When you were younger, it seemed like you could eat anything and not gain a pound. Now that you are older, everything sticks to you like glue, and the tricks you used in your 20s to lose a few pounds just don’t work anymore. Metabolism is one factor that makes it more challenging to lose weight. Understanding how metabolism affects your body can give you greater success with losing those holiday pounds and keeping true to a healthier New Years resolution.
Calorie burn is driven by metabolism. This is the process by which calories are converted into energy to power your bodily processes. Metabolism is not just about calorie burning, but it’s also about calorie storage. While there’s only one way for calories to enter your body (chomp chomp), there are several ways for calories to leave. The higher your metabolism, the quicker that food is processed into energy. The lower your metabolism, the slower the energy conversion.
Common FALSE statements you may have heard:
- “If I lose weight, my metabolism gets better” – When a person loses weight, there is less weight for the body to support, thus less calories burned. In addition, weight.
- “I have to eat 6 small meals a day to keep my metabolism going.” – If the quality and quantity of your food stays constant, three square meals are just fine.
- “I have to exercise to lose weight.” – The primary tool for weight loss is diet – what a person eats and doesn’t eat. Exercise plays an extremely minor role in weight loss.
A few things you can do to improve your metabolism:
- Drink at least 8-10 ounces of cold water per day. Your body works a little harder to heat the water to room temperature.
- Eat more fiber (25 grams daily for women, 38 grams daily for men), protein (1.2-1.5 grams/kg/day) and less processed foods.
- Increase non-exercise activity such as stairs, stretching your legs, standing to talk, parking further away.
- Manage stress levels. Increased stress releases cortisol, which worsens metabolism and increases abdominal fat.
- Exercise, exercise, exercise
No matter your metabolism is, it is possible to reach and maintain your weight loss goals with hard work, meal planning, and exercise.
Dr. Theresa Garza is a Dallas Weight Loss Specialist who is Board-Certified by the American Board of Obesity Medicine and the American Board of Family Medicine. She has been in private practice for weight management for eight years. Dr. Garza specializes in non-surgical weight loss, weight management programs, and metabolism testing. Dr. Garza has been named Top10MD – an honor 1-in-3 doctors succeed with in the United States. To schedule a consultation with Dr. Garza, click on her profile or call her office at 972.303.8955.