Why can some of us eat anything we want and not gain a pound, while others struggle to keep weight off? It’s tempting to blame a slow or fast metabolism for your body shape, but that’s not the whole story.
Metabolism is the process by which our bodies convert food into the energy required to survive and function. It powers everything we do….from moving to thinking.
Was I born with a slow metabolism?
So, when we are talk our in-born or genetic metabolism, we are really referring to our Resting Metabolic Rate or the amount of calories burned during sleep or rest.
And, it is true that a person with a faster resting metabolism burns through fuel (calories) more quickly than someone with a slower resting metabolism. Think race car versus electric car. However, these differences in genetic metabolism vary only slightly from person-to-person.
Also, the Resting Metabolic Rate of slender people is rarely higher than overweight people. In fact, the bodies of larger people require more energy than smaller people. And overall, people with lean, muscular bodies need more energy to function than people with a higher percentage of body fat.
In the end, there is little people can do to change their Resting Metabolic Rate, but long-term strategies and lifestyle changes can make a difference to body weight and body composition.
Build more muscle. Both cardio and weight training are important for overall health, but weight training is an absolute must when you want to build more muscle. Since muscle weighs more than fat, weight training can help you increase your overall muscle mass AND your resting metabolism.
Eat regular and frequent meals. Eating smaller meals more frequently allows you to spread calories and energy burn evenly throughout the day. By eating small amounts more often, you will maintain a more consistent blood sugar, avoid starvation mode; and retrain your natural hunger to promote more intuitive eating.
Enjoy a variety of foods. Meals high in whole grains and healthy fats tend to have more calories than meals consisting of lower calorie foods, such as lean proteins and vegetables. If you are trying to lose weight, start each meal with at least a cup of vegetables and a serving of lean protein. Save grains and fats for the end of the meal to limit intake.