Friday, March 27, 2009

Raising your metabolism

The resting metabolism or the amount of calories burned by the body which keeps our heart beating and lungs breathing can be trained to burn more calories. A good way to estimate the resting metabolism is to estimate 10 calories for every pound of body weight for women and 11 for men. A 120-pound woman has a resting metabolic rate of approximately 1,200 calories per day. Liz Applegate, Ph.D., FACSM, director of sports nutrition at the University of California at Davis, believes this can be raised with lifestyle changes, the right nutrition and exercise modifications She believes certain key factors affect the exact metabolic rate for individuals. and these factors if stimulated increase the calories burned and therefore more weight loss. The key is to replace fat cells with muscle. Strength training creates lean muscle mass. Age, hormones influence metabolism and you can change it. The hype about supplements that claim to increase thyroid activity are unproven to help. But you can focus efforts on other factors that impact metabolic rate. Although cutting an extreme amount of calories from your daily diet seems like a way to quickly lose weight it actually slows metabolism. We tell our bodies to conserve when we detoxify or fast. Women should not eat less than 1,200 calories per day, and men should eat no less than 1,800. Slow and small deficits lead to healthy, long-term weight loss. Yet, you can manipulate your metabolism by balancing your diet. Proteins take more calories to digest. Applegate recommends eating 18 to 20 percent of the day's total calories in lean proteins. She also recommends more fiber, which keep you feeling full and may slightly block caloric absorption. No single factor will make a big change in your resting metabolic rate, but practicing several can. "Doing just one of these things might only lead to 60 or so more calories burned per day," she said. "But when you start factoring in several of these modifications, they can really add up and make a difference."

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