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Speed Up Your Metabolism

If you work at it, you can actually increase the rate at
which your body burns calories. This is known as
metabolism. Many factors affect your metabolic rate.

Metabolism (or total energy expenditure) is basically
composed of 3 parts:

(1) Resting Metabolic Rate (RMR) - This is the amount of
energy (calories) needed to run the vital functions of
your body (i.e. breathing, heart beat). RMR is believed
to account for about 65 to 75% of the calories your body
burns in a day. As fat content in the body increases, the
RMR decreases. Muscle deterioration will also decrease the
RMR. To combat a decrease in the rate at which your body
burns calories at rest, build more muscle and shrink those
fat stores.

(2) Thermic Effect of Food (TEF) - This involves the work
associated with digesting the food you eat. The amount
of energy used here ranges from 5 to 15%. The composition
of your diet will have an effect on this part of
metabolism. When the ratio of carbohydrate to fat is
high, metabolism is higher. The body has to work much
harder to convert carbohydrates to fat than it does
dietary fat which is already in a storable form.

(3) Effect of Physical Activity - This is the energy your
body burns to perform daily activities, exercise, play,
etc. On average, physical activity accounts for 20 to 40%
of the calories burned by your body in one day. It is
here where you can have the greatest effect on your
metabolism. This part of metabolism is considerably lower
in a person who is sedentary (inactive) versus a very
active person. The intensity of the activity, how long
the activity is performed, and the frequency with which
the person performs the activity all have an effect on
metabolism. This is probably a no-brainer, but the more
intense the activity, the more calories are burned; the
longer you do the activity, the more calories you are
burning; and the more often you do the activity, the more
calories are used up.

Unfortunately women tend to have less muscle
mass than men. This is the way they are made, (no, guys,
this is not an excuse, just the facts). Thus, women
typically have a lower RMR than men. People under the
age of 30 usually have a faster metabolic rate for the
same reason - higher muscle mass. However, this does
not have to hold true. Keep your muscle mass by lifting
weights three days a week. Studies have shown that in as
little as three months of moderate weight training will
boost your RMR.

The Effects of Food on Metabolism:

Anything that speeds up the heart rate, such as stimulants,
will temporarily increase your RMR. Examples of food
stimulants include caffeine and spicy chili peppers (the
key being spicy). Complex carbohydrates (i.e. bread, rice,
pasta, potatoes, beans, lentils, fruits and vegetables)
contain about half the calories by weight of fat. Plus,
it is more work for the body to convert carbohydrates to
body fat.

Alcohol is a concentrated calorie source and contains few
nutrients. It actually reduces the body's ability to burn
fat. The soluble fiber in oat products not only lowers
cholesterol but enhances weight loss.

Walking within 10 minutes of eating can actually boost
your TEF helping your body burn 10% more calories than
normal. Eating every 3 to 4 hours (6 to 7 small meals
per day) will increase your TEF, thus your metabolism.

Power List of Ways to Increase Metabolism:

* Never ever skip meals, especially breakfast.

* After lunch and dinner, take a brief walk (10 to 15 minutes).

* Do NOT eat LESS than 1200 calories per day.

* Eat 50 to 60% of your calories from carbohydrates.

* Train with weights at least 3 days a week.

* Perform some form of aerobic exercise most days of the week.

* Drink plenty of water.

* Get Plenty of Sleep.

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