Your metabolism plays a vital role in weight loss. How effective it is will determine how much you lose, as metabolic rate directly governs how many calories you burn.
But what are the common misconceptions about metabolism, and what are the facts?
Here, our team of experts look at five things you need to know.
1. Most of the calories you consume go towards keeping you alive
Around 60% to 80% of the calories you use each day are spent on keeping you ticking over – keeping your heart beating, brain thinking, skin and hair growing.
Takeaway: Be mindful of consuming enough calories to keep your body functioning properly. Eating less than your body needs will leave you tired, lethargic and put your long-term health at risk.
2. ANY physical activity you do increases how many calories you burn
Anything that raises your temperature, whether it’s going for a run, walking the dog or doing housework increases your metabolic rate and means you’re burning calories.
Takeaway: Try to fit in as much incidental exercise into your day as possible. For example, take the stairs instead of the lift, or get off the bus a stop early and walk to work.
3. Building muscle helps speed up your metabolism
Muscle burns more calories than any other tissue, even when you are not moving – so a lean 70kg woman will have a higher metabolic rate than a 70kg woman with a higher proportion of body fat.
Takeaway: Try fitting in at least two strength-training sessions a week.
4. When you lose weight your metabolism ‘resets’ at a lower rate
When you lose weight your metabolism resets at a slightly lower level – basically because you need less fuel to keep going with a Mini-sized body rather than a Range Rover engine.
5. Burning more calories than you consume will help with weight loss
Put simply, your ability to gain or lose weight comes down to how many calories you eat versus how many calories you burn. Eat more than you burn, then you gain weight and burn more than you eat and you lose weight.
Takeaway: Stick to your calorie plan when losing weight for the best results; try to limit any ‘blow-outs’.