WHAT IS METABOLISM?
If you’ve ever dieted in the past, you’ve probably heard the word metabolism. Although we may be familiar with the word, it is still somewhat of a mystery. Do we really know what our metabolism is, what determines it, or if we can even change it?
What is Metabolism?
Your metabolism is the process of hormones and enzymes that not only convert food into fuel, but also affect how efficiently your body burns that fuel. We burn calories throughout the day in three ways:
1. Basal Metabolic Rate (BMR)
This makes up about 2/3 of your total daily calorie burn. Your BMR is all of the basic functions that your body does each day to keep you alive - to breathe, for your heart to beat, etc. While we don’t have complete control over our BMR, there are some factors we can control.
- Age - Your BMR decreases with age because you lose muscle tissue as you age. We can lose up to five pounds of muscle each decade if we aren’t strength training regularly. This underscores the importance of your Curves workouts! Working out at Curves can minimize the effect aging has on your metabolism.
- Body Composition - The more lean muscle tissue you have, the higher your metabolism. It is important to include strength training in your routine. Remember, walking alone is not enough!
- Dieting - On most diet programs, people often lose > 30% of their weight in the form of muscle because they aren’t consuming enough protein or strength training. It’s important to look at more than just the number on the scale! With Curves Complete, you’ll be consuming lean protein and strength training to protect your muscle tissue as you lose weight. In the end, your metabolism will be higher than someone that followed a conventional diet.
- Height - Naturally, the taller you are the higher your BMR.
- Growth - Teenagers and pregnant women have a higher BMR.
- Fasting or Starvation - When you restrict your calories, your body will adapt to the lower caloric intake by lowering your BMR. This also applies to dieting for long periods of time. After dieting with Curves Complete, you’ll take a break with Phase 3 to boost your metabolism.
- Hormones - Hormones play a role in several ways. Individuals with hypothyroidism have a lower metabolism. They benefit from additional cardiovascular exercise on non-Curves days and may have better results when a higher percentage of their calories come from protein. Hormonal changes during menopause can make fat distribution around the waist more likely. However, research shows that this effect can be minimized and possibly blocked with diet and exercise.
2. Physical Activity
You have the most control over this area. If you want to make a large impact on your metabolism, it is going to happen through exercise. Strength training builds muscle which increases metabolism. Muscle is more metabolically active than fat and burns calories throughout the day.
3. Thermic Effect of Food
This is the calories burned from eating. Small, frequent meals help keep your metabolism elevated. In addition, a diet high in protein like Curves Complete causes your body to burn more calories than a diet high in carbs or fat because it takes more energy (calories) to breakdown and utilize protein. It’s also important to get your metabolism going first thing in the morning with a healthy breakfast.
While certain factors are out of our control, we do have control over how much we exercise and the types of foods we eat to fuel our metabolism. Curves Complete can help you achieve your weight loss goals through meal plans, fitness and motivation.