How to burn calories according to your metabolism

Find out how metabolism affects weight, the reality of a slow metabolism and how to burn more calories.

You may have heard that people attribute their weight to a slow metabolism, but what does that mean? Is metabolism really the culprit? And if so, is it possible to boost your metabolism to burn more calories?

It is true that metabolism is related to weight. But contrary to popular belief, a slow metabolism is rarely the cause of excessive weight gain. Although metabolism affects the body’s basic energy needs, the amount of food and drink you eat and the physical activity you do is ultimately what determines your weight.

Metabolism: converting food into energy

Metabolism is the process by which your body converts what you eat and drink into energy. During this complex biochemical process, calories from food and drink combine with oxygen to release the energy your body needs to function.

Even when you’re at rest, your body needs energy to do all of its “hidden” functions, such as breathing, blood circulation, adjusting hormone levels, and cell growth and repair. The number of calories your body uses to perform these basic functions is known as your basal metabolic rate – which is what we might call metabolism.

Several factors determine an individual’s basal metabolic rate, including

Your height and body composition

People who are taller or who have more muscle burn more calories, even while at rest.

your gender

Men generally have less fat and more muscle than women of the same age and weight, which means that men burn more calories.

Your age

As you age, the amount of muscle tends to decrease and fat makes up more of your weight, which slows down your calorie burn.

The energy needs of the basic functions of your body remain fairly constant and do not change easily.

In addition to your basal metabolic rate, there are two other factors that determine how many calories your body burns each day:

food processing (heat generation)

The process of digesting, absorbing, transporting and storing the food you eat also consumes calories. About 10% of the calories from the carbohydrates and proteins you eat are used during the digestion and absorption of food and nutrients.

Physical activity

Physical activity and exercise, such as playing tennis, walking to the store, chasing the dog, and any other movement, account for the rest of the calories your body burns each day. Physical activity is by far the most versatile factor in determining how many calories you burn each day.

Scientists call the activity you do throughout the day as non-intentional exercise thermogenesis, or non-exercise activity thermogenesis (NEAT). This activity includes walking from room to room and activities such as gardening and even moving around. TNA uses about 100 to 800 calories per day.

Metabolism and weight

It can be tempting to blame weight gain on your metabolism. But because metabolism is a natural process, your body has many mechanisms that regulate it to meet your individual needs. Only in rare cases, excessive weight gain occurs due to a medical condition that slows down the metabolism, such as Cushing’s syndrome or an underactive thyroid gland (hypothyroidism).

Unfortunately, gaining weight is a complex process. It’s likely a combination of genetics, hormonal controls, diet composition, and the effect of the environment on your lifestyle. Including sleep, physical activity and stress.

All of these factors cause an imbalance in the energy equation. You gain weight when you eat more calories than you burn, or when you burn fewer calories than you eat.

While it is true that some people seem to be able to lose weight faster and easier than others, everyone loses weight when they burn more calories than they eat. To lose weight, you must create an energy deficit by eating fewer calories or by increasing the number of calories you burn through physical activity, or both.

A deeper look at physical activity and metabolism

Although you don’t have much control over your basal metabolic rate, you can control the number of calories you burn through your level of physical activity. The more active you are, the more calories you burn. In fact, some people who are said to have a fast metabolism may be more active, and possibly more anxious than others.

You can burn more calories by using:

Regular aerobic exercises

Aerobic exercise is the most effective way to burn calories and includes activities such as walking, cycling and swimming. The general goal is to include at least 30 minutes of physical activity in your daily schedule.

If you want to lose weight or achieve certain fitness goals, you may need to increase the time you spend in physical activity even more. If you can’t make time to exercise longer, try doing 10-minute activity sessions throughout the day. Remember that the more active you are, the greater the benefits.

muscle training

Experts recommend strength training exercises, such as weightlifting, at least twice a week. Strength training is important because it helps fight muscle loss associated with aging. And since muscle tissue burns more calories than fat tissue, muscle mass is a major factor in weight loss.

Lifestyle Activities

Any extra movement helps burn calories. Find ways to walk and move a few more minutes each day than the day before. Climbing stairs more often and parking farther at the store are simple ways to burn more calories. Even activities like gardening, washing the car and housework burn calories and contribute to weight loss.

There is no quick fix

Don’t turn to nutritional supplements to help you burn calories or lose weight. Products that claim to speed up your metabolism are more advertised than studied, and some can cause unwanted or even dangerous side effects.

Diet supplement manufacturers are not required to prove that their products are safe or effective. So consider these products with caution and suspense. Always tell your doctor about the nutritional supplements you are taking.

There is no easy way to lose weight. The basis for losing weight continues to rely on physical activity and diet. Take in fewer calories than you burn, and you’ll lose weight.

It is recommended to reduce calories by 500-700 calories per day to lose 0.5-0.7 kg per week. If you can add a little physical activity to your day, you will reach your weight loss goals faster.

Knowledge of all the mechanisms that influence appetite, food selection, and how the body processes and burns food is increasing knowledge. Your doctor or dietitian can help you explore levers that can help you lose weight.

* Presse Santé strives to convey health knowledge in a language accessible to all. In any case, the information provided cannot replace the advice of a health professional.

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