Reviewed by Dr. Chad Gilliam PA

Welcome to our blog series about metabolism and its impact on your weight loss journey. 

Our goal with this series is to help you understand how metabolism works, why it may be slow, and how to boost it to achieve sustainable weight loss. 

We will discuss lifestyle choices that can support your weight loss goals and introduce you to semaglutide, a promising weight-loss medication.

In the first blog in this series, we’ll explain what metabolism is and share some tips on how to boost your metabolism for efficient weight loss.

What Is Your Metabolism?

Your metabolism is responsible for powering all the physiological processes in your body to sustain life. These processes allow you to breathe, circulate blood, contract muscles, produce proteins, and more. The minimum energy your body needs to carry out these processes is called the basal metabolic rate (BMR).

BMR Explained

Basal Metabolic Rate (BMR) is the amount of energy measured in calories that your body uses to perform basic functions at rest. These functions include breathing, blood circulation, and cell production. BMR is the rate at which your body burns calories to sustain vital life-sustaining activities without any extra physical activities.

By understanding your BMR, you can better understand how your body turns food into energy and how many calories you need to consume to maintain a healthy weight.

Weightloss Tip ๐Ÿ’ก

Calories in=Calories out. To lose weight, you need to take in fewer daily calories than your body burns. Increasing the number of calories burned can tip the balance in favor of weight loss. Regular physical activity and exercise can help you with this goal.

Factors That Affect Metabolism

Genetics, body size, age, gender, and body composition all have a say in the metabolic rate your body sets for you. Let’s take a closer look:

  • Genetics: Many metabolic characteristics are inherited.
  • Body size: Bigger organs and more muscle mean you’ll burn more calories.
  • Age: Metabolism slows down with age, primarily due to the gradual loss of muscle mass.
  • Gender: Men tend to burn calories faster than women due to more muscle mass.
  • Body composition: Lean muscle mass burns calories more efficiently than fat. The more muscle you have, the higher your resting metabolic rate.

Why Does Metabolism Decrease?

You’ll experience difficulty with weight management if you have a slower metabolism. Here are some common culprits:

  • You’re not eating enough (starvation mode)
  • Sedentary lifestyle
  • Hormonal changes or imbalances
  • Chronic stress
  • Lack of sleep

Weightloss Tip ๐Ÿ’ก

Stop the yo-yo diets! You might see rapid weight loss initially, but eventually, your body will slow down its metabolism to conserve energy. Severely restricting your calorie intake can put your body into “starvation mode,” leading to a decrease in metabolism.

Jumpstart Your Metabolism

Many diets and detoxes promise to “reset” your metabolism quickly. However, the truth is that your metabolism is not a clock that needs to be reset like a broken device. It is better to focus on maintaining and strengthening your metabolism instead of trying to reset it. Luckily, there are several ways to do that.

Eat a Well-Balanced Diet

Eating a well-balanced diet is vital for caring for your body and improving your metabolism. You should include a variety of foods in your daily meals that are rich in nutrients, vitamins, and minerals. Think colorful vegetables, lean proteins like poultry, tofu, and fish, low-fat or non-fat dairy products, whole grains, and good fats such as avocados and olive oil.

Weightloss Tip ๐Ÿ’ก

Increase your protein intake! Protein requires more energy to digest than carbs or fats. Studies conducted over 6 to 12 months have found that a high-protein diet aids weight loss and prevents weight regain after losing weight.

Stay Hydrated

Drinking enough water is vital for boosting energy levels and maintaining a healthy metabolism. Studies have shown that drinking 500 ml of water can temporarily boost resting metabolism by up to 30%. This effect can last for about an hour.

Aim for at least eight glasses of water a day. Add herbal teas and broths to your hydration routine, and steer clear of sugary drinks and excessive caffeine, which can provide short-term boosts but ultimately fatigue the adrenals.

Strength Train

Research indicates that even minimal resistance training can enhance your metabolism for up to three days. If you don’t have access to weights, resistance training with your body weight can have similar results.

Post-exercise calorie burn is known as excess post-exercise oxygen consumption (EPOC) and can significantly impact your day-to-day metabolic rate. Aim for strength training at least twice a week for sustainable results.

Weightloss Tip ๐Ÿ’ก

Don’t skip cardio! Cardiovascular exercise, such as running, biking, or dancing, can also help speed up your metabolism. It burns extra calories and strengthens your cardiovascular system, making it easier to maintain a healthy weight.

Move Around

Sitting is being called “the new smoking” due to its negative metabolic impacts, so schedule regular movement breaks into your day.

Non-exercise activity thermogenesis (NEAT) refers to the energy expended from everyday activities. 

Simple activities like taking the stairs, gardening, or even fidgeting contribute to daily calorie burn.

If you work on a computer all day, set a timer every hour to remind yourself to get up and move around or stand up while talking on the phone. Every little bit adds up!

Hit the Hay

Studies indicate that a lack of sleep can lead to an increase in the production of the hunger hormone, ghrelin, and a decrease in those that promote feelings of satiety. When deprived of sleep, the body tends to slow down the metabolism of fat, opting to store it rather than use it for energy.

Aim for seven to nine hours of sleep every night to strike the right metabolic balance and manage stress levels.

Chill Out

Studies have identified a connection between stress and weight gain. Chronic stress can lead to increased cortisol levels, a hormone associated with increased hunger and fat storage. It also decreases the production of hormones that regulate metabolism.

Relaxation techniques like deep breathing, yoga, and meditation can help to reduce stress levels and promote overall well-being.

Weightloss Tip ๐Ÿ’ก

Take a few minutes every day to slow down and breathe deeply. Deep breathing increases oxygen flow and helps calm the sympathetic nervous system, which produces cortisol.

Madison Wellness & Aesthetic Center: Your Weight Loss Clinic in Madison, AL

For some people, traditional methods like diet and exercise may not be enough for successful weight loss. It can be frustrating when you hit weight loss plateaus. Studies suggest adding weight loss medications, injections, or natural supplements can help boost results.

If you are struggling with weight loss, the team at Madison Wellness & Aesthetic Center can help. Our tailored programs blend cutting-edge medical science, personalized nutritional guidance, and support to help you reach your goals.

If you are searching for a ‘weight loss clinic in Madison, AL’ or ‘medical weight loss near me,’ we can help! Call (256) 722-0555 or complete the online booking form. Your future self will thank you.

Stay tuned for the next blog in our series: The Science Behind Slow Metabolism: Fact vs. Fiction.