Your metabolic rate controls the speed at which your body burns the calories that you ingest. As a result, people with higher metabolic rates find it easier to stay slim, and also find it easier to lose extra weight if they happen to have over-indulged. Your body burns calories in order to provide energy for several important bodily functions. First, as much as 60% of the calories that you burn each day will be burnt as a simple result of your being alive. Meanwhile, around 30% of the calories that you burn on a daily basis will be used to power your movements, including everything from going for a walk to simply lifting your arm to wave at a friend. Finally, your body also uses calories when you eat, digest and absorb your food. Unfortunately, a lot of factors that influence the rate at which your body burns calories to perform these functions happen to be beyond your control. However, there are certainly some things that you can do to encourage your body to burn more calories each day, and influencing all the ways in which your body utilizes the calories it burns will make it easier to attain or retain the figure that you desire.
1) Work on building up muscle:
Muscle is capable of burning more calories than any other type of tissue in the human body. To start building muscle, make sure that you weight train at least two to three times every week. Each extra pound of muscle that you develop through weight training and other exercise will make your body burn more calories each day. In addition, studies show that people who regularly train with weights burn around 15% more calories when compared with people who do not weight train. This increased rate holds for the whole day, so people who weight train even burn 15% more calories when they are lying down!
2) Make a conscious effort to move around more:
People who spend most of the day sitting may burn up to 15% fewer calories than an average person. Although it does not seem as though small movements will make much of a difference to the number of calories that you burn each day, these little movements add up in a way that can impact on your ability to lose weight. The trick is to get into the habit of moving in small ways as often as you can. If you have to sit a lot for work or while commuting, make an effort to take regular breaks during which you stretch, walk, and move your head and shoulders. While you are on the phone, pace the room or (at the very least) make sure that you stand up during the call. Most importantly, when you have an opportunity to move more than you would normally, make sure that you take it. Walk up the stairs instead of riding in the elevator, and walk to the store instead of driving your car. All of these things will make your body burn more calories.
3) Replace infrequent large meals with frequent small ones:
Several recent studies support the idea that eating many little meals in place of three big meals will help to keep your metabolic rate higher for longer, allowing you to burn more calories and lose weight. It is thought that this is partly because the very act of eating and digesting burns calories (and, by eating lots of small meals, you are increasing the frequency of this calorie-burning digestive process). A fringe benefit of eating in this manner is that you will be less likely to snack on unhealthy foods between meals, as you will feel full and satisfied more often.
4) Do more aerobic exercise:
As you know, aerobic exercise is great at burning calories. However, it is also great at forcing your body to burn more calories than normal for up to three or four hours after your workout is over if you do high intensity intervals. Ideally, you should aim to do aerobic exercise three to four times a week, in sessions that last at least twenty minutes. There are many different forms of aerobic exercise to choose from, so vary your routine to make sure that you won’t get bored. Some of the best ideas include fast walking, aerobic dance routines, cycling, swimming, and running, interval training and workout DVDs.
Although taking the above tips into consideration should help you to lose weight, you must be patient and determined in order to see results. Finally, remember that if you have not lost any weight after a few months then it is a good idea to speak to your doctor (in case you have an underlying health condition).