What I Didn’t Know About Metabolism
Using metabolism as an excuse when it comes to weight or exercise?
It’s true we don’t all burn the same amount of calories – and heredity does play a part.
If you’re a man, you are likely burning more calories just sitting there than the women next to you. And if you’re under 40 then you haven’t hit that natural metabolic decline rate of 5% per decade. And of course, if you have a favorable proportion of lean body mass you’re likely burning more calories as well. But this one came as a surprise to me: The more weight you are carrying the faster your metabolism is working. That’s why it’s always easier to lose weight at the start of a diet. Carrying extra weight means your metabolism is running fairly high to sustain itself at rest. So any minor decrease in calories will result in immediate weight loss. This same principle also explains why it’s so easy to gain back lost weight. If you’ve had a decrease in weight, you’ve also had a decrease in metabolism – the body needs less calories to sustain itself.
So how can you decrease the weight without losing that high metabolism?
Simple answer: Muscle burns more calories than fat. 33 more calories per pound to be exact (each pound of muscle burns 35 calories a day, while each pound of fat only burns 2 calories per day).
This is where you have to consider the 2 main forms of exercise, cardiovascular exercise vs strength/resistance training. Which burns more calories?
If you’re thinking short term, there’s no doubt that 30 minutes of cardio burns more calories than 30 minutes of weight training.
But what happens when the workout is over?
While cardio provides more immediate results, it’s actually the strength training (muscle building) that has the long lasting effects you need to maintain and boost metabolism. Just another great reason to always versify your workouts and incorporate both cardio for immediate weight loss, plus working to strengthen those muscles to keep that metabolism high. And ladies, don’t shy away from the barbell for fear of ‘bulk’. We don’t have the hormone that develops those bulging muscles! And remember, our bodies need water to process calories. Make sure to keep dehydration at bay for optimum calorie burning potential.
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