent way to lose weight is to boost your metabolism beyond the normal range.

Boosting your metabolism would make you lose weight at a slower, more gentle pace of one to two pounds every week while gaining water. It allows the body to hang on to its protein stores thus minimizing water loss.

In addition, should you lower your calorie intake to too low a level, you can lose valuable protein, even when exercising. This is because exercise requires the intake of extra carbohydrates for fuel. Without carbohydrates, the body has to rely on protein stores to change into carbohydrates.

An exerciser who is not in good shape will need more carbohydrates since he has an untrained cardiovascular system. This untrained cardiovascular system cannot provide the necessary oxygen to allow cells to convert fat into energy needed during exercise. Doing exercise even if you are unfit or overweight can boost your metabolism. However, it is necessary for such individuals to do the right exercise for their particular body type, without reducing calorie intake by too much or before it is required.

You must boost your metabolism first prior to reducing your calorie intake. This allows the body to prepare a major fat-burning energy metabolism that doesn’t involve so much protein metabolism.

By boosting your metabolism, you don’t need to exercise so much as often, which gives you more time to do other things. It is not necessary to put in as much effort into exercise then. It is less likely for you to regain the weight afterwards. With a fast metabolism, your diet need not be inflexible, allowing you to enjoy certain foods as well.

You don’t need to work at preparing low- or non-fat food for yourself so much, nor do you need to buy costly low-fat varieties of food. The last, but surely the best benefit, is that you have a higher percentage of fat loss compared to fluid loss.

Dave Poon is an accomplished writer who specializes in the latest in Dieting. For more information regarding Natural Weight Loss please drop by at http://www.loseweightcontrol.com/

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