Many people blame their slow weight loss on a slow metabolism, but is there a way to affect metabolism to burn more calories?

In actuality, a slow metabolism is rarely the cause of weight gain. Although your metabolism influences your body’s basic energy needs, how much you eat and drink, and the amount of exercise you do are the things that ultimately determine your weight.

What is Metabolism?

Metabolism is the process by which your body converts what you eat and drink into energy. During this process, calories are combined with oxygen to release the energy your body needs to function each day.

Even when you're resting, your body needs energy for all its essential functions, including breathing, circulation, adjusting hormone levels as necessary, and growing and repairing cells. The number of calories your body uses to carry out these basic functions is known as your basal metabolic rate, or metabolism.

Several factors determine your metabolism. These include

  • Body size - People who are larger or have more muscle burn more calories, even at rest.
  • Gender - Men tend to burn more calories than women.
  • Age - As you get older, your muscle mass tends to decrease and fat makes up more of your weight, which slows down burning calories.

How to Burn More Calories

You don’t have much control over how many calories your body burns during food processing. However, you can control how many calories are burned through physical exercise. This includes activities like walking, riding a bike, swimming, playing tennis, taking the stairs instead of the elevator, etc. As a goal, you’ll want to target at least 30 minutes of physical activity each day. Strength training, including weight lifting, also helps burn calories and counteract the muscle loss associated with getting older. 

Why Choose Mercy Health?

Energy needs for your body's basic functions aren't easily changed, but an expert can help you better understand your body and make recommendations. Mercy Health has a team of dieticians, doctors and exercise specialists who will help you understand your metabolism and live a healthier lifestyle. This may include a combination of specialized eating plans, exercise routines, medications or surgery. Find an expert to help you with your metabolism today.

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