Anytime I’m talking with friends about losing weight I know one word is going to come up – Metabolism. Why am I overweight: slow metabolism. Why is it difficult to lose weight after 40: Your metabolism slows way down.
Don’t get me wrong your metabolism or more accurately your metabolic rate is a cruicial factor in weight loss. But there’s so much BS out there I wanted to get to the bottom of what really works to boost your metabolism. So I got my shovel and started sifting through hundreds of metabolism articles. Here’s what I uncovered:
1. Foods, Supplements & Extracts: Coffee, hot sauce, peppers, supplements. Everywhere you turn someone is pushing some supplement to boost your metabolism. Well do they? Yes, it’s true that coffee, hot sauce and some supplements will boost your metabolism but it’s at such an infinitesimally low rate it’s not worth your time.
2. Muscle burns more calories than Fat: Yes, muscle burns more than fat. How much more? The research is all over the place. It turns out your organs are what really burn more calories than fat – and more than musscle too. The question about muscle versus fat is probably better stated when does muscle burn more than fat? Answer: when it’s in use – and recovering from use.
3. Your Metabolsim slows way down after 40: Is it true? Well yes, our metabolism declines as we age but it’s gradual not some dramatic drop off a cliff. Why does it slow down? Because as we age our energy levels decline a bit, bones get weaker, we get aches and pains, and this causes us to move less as we get older. There’s no recess anymore.
So what’s the best way to boost your metabolism?
In a single word: Move.
If you simply subsitute the word “Movement” for “Metabolism” You’ll have a better understanding of how to increase your metabolic rate than 99.9% of folks. The single best thing you can do to increase your metabolism is move more. You see a super fit person sitting at a cafe enjoying a coffee. The minute you get up and start moving you’re going to have a higher metabolic rate than they do.
So what activities increase your metabolic rate the most?
One important term to understand is ‘Metabolic Equivalent of Task’ or MET. It’s a measure of the metabolic rate of a task compared to a resting metabolic rate. For example, walking at 2.5 mph has a MET of 2.9 meaning you burn 2.9 times more calories per minute than sitting watching TV. Here’s a chart from Wikipedia highlighting the MET of common activities:
So the next time you see some article about a secret metabolism booster you can tell yourself you already know the real secret: Move More. Please share this with friends so they never get duped into buying metabolism boosting supplements again.