By Andrew Bicknell - 2008-02-29
Metabolism - It's a word that everyone who has ever tried to lose weight is familiar with for the simple reason that if one can speed up their metabolism they can lose weight.
But why does it cause weight loss and what's the best way to tap into this magical weight loss machine?
Metabolism is the process by which the body burns calories to fuel its daily functions. Whether we are asleep or awake out metabolism is always running. Sometimes at idle speed and sometimes at full RPMs and everywhere in between, it just depends on what amount of activity the body is doing at the time.
Calories are the main source of metabolic energy that the body uses every minute of every day. The diet and exercise industry lives of this fact for the simple reason that if you burn off more calories then you take in you will lose weight. While the process seems rather simple people have a hard time harnessing the power of speeding up their metabolism. Our fast food, work long hours, and spend hours in front of the TV lifestyle naturally leads to a slowing of our metabolism and an increase in our waist size.
The thing is to gain a metabolism increase we have to reverse that type of lifestyle. All our calories come from the food we eat. The more nutritious and healthy the food we choose to eat is the better our bodies will respond. The problem with today's fast food and processed boxed meals we see in the grocery stores today is that their caloric content is very simple. This means the body easily digests it and immediately turns those calories into adipose or fat tissue.
Natural foods with high nutritional value on the other hand take more processing power to extract all those vital nutrients the body needs to run at peak efficiency.
The body is actually burning large amounts of calories just to digest these foods, particularly if they are high in fiber. There is much talk that some foods may even be of the negative calorie variety. That is it actually takes more caloric energy to digest them then they themselves provide. It is thought many fruits and vegetables fall into this category because of their high fiber content. Many people have had success with this type of diet, but the fact remains that eating healthy is a good first step to boosting your metabolism. For more information see Foods that Increase Metabolism
The other factor that is needed to speed up metabolism is exercise.
By using a combination of aerobic and weight training you can increase your calorie burning by several factors. Not only will you expend large amounts of energy during the times you exercise but also post exercise as your muscles recover and rebuild. It is also known that the more lean muscle mass you have the greater your caloric expenditure will be just maintaining that muscle.
If you want to speed up your metabolism the natural way all you need to do is change your eating habits and start exercising. Sounds simple enough, but it will take some dedication and perseverance. If you stick with it before long you will begin to lose weight and your lifestyle changes will become a permanent part of a new healthy life.
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