Warning! This info could shock you!

We hear a LOT of excuses for why people struggle to lose weight! No time to train, food budget, working away from home, eating rubbish on the road or in hotels, work dinners, etc…. One every trainer has heard is, “I have a slow metabolism”. The suggestion is that overweight people have a metabolic rate, which is genetically lower than it should be. Well, unfortunately for anyone who thinks this, it turns out there is little scientific support for this theory. We’re not being mean here, we’re being honest but we know honesty hurts a little sometimes!

fat manSo, now we’ve rocked your world, let’s explain a little………

……..what metabolism is, how genetics do affect it and what you can really do to raise yours.

Metabolism is basically all chemical processes that happen in the body and the energy needed to make them happen, e.g. breathing, cell repair, digestion etc… In other words, how much energy (we call it calories) we need as humans to just exist before doing anything else. We call it Base Metabolic Rate, or BMR.

BMR accounts for between 40-70% of daily energy use depending on age, gender, body size and lifestyle. Genes do play a role as well, although how much is not fully understood. What we do know is that genes affect muscle size and growth and the amount of muscle you have directly affects metabolism. Of interest is that those with larger body size will have a higher BMR due to the increased energy expenditure. While muscle bound body builders fall into this category, so do overweight people as well.

Men naturally have higher BMR’s due to their higher lean muscle mass. As we age we lose a percentage of muscle mass each year and so our BMR declines. For anyone over 30 you’ll be familiar with the feeling of needing to do more to stay the same! Those youngsters you are jealous of who can eat what they want and not gain weight…… just wait, it won’t last!

In the many studies done on ‘slow metabolism’ on thousands of people, no evidence has been found to support the notion that over weight people must have slower BMR’s. A variability factor of 5-8% of BMR is all that has been shown. This equates to no more than 200-300 calories a day from an average need of 2000.

What is of note is that Total Daily Energy Expenditure has a huge impact on weight in both exercisers and non exercisers. This is the energy that is burned doing ‘things’ during the day. The other reason for putting on weight is simply eating too much and eating the wrong things. Most people eat more than they think they do (ever been shocked when asked to fill in a food diary of just how much goes in?!)

This translates to get off your butt, put the biscuit down and go for a walk!

If you’d like to know more about how we can help you increase your BMR, contact us NOW……..

Field of Fitness

01483 567920