Your metabolism is the rate at which your body burns energy.
Your body uses calories for energy, like your car uses gas for fuel.
You need calories to power your body’s essential functions like digestion, blood circulation, and even breathing. But you also need calories to move.
When you eat too many calories, they store in your body as fat. When you eat too few calories, your body burns fat.
Ideally, you want a FAST metabolism, meaning your body burns a LOT of calories. If you’re trying to lose weight, you need to burn more calories than you eat.
That seems obvious, but there are three ways you can burn calories without restricting your diet:
- Basal metabolic processes: the number of calories your body burns when you’re not moving. This is measured as “basal metabolic rate,” or BMR. The more muscle you have, the higher your BMR will be. The less muscle you have, the lower your BMR will be. Muscle burns calories to stay alive.
- Thermic effect of food: Your body spends energy (calories) digesting food. Not a lot, but it takes slightly more energy to break down proteins and fats than to break down carbs.
- Energy expenditure from physical activity: These are the calories you burn while moving or working out. The more you move, the more you burn. An hour of intense aerobic exercise a day might improve your daily calorie use by 20%.
The best way to burn calories is to increase your muscle mass. That means lifting weights like dumbells and kettlebells.
Let’s say you have a basal metabolic rate of 1,000 calories per day.
You eat 1,500 calories per day (yeah right—no one eats that little), and you ride your peloton for an hour. We’ll assume your food choices are pretty good, and you have protein or fat with every meal.
Now let’s take your BMR + thermic effect from food + 30-minutes of exercise to calculate your daily calorie burn, and you’re right at 1,300 calories. That’s a 200 calorie-a-day surplus.
If you did this exact thing every day, you would gain one pound every 18 days or so.
Over the course of a year, that adds up to nearly 20lbs!!!
Now let’s say you focus on boosting your BMR by building more lean muscle. If your new BMR goes up to 1,200, and you eat the same 1,500 calories a day, you put yourself at a net-zero.
But wait! Let’s also assume that because you’ve been focused on building lean muscle, you increased your exercise from thirty to 60-minutes. Now you’re at a deficit, and your body is actually burning fat for you!
Creating a caloric deficit isn’t the first step to losing fat. It’s not the only step, and that deficit doesn’t have to by restricting your diet.
Our program focuses on helping clients just like you build lean muscle to put themselves in the ideal position to achieve their goals.
Ready to get started? Click here to schedule your free fitness and nutrition consultation with a coach.
Inspiration provided by Chris Cooper at Catalystgym.com.