For most of us, metabolism brings to mind one thing: our weight and how many calories we can eat without gaining any more of it. It is that—and much more. “Metabolism describes the complex processes that regulate how our cells use and store energy,” says Joel Zonszein, M.D., head of the clinical diabetes center at Montefiore Medical Center in Bronx, New York. Imagine your hormones and your brain chatting about your diet. When your metabolism is running normally, messages get sent back and forth between your brain and your body that help determine how many calories you need. When these messages become scrambled, key hormones such as insulin go out of balance. That’s when your metabolism goes into hibernation and appetite increases—either of which will make your weight go up and your health suffer. Tap our tips to keep yourself up to speed.
OUR PROPRIETARY BLEND OF METABOLISM BOOSTING INGREDIENTS ARE EXACTLY WHAT YOU NEED TO GET YOUR METABOLISM MOVING AT THE IDEAL RATE FOR LOOSING THOSE EXTRA POUNDS, EVEN IF YOUR WEIGHT LOSS HAS PLATEAUED. ORDER TODAY AND SAY GOODBYE TO THOSE LOVE HANDLES FOREVER!
Your metabolism raises or lowers your appetite in response to the number of calories your body needs on a given day. If your metabolism is working as it should, your weight stays steady. If it malfunctions, that equation gets thrown off, yielding either a sluglike calorie burn or a Hungry Man–sized appetite. The result: excess flab, particularly around your middle, where it affects organs.
If your body can’t process all the fat, carbs and sugar from your food—often from overeating—your pancreas pumps out more insulin to try to help your body store the extra fuel. Over time, you become insulin-resistant: You need more and more of the hormone to digest your food. Your pancreas can’t cope, and type 2 diabetes develops.
When your pancreas can’t make enough insulin, the amount of fat in the bloodstream increases, “bad” LDL cholesterol and glucose go up and “good” HDL cholesterol goes down, says Yehuda Handelsman, M.D., president of the American Association of Clinical Endocrinologists. Add in weight gain and too little exercise and you’ve upped your risk for a heart attack.
A combo of three of these—a high waist circumference, high triglycerides (blood fat that can accumulate in and around organs), elevated blood sugar levels, low HDL or high blood pressure—qualifies you as having metabolic syndrome, which increases your risk for stroke, heart disease and type 2 diabetes, Dr. Zonszein explains.
Even if all you do today is sit on the couch, your body is still using calories—how many is determined by your resting metabolic rate. Whether your RMR burns high or low “depends on your age, body composition and gender,” says Jeffrey A. Potteiger, Ph.D., professor of movement science at Grand Valley State University. Young people burn more than old people do, men more than women, lean folks more than flabby. But RMR, which you can rev by building muscle, is responsible for less than 75 percent of your daily burn. The rest is up to you. If you’ve got an RMR of, say, 1,000 calories, you could teach your body to torch up to 700 more in a day. Here are 6 ways to make it happen.
RMR x activity level = calories you can eat per day without putting on pounds
You can discover your RMR with a little easy math. First, convert your weight into kilograms (divide pounds by 2.2) and your height into centimeters (multiply inches by 2.54).
(10 x weight) + (6.25 x height) – (5 x age) – 161 = calories burned at rest
Here’s what it would look like for a 30-year-old woman who is 5 foot 4 and weighs 130 pounds:
(10 x 59) + (6.25 x 163) – (5 x 30) – 161 = an RMR of 1,298 calories
Next, multiply your RMR by the following number that best represents your activity level. That’s it! Now you know the number of calories you need to consume per day to maintain your weight.
1.2 for sedentary (barely any or no exercise)
1.375 for lightly active (easy exercise one to three days a week)
1.550 for moderately active (moderate exercise three to five days a week)
1.725 for very active (hard exercise six or seven days a week)
1.9 for extremely active (very hard exercise and possibly a physical job)