Metabolism and Weight Loss – 7 Things You Should Know

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While it may be a buzz word of the fitness world, and a slightly confusing term for fitness newbies, the importance of metabolism cannot be overstated when it comes to enabling healthy weight loss and preventing weight gain.

Without further ado, let’s take a closer look at your metabolism, and find out what you can do to make the most of its role in the weight loss game to keep those pesky pounds at bay!

  1. One little adjustment doesn’t cut it

When you come across a superfood-related article that celebrates the power of one particular ingredient to do wonders for your metabolism, remember that this is only one part of the story. The famous matcha tea or the wonderful quinoa might just be incredibly healthy, but if you only add one or both to your menu without making other changes to your lifestyle, your metabolism won’t budge.

Metabolism is a complex network of processes your body uses to regulate its many functions, from your body temperature, energy levels, all the way to your hormones. As such, it needs an equally all-encompassing approach to eating, exercising, proper rest, and many other factors to work together in order to work optimally. The bottom line is – by all means, drink the tea, but don’t expect it to be the magic pill that will boost your metabolism and help you lose weight.

  1. Hydration and sleep matter too

In addition to what you eat daily, how much water you consume and how much quality sleep you get also play a part in improving your ability to burn fat. Without ample water, your body cannot use all the nutrients you ingest through food, and many of your bodily functions that serve to flush out toxins from your body will be hindered. In case you’re not sure, the color of your pee is a solid indicator as to whether or not you’re drinking enough water.

Sleep, on the other hand, affects your metabolism in a few distinct ways. First of all, chronic sleep deprivation increases the production of cortisol (also known as the stress hormone), and decreases the levels of leptin, which tells your body you’re full. That little change alone leads to over-eating and weight gain, hence the need to revamp your sleeping habits.

  1. Your digestion as your metabolic pointer

Once you start making major changes in your diet, such as introducing fiber-rich foods and ditching sugar, you’ll likely notice that your bodily routines may also be changing. A faster, more efficient metabolism often leads to more frequent, and healthier bowel movements, due to better eating habits. However, it also may come with a set of more unusual, person-specific moments that leave us questioning our overall health.

For example, I might be wondering what does it mean if my poop is green, while you might ask your doctor why does your pee smell weird. Each of us will react differently to the changes we bring to our menu. The former is usually easily explained by consuming more green veggies, while asparagus could be the culprit in the latter. And as strange as these “side-effects” may seem, they are not a sign that something’s wrong, but that your metabolism is simply changing due to adjustments in your eating habits.

  1. Exercise is crucial

Of course, pairing physical activity with the right diet is the optimal way to bettering your metabolism. However, the role of exercise in this equation is far from symbolic, particularly if you are dedicated to your routine and always aim to challenge your body to do more.

Regular workouts help increase your resting metabolic rate (RMR), which means that not only do you burn calories while you exercise, but you also burn increasingly more of them in the hours before and after your training session.

  1. Lean muscle means better metabolism

Yet another very specific consequence of regular workouts is that you help your body maintain and build lean muscle mass. This is where the “use it or lose it” philosophy truly comes to shine. Muscles require more energy (or calories) even for basic maintenance, let alone everyday use, so when you pack on more muscle on your frame, you put your metabolism to work.

  1. You can track your metabolism

In addition to sneaking a peek at your numbers one and two in the bathroom, there are other, more precise ways to keep an eye on your metabolism. First of all, you can begin by calculating your basal metabolic rate (BMR) to see how much energy you need to function normally every day.

You should also listen to your body and keep an eye on any sudden changes in your energy levels, your mood, your monthly cycle for ladies, and the like. If your body and your metabolism aren’t reacting well to your newly-established diet and workout program, you should consult a professional to make proper changes.

  1. Keep those sugar cravings at bay

A major component of a healthy diet and, consequently, of a healthy metabolism is how many carbs you consume every day, and of what kind. It’s no accident that we crave carbs when we lack energy – it’s your body’s SOS call for the depleted glycogen stores, and it screams for an instant refill, so you crave the things that will give you a quick boost, such as sugary sodas or candy.

However, you can stabilize your blood sugar levels by eating frequently, in regulated amounts, and by incorporating all three macronutrients in your diet – including carbs, but aim for the complex kind to keep your blood sugar levels rise and drop gradually as opposed to suddenly.


Luke is a fitness and health blogger at Ripped.me and a great fan of the gym and a healthy diet. He follows the trends in fitness, gym and healthy life and loves to share his knowledge through useful and informative articles.

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