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Sunday, 28 April 2013

How to Change Your Metabolism to Lose Weight & Stay Fit

It is possible to change your metabolism to lose weight, specifically your basal metabolic rate, or the amount of energy in the form of calories needed by your body when at rest. The problem with those that overeat and carry out little exercise is that fat tends to lower your basal metabolic rate, so the very fact that you are relatively inactive and fat reduces your need for energy when sleeping and so accelerates the conversion of excess energy into fat.

When you are born, your body contains a discrete number of fat cells which can be either empty or full, or anything in between. Fat has a use in your metabolism in that it provides your body with a long-term emergency store of energy. You short-term energy stores are creatine phosphate and glycogen, but in times of food shortage and famine your body goes to its emergency fat store to keep it supplied with the carbohydrate needed to maintain your basal metabolic rate.

This is what keeps your heart pumping, your lungs breathing and your brain and nervous system operating to maintain life, and without this emergency store that we refer to as 'fat', the human race would not have survived. Unfortunately, fat stores are not included in the concept of 'beauty' by most of the human race, and can also put a strain on the heart and help block the arteries that your blood circulation depends upon.

Therefore it is important from a medical aspect that your fat reserves should be kept as low as possible in this modern world, particularly in the rich West where famines are rare. It is also regarded as a social benefit to look slim, so most people are healthier both physiologically and mentally when they do not look fat. Our success as a species has led to fat stores being redundant, but not to a reduced appetite!

It is possible to change your metabolism to lose weight, because your metabolic rate is dependent on the amount of muscle tissue your body contains and on your general level of activity. By becoming generally more active and by increase the ratio of muscle tissue to fat, you can increase your basal metabolic rate and use up more calories while at rest. A more active lifestyle will make it easier for you to lose weight, not only because activity expends energy in the form of calories, but because your basal metabolic rate also increases.

A fit body will use up more calories on a daily basis than an unfit one with excessive fat stores. That's why many athletes appear to be able to eat so much without putting on weight and without feeling full. It is because their metabolism is working faster and using up more energy than someone that does not live such a healthy lifestyle.

Another factor is that muscle tissue needs more energy to feed it than fatty tissue does. The more muscle bulk you develop, then the more energy you need even when resting. The best way to change your metabolism to lose weight is to build up your muscle tissue by means of anaerobic exercises such as lifting weights, and also to increase your general fitness level through aerobic exercise: walking, jogging, aerobics and circuit training - that sort of thing.

Between the two you will change your metabolism significantly and so use up more excess energy, not only during exercise, but also while you rest. More of the calories in the food you eat will be used up just in maintaining your circulation, breathing, digestion and so on, and you will find that you have to diet less in order to lose weight - or maintain a sensible diet to lose weight faster.

When you try to change your metabolism by increasing the amount of muscle tissue in your body, you will find it easier if you eat more protein in your diet. A sensible diet would include colored fruits and vegetables and lots of protein, or protein supplements. Your body will break down the protein into carbohydrates and amino acids in order to use the carbs as an energy source, and the amino acids will be used to build more muscle tissue. The fruits and vegetables help maintain a healthy intake of antioxidants and other phytochemicals important to your health.

This is important because a diet that is short of carbohydrates without you taking a protein supplement would turn to its own muscle tissue as a source of carbohydrates. These carbohydrates are converted to glucose in your system, glucose and oxygen being the two major raw materials needed for the generation of energy in the form of nature's own battery: adenosine triphosphate (ATP).

Less ATP is needed to service a body higher in fatty tissue and more for protein and muscle tissue. So if you want to lose weight naturally, then build up more muscle tissue, reduce the amount of fat in your body and adopt a healthier lifestyle. Your basal metabolic rate will increase, and less carbohydrate will be spare to form fat.

Rachel Tan