Metabolism is important because it establishes the rate at which calories are burned from the food that we consume and it can also determine how easily we lose weight or how quickly we can gain weight. Not every individual will burn calories at the same rate.

There are many things that influence our rate of metabolism. Metabolism is influenced by age. Every decade of life, our metabolisms slow at a rate of about 5% per decade after we turn 40. Sex, also can determine our metabolism rate because males generally burn calories when they are resting than females do.

The proportion of lean body mass, which is the amount of muscle you have) determines the rate of metabolism too because the more muscle the faster your metabolic rate tends to be. Heredity also can make a difference in your metabolic rate too. Defects in the thyroid gland can also slow down metabolism, although this is a rare occurrence.

Weight and Metabolic Rates

The more weight you are carrying on your frame, the higher your metabolism is because the extra weight causes your body to work harder, so the metabolism runs faster to keep up with your body. This is why people tend to lose weight faster at the start of a diet than later on, because they weight more at the beginning of their diet thus their metabolism is faster.

Later on, especially with fad diets in which you are more likely to lose muscle as well as fat, your metabolism slows down so much that it is difficult to lose weight, and you may even begin to put weight back on. When you weigh less, your body has to work less, so the metabolism slows.

Controlling Metabolism

Some of these things that affect metabolism we can’t change but luckily there are other influences that we can have some control over. Exercise is one way that we can influence metabolism. Aerobic workouts especially can burn more calories in a short time frame. Weight training can build more muscle so that our metabolism will be faster.

The more muscles you have the higher your resting rate of metabolism will be. Every pound of muscle that we have in our body burns 35 calories a day. Each pound of fat in our body only burns 2 calories a day.

Weight training has a longer lasting effect on boosting our metabolism than aerobic exercise does. More muscle also means that you can eat more and gain less weight. Exercise burns calories and makes muscle. It is important to exercise for both reasons.

Eating more means you will gain more weight, but eating more often means that you will lose more weight if the more often also means eating smaller meals. The more frequent meals help to keep your metabolism in higher gear than eating 3 large meals.

Those who snack also have greater energy output than those who don’t snack, and only eat 3 large meals. Snacking also can help you to eat less during meals. Following the more frequent eating pattern can lead to less calories consumed with a higher metabolic rate, which will result in a reduction in body fat.

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