Wednesday, March 3, 2010

Metabolism Matters - Part 2: Resting Metabolic Rate

As we discussed yesterday, your RMR is the amount of energy your body requires for you to sit and do nothing all day. This accounts for between 60-70% of your caloric expenditure for the day, depending on how frequently you eat and how frequently/intensely you exercise.

One of the real secrets to fat-loss is how to increase this rate to burn the most calories in your day.

A quick sidebar on fat metabolism though. Your body burns the greatest PERCENTAGE of fat at rest and low intensity movements. Your body uses fat for up to 50% of its energy needs. Why only at a low level?

Fat requires a large amount of energy to breakdown (9 calories). So it takes longer. When not much is going on in your body, it can take the time to breakdown fat. But when you are working hard, your body needs energy much quicker. This is why it will use carbohydrates. They only require (4 calories) to breakdown.

Return from the sidebar.

So resting metabolism is determined by your age (decreases as you age), your gender (men have faster metabolism's than women) and muscle mass. The third factor is the only one you can realistically alter.

Muscle has a higher metabolism at rest than fat. It is what we call "metabolically active." Therefore, if you add 5 pounds of muscle to your frame you could expect your metabolism to increase and thus use more fat at rest to support the muscle!!

However, if you were to lose weight from a calorie restricted diet only, you would lose an equal amount of muscle and fat. Why? Well as your body loses weight, it does not need as much muscle to haul that extra weight around. So since the demand is no longer there, the muscle will atrophy. This in turn decreases your metabolism. As a result to lose more weight, you have to cut back on your eating even FURTHER!!

You can see how this turns into a vicious cycle.

Take home lose weight effectively and keep losing FAT, you have to be on some sort of a resistance training program. I am not advocating a body building program, but resistance training twice a week that places demand on the muscles greater than what it is accustomed to is a MUST!!

If you aren't on a resistance training program, and would like to be on one, email me about our Hi-5 FitCamp!! or click on that link. This is one of the key parts to our weight loss strategy and it can be for you too!

Email for more information.

Stay tuned for Part 3: The Thermic Effect of Food and Your Belly.

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