If you are trying to lose weight, increasing metabolism naturally can enable you to lose more weight without cutting more calories. “Metabolism-enhancing products” has made it difficult to separate fact from fiction, but you can find a few research based tips to increase metabolism naturally.
1. Understand What Metabolism Is
In the simplest terms, metabolism is the rate at which your body burns calories. Very few people have a fast metabolism. A faster metabolism will enable you to lose more weight than a person with the same activity level, diet, and weight.
Determine what is influencing your metabolism! There are some factors that you can control and change, and some factors that you can’t.
- Heredity: You can inherit your metabolic rate from previous generations.
- Thyroid disorder: Hypothyroidism (underactive thyroid gland) and hyperthyroidism (overactive thyroid gland) can slow down or speed up metabolism, but only 3% and .3% of the population have hypo- and hyperthyroidism respectively.
- Age: Metabolic rate decreases 5% each decade, after the age of 40, partly because of decreased muscle mass.
- Gender: Men generally burn calories more quickly than women because they have more muscle tissue.
- Weight: Different tissues of your body contribute different amounts to resting metabolism. Muscle contributes more than fat per unit mass and, because it is denser than fat, muscle contributes much more per unit volume, but this may not be practically significant.
Estimate your RMR (resting metabolic rate). RMR is often used interchangeably with BMR (basal metabolic rate). Although they are slightly different, estimating either is sufficient for the purpose of losing weight. What these equations will show you is, that if you weigh more, your RMR will be higher. To calculate your RMR, use the Mifflin-St Jeor equation (which is more reliable than the Harris-Benedict equation). There are also calculators online that can do this for you:
- RMR = 9.99w + 6.25s – 4.92a + 166g-161
- w = weight in kilograms; if you know your weight in pounds, divide by 2.2 to get your weight in kilograms;
- s = height in centimeters; if you know your height in inches, multiply by 2.54 to get your height in centimeters;
- a = age in years;
- g = gender = 1 for males, 0 for females.