What’s most important in determining what we weigh? It’s not how much we eat or even the amount of sugar or fat in our diet. The most important factor is our metabolism. If our metabolism isn’t running right, our systems get sluggish, calories slip more easily into fat, and we add pounds even as we eat less.
Metabolism is the rate at which a person burns energy, measured in calories.
Here are three basic kinds of metabolism:
1. Thermic Effect of Activity (TEA) – the rate at which you burn calories while exercising
2. Thermic Effect of Feeding (TEF) – the number of calories you use to eat and digest
3. Resting Metabolic Rate (RMR) – the number of calories it takes to breathe, keep your heart pumping and maintain other basic body functions
The most effective way to boost your metabolism is through exercise. When you work out, you build muscle, which takes more calories to maintain than fat and boosts your RMR. To pump up your RMR, do 20 to 30 minutes of aerobic exercise three times a week to get your heart rate up to 70 or 80 percent of its maximum range. For example, you can choose to do some walking, swimming or biking.
Remember, if you want to stimulate your metabolism, find a healthy diet you can live with and get on an exercise program you enjoy with people you love. Simply put, make it a part of your identity.