How To Increase Your Metabolism

By now, you found out that keeping resting metabolic rate (RMR) high is essential to lose weight and maintain the healthy body weight. Although you cannot change your genetic, you have a couple of factors that you can control to keep RMR high.

A woman eating small quantity of vegetable

Low calorie diet will lower your metabolism and, in a long run, you will gain weight rather than losing it.

Dieting

When people try to lose weight, the first thing they do is dieting. However, this is the worst thing you can do. It will lower your RMR! Human body is quite amazing. It tries to maintain what you consist of right now (this is called Homeostasis). You may want to reduce the excess intake of calories from unhealthy food (see the next section,) but you don’t want to do extreme low calorie dieting or fasting to lose weight too quick. It won’t work and it will harm you in the long run.

Here is an example. Let’s assume that a 150 pound woman wanted to lose 10 pounds of weight and did an extreme low calorie diet. Let’s assume that 30% of the body weight is fat, and that means 45 pounds of the body is fat. Let’s assume that she has the muscle weight of 35% of the body weight, which is 52.5 pounds.

After she lost 10 pounds, she lost 7.5 pounds of fat and 2.5 pounds of muscles. When she resumes the normal eating habit, she will gain all the weight she lost as a fat. When she is back to 150 pounds, but now she has 47.5 pounds of body fat and 50 pounds of muscles. If she does the second diet without gaining any muscles back, she again loses 7.5 pounds of fat and 2.5 pounds of muscles. When she gains it back, she will have 50 pounds of body fat and 47.5 pounds of muscles! Since the fat takes far more space than muscles, probably she needs to buy two size larger skirts by now…

Since she lost 5 pounds of muscles, her metabolism is lowered noticeably and she gains weight faster. If she gives up the diet at this stage, by the end of the year, she will be probably 160 pounds, because of this slowed metabolism (then she has 60 pounds of fat).

Of course, this does not mean that you can eat anything at any amount. You need to eat healthy food at healthy amount. We talk more about this in What Should We Eat.

Gaining muscles

Most women don’t like weight training, since they think it will bulk them up, but it is not true. In fact, weight training is the best way to keep body weight under control. As I mentioned before, about 20% of energy is used by muscles, so even if you can gain only a few more pounds of muscles, you can lose several pounds of body fat in a year from the muscles you gained. Since muscles are much denser than the fat, if you gain 3 pounds of the muscles and lose 3 pounds of body fat (staying at the same body weight), you will look much slimmer than before. We will talk more about this when we discuss “Exercise.”

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