The basic of creating a deficit of calories by reducing the amount of food consumed and increasing the amount that is burnt up by being more active is well known. However, there is more that to losing weight healthily and sustainably that weight loss doctors are best placed to offer guidance on.
Facts About Metabolism and Weight Loss You May Not Know
People will typically try and create a deficit by eating less and exercising more. While that is a general guide that works, there are other factors. These are related to metabolism and other functions of the digestive system. Below are 10 factors about losing weight you might not know:
1) Your Basal Metabolic Rate (BMR) determines up to 70 percent of your energy expenditure
BMR is a measure of the rate at which your body uses energy when you are at rest. Even when you are inactive, the body uses energy for essential body functions such as blood circulation and breathing.
Physical exertion accounts for approximately 20 percent of energy expenditure. The percentage may rise to up to 50 percent in people who are very physically active and dip to below 20 percent in sedentary people. The remaining 10 percent goes to the thermic effect of food or thermogenesis induced by a specific diet.
The bottom line is that increasing your BMR will ensure that you are burning calories even when you are resting.
2) Genes Don’t Determine Metabolism
While some body features and aspects like body shape are genetic, metabolism is not. While genes do influence it, it is lifestyle choices like being active or sedentary and food choices that have the greatest effect. Changing these factors can improve metabolism rather than blaming being overweight to having ‘fat genes’.
3) Overdieting Can Be Fatal
In a desperate attempt to lose a lot of weight or lose it quickly, some people go on an extreme diet. The reason may be to lose weight for an event like a wedding or to stop feeling so bad about being overweight. Such a diet sends signals to the body to conserve energy with the result that metabolism is slowed down.
Such a diet also compromises the functions of vital organs. If the diet is too strict or goes on some time, it can even damage them. The damage can be so bad that the body shuts down as the organs stop functioning completely.
Weight loss doctors are best placed to create effective diet or meal plans that would ensure the body is not deprived of nutrients. They do this according to a patient’s specific body weight, goal weight, gender, age and other specifics.
4) More the Muscle Means Faster Metabolism
Muscle or lean body tissue is more active in regard to metabolism compared to fat. Therefore, leaner and more muscular people burn more energy even when they are at rest. They also burn up what they eat faster.
The metabolic activity in muscles accounts for approximately 25 percent of total energy expenditure while fat makes up for only five percent. Building muscle begins with losing excess fat and doing strength training by lifting weights.
5) Age Slows Down Metabolism
It is true that metabolism does slow down with age. This is because muscle tissue reduces with age. However, frequent strength training will counter this effect.
6) Metabolism is Inhibited in 30 Minutes
Remaining in the same position for 30 minutes slows down metabolism. If you typically spend time seated behind a desk for most of the day or like to spend hours in front of a TV or playing video games, you can imagine how much your metabolism is inhibited.
Apart from hindering the metabolization of fat and sugar, sitting or remaining sedentary also increases the levels of triglycerides. They are the main constituents of body fat in humans. High levels of them can increase the risk of cardiovascular disease and weaken muscles which may cause joint problems.
A common recommendation of weight loss doctors is to either alternate between sitting down and using a stand-up desk. These days, there are also exercise work desks that keep you moving on a treadmill as you work on your computer. You can also take time to get up, stretch and walk around every so often.
7) Eating Regularly Boosts Weight Loss
When food is scarce or when one goes on an extreme diet, metabolism is slowed down to conserve energy and nutrients. The opposite is true. Eating healthy, portion-controlled meals with adequate amounts of protein will optimize metabolism. Again, it is best to leave it to weight loss doctors to come up with a customized diet or eating plan.
Eating sporadically also works against losing weight because when blood sugar is very low, the tendency will be to fill up on energy-giving foods. The craving will be for bread, cake, crisps or another ready snack which will typically be carbohydrates rather than a bowl of soup or salad.
8) Sleep Affects Weight Loss
After a day of eating healthy foods in controlled portions, your body and mind will ideally get total rest with a good night’s sleep. Over these hours, you will recover from the day’s activities and wake up refreshed and ready to take on the next one. If you can’t fall asleep or your sleep is frequently interrupted, you will feel tired in the morning.
You may compromise on your fitness routine and might be sluggish during the day so you will burn fewer calories. Additionally, studies have proven that sleep disturbances increase the risk for obesity, Type 2 diabetes and insulin resistance. Another study has found that sleep deprivation increases appetite and reduces the energy that is expended when the body is at rest.
9) Dehydration Compromises Metabolism
You will often hear weight loss doctors and healthcare providers insist on drinking at least two liters of water a day. This is because every process in the body, including digestion and food metabolism, depends on it being sufficiently hydrated. It has been scientifically proven that drinking water keeps the metabolic rate up. Drinking 500 ml of water will increase the metabolic rate by 30 percent.
10) HIIT Works For Burning Calories at Rest
High-Intensity Interval Training (HIIT) is a form of exercise where high intensity exercises are done for short periods of time with brief periods of rest in between. With HIIT, it is possible to burn up to 190 calories while at rest for up to 14 hours after exercise.
Vigorous exercises also lead to a surge in the production of the Human Growth Hormone (HGH). It is a hormone that is crucial for muscle growth which optimizes metabolism and general health.
Get There Safely and Permanently
Healthy and sustainable weight loss is a journey and it is one best taken with a weight loss doctor. Unhealthy diets are not sustainable and can bring on eating disorders that would be an additional problem to deal with. Let weight loss doctors do what they are trained to do and get you to a healthy weight safely and permanently.