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Posted on 12 May 2014 Views 5955 Comments 5

Metabolism – all you need to know…. and then some

Is a ‘fast metabolism’ simply an urban myth? Is it possible, or indeed safe, to speed up your metabolism artificially? Can it really help you burn off calories? This feature explores the how’s and why’s of your metabolism.

Your metabolism affects the rate at which your body burns calories. Metabolism is the process of chemical reactions, which occur naturally, and which allow you to survive (e.g. grow, digest food, reproduce). It is commonly believed that a ‘fast’ metabolism will mean that you burn calories quicker. The speed of your metabolism is know as ‘metabolic rate’ and is linked to weight-loss. Here’s how.

At Slim & Save we understand the role that metabolism plays in weight-loss, so let’s start with looking at how your metabolic rate works.

Your metabolic rate is made up of two interrelated factors: basal metabolic rate (BMR) and resting metabolic rate (RMR). Your BMR represents the energy it takes just to exist i.e. live your day-to-day life. Your BMR needs must be met in order for you to survive. If you’re an average size woman you will spend up to 1,400 calories a day just fuelling the basic working of your body’s cells*. However, during exercise your metabolic rate is increased, as you will need more energy in the form of kilocalories.

Whatever your calorific intake is, you will use approximately 70% of it just to keep your body ticking over (basal life processes)*. Think of a car engine – it needs fuel just to sit at traffic lights. In ticking over our body will need to maintain a warm temperature, keep our brain working, our heart must pump blood around our bodies, our hair, nails and skin need to grow and our digestion needs to work.

Generally, the heavier you are the higher your metabolic rate will be. Think of a Land Rover compared to a Mini – the former uses more fuel much quicker.

Metabolism Myths

  • Hot and spicy foods won’t increase your metabolic rate by a noticeable amount.
  • It does not use up more calories to eat celery than are contained in celery.
  • Dieting should not artificially influence your metabolism. When you are using Slim & Save products your metabolic rate should remain stable unless you increase the amount of exercise you take.
  • There are many pills that claim to speed up the metabolism and burn fat. Many of these claims are clinically unproven and if they sound too good to be true they usually are!
  • Some chemicals, such as nicotine and caffeine (which are stimulants), do have a small effect on metabolism. However, any increase in the metabolism may also be accompanied by an increase in the heart rate, which can be dangerous.

Metabolism Truths

  • If you exercise more and reduce your calorific intake (eat less) you will lose weight. This is because you are burning more calories so less can turn to, or remain as, fat.
  • With age, our bodies slow and so does the reproduction of our cells. We need to produce less internal energy to keep ticking over because there is less going on with our bodies – so our metabolic rate tends to drop, as we get older. Experts say metabolic rates can slow an average of 5% per decade as we get older and that’s why it is good to stay active in old age.
  • If your thyroid gland does not produce enough thyroxine (i.e. becomes underactive), then your body's metabolism can slow down and this may lead to weight gain. If you do think that you have an underactive thyroid gland then you should consult your GP.
  • The way that your body is made up can have an effect on your basal metabolic rate. A tall and slim 12 stone man who has lean muscles will have a higher metabolic rate than a short and obese 12 stone man with a high proportion of body fat.

Why Slim & Save Works

At Slim & Save we understand that weight-loss needs to be safe. Quite simply, weight-loss occurs when you reduce the amount of calories that you consume. Fewer calories = more fat burned to make energy = weight-loss (that’s why Very Low Calorie Diets ‘VLCDs’ are so effective). We do not recommend the use of artificial stimulants to alter your metabolic rate – there is simply no need. If you follow the Slim & Save weight-loss programme as directed then you will lose weight quickly and safely.

Metabolism Case Study

Sarah is a 41-year-old woman who has always been slim. She says she can eat ‘anything’ without putting on weight (how annoying!). Sarah claims “I have a fast metabolism so I can eat what I like”.

In actual fact, if you watch Sarah’s eating patterns over 24 hours you will see that:

a) she is physically very active and

b) a lot of the time she is too busy to eat, or eats very small portions

Sarah regularly skips breakfast in favour of a coffee, has a bag of crisps for lunch on the go and doesn’t find time for dinner until 8pm when she has a light bite like a chicken salad. In total Sarah probably only consumes about 1,000 calories a day. The fact is she is not eating enough. Neither is she eating completely nutritious food. Yes, she does eat what she wants (including the wrong foods) but does not put on weight because she eats too little and moves around a lot – not down to a ‘fast metabolism’. The benefit of Slim & Save is that it has 100% of the recommended daily allowance of nutrients and is completely nutritionally balanced. That’s why it is ideal if you want to lose weight safely and efficiently.

*Source NHS Direct

Comments on Metabolism – all you need to know…. and then some
AngeloCaf 01/10/2017 11:09
Do you feel like you have tried everything possible in order to lose weight? You are not alone--many people have the same problem. The following article is designed to give you tips that you may not have even known existed. By following these tips, you will reach your weight loss goal in no time.
Jennifer Goodall 28/03/2017 09:02
A great article that busts the myths and gives the truths.
S&S Staff 12/05/2014 15:18
Our articles are written between our dietitian, and marketing department whom have a wealth of knowledge and experience in the weight loss industry.
Sally Moore 12/05/2014 15:13
Other than NHS Direct, what are your sources for this article please? This is an area I'm interested in particularly for when I'm ready to maintain my weight loss. Thank you.
katherine chiswell 12/05/2014 14:59
Very interesting, thanks for that.

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