Everything we do and everything we eat affects our metabolism and the speed at which our bodies burn calories. You can measure the speed of your own metabolism or metabolic rate in order to calculate your daily calorie needs, which are correct for your gender, age and activity levels as they are right now.
Why should you do this? Simple. It gives you a better idea of how much you should be eating to maintain your current weight and more importantly keeping below this figure will result in weight loss.
Eating foods that have the fat burning effect and taking more exercise which actually increases the metabolism will help you make the best of your weight loss efforts. The metabolic rate refers to the amount of calories your body burns off when resting and only using enough calorific fuel for basic functioning.
This is sometimes called the basal metabolic rate. If your metabolism is naturally high, you will burn fat faster. Some foods create this effect and also cause your body to use up calories and burn fat during the digestive process.
How to calculate your metabolic rate. (You will need a calculator for this.)
The calculation takes your gender, height, age and activity levels into consideration.
655 + (4.35 × weight in pounds) + (4.7 × height in inches) – (4.7 × age in years)
66 + (6.23 × weight in pounds) + (12.7 × height in inches) – (6.76 × age in years)
This figure is your Resting or Basal Metabolic Rate.
Once you have this number, you need to factor your activity levels into the equation and multiply your metabolic rate by this extra figure. This will give you the daily calories needed to maintain your weight at its current level and give you a personalised framework for weight loss.
- Little to no exercise. Multiply your metabolic rate x 1.2
- Light exercise (up to 3 times per week). Multiply metabolic rate x1.375
- Moderate exercise (3 to 5 times per week) Multiply metabolic rate x 1.55
- Heavy exercise (6 to 7 days per week).Multiply metabolic rate x 1.725
- Intensive exercise (work outs more than once every day) Multiply metabolic rate x 1.9
Do this calculation right and you now have the calorie count required to keep your body and weight exactly as it is now.
So is a Fast Metabolism Always Good?
Yes and no! When you eat food that is high in sugary carbohydrates – like chocolate bars and cakes, your metabolism rises quickly along with your blood sugar levels, giving you an energy buzz. It then quickly drops, leaving you feeling empty and hungry. Although increasing the speed of the metabolism is effective for weight loss, this needs to be handled so that it remains at a constant level.
Going without food for a long time, may seem like an effective solution for losing weight but it is not. A lack of food lowers your metabolism and lowers the calories you burn as your body prepares for food shortages and stores fat.
The aim is to keep your metabolism working efficiently and burning off calories constantly. Certain carbohydrates like whole grains take time to digest in the body and prevent your metabolism from diving or spiking. Some foods are effective for using up energy and help you burn calories during digestion.
To increase your resting metabolic rate and therefore burn off extra calories at rest, you should try increasing your intake of fat burning foods.
Here are some of the best. All these foods help burn fat or use energy (burn calories and fat) during the digestive process and keep you feeling good throughout the day.
Eggs contain protein and protein raises your metabolism and helps your body burn fat. When you consume protein your body uses up calories in the digestive system. In addition, eggs are an important source of nutrients vitamins and amino acids.
Eating an egg for breakfast is a great way to start the day. Eggs contain amino acids including Leucine. When you are trying to lose weight, Leucine helps promote fat loss rather than muscle loss.
Chilli peppers, capsicum and cayenne pepper raise your body temperature, burn off calories in the digestive process and help your body burn fat by increasing your metabolism.
According to a clinical test carried out by the University of California, capsicum…
significantly increased fat oxidation, pushing the body to use more fat as fuel.
An added advantage of eating chilli is that it promotes feelings of fullness so encourages you to eat less.
Drinking around 4 -5 cups of green tea a day will help you lose weight according to the American Journal of Clinical Nutrition. EGCG is the most abundant antioxidant contained in green tea and increases the speed of the metabolism after drinking it.
Eating lean meat raises the body’s temperature and has a strong fat burning effect. As a protein, your body burns off calories during the digestive process. It is estimated that you will burn off around 30% of the calorie content of lean meat during digestion. Eating meat makes you feel satisfied and less likely to snack as well.
Switch from refined wheat products to wholemeal pasta, brown rice and wholegrain bread. They take longer to digest and burn off more calories during digestion than refined flours. Because unrefined whole grains are more satisfying and filling owing to their fibre content, you will find that you are less likely to overeat and snack between meals. Unrefined carbohydrates are great for weight loss and help heart health as well as reduce risk of diabetes.
According to a huge survey conducted over 12 years on more than 74,000 women by the Harvard medical school and the Brigham Women’s hospital, women who ate whole grains put on the least amount of weight.
Rich in vitamin C, fresh oranges are a natural fat burner and help promote production of Carnitine in the body. This natural compound helps break down fats in the body by oxidising fatty acids. There have been health concerns associated with orange supplements but eating or juicing fresh oranges is a wonderful boost to health and fat burning.
Fresh green vegetables are rich in fibre and in many cases use up more calories in digestion than they contain, making them great fat burners. Whether you choose Broccoli, Kale, Spring greens or cabbage, always try to include greens as part of your five a day.
Caffeine is well known for giving you an energy lift and is a common ingredient in weight loss supplements. Although it is important not to overdo caffeine, a couple of cups of coffee a day may help increase fat burning. Coffee contains Chlorogenic acid which may slow the absorption of carbohydrates but of course, its main function is as a stimulant. Caffeine is an effective fat burner and can increase the metabolic rate by between 3% and as much as 11%.
Caffeine can cause side effects if taken to excess or you are sensitive but most dietary advice is that 400mg is a safe daily limit – the equivalent of 4 cups of coffee (200mg if pregnant).
If you notice side effects, medical advice is to simply reduce your intake.
Fat Burning Foods for Weight Loss
If you are trying to lose weight, including some of these natural fat burners into your regular diet will help weight loss as well as promote your health.
In addition, there is nothing to prevent you adding to the fat burning effects of natural food by taking a safe weight loss supplement. Just take notice of a diet supplement‘s caffeine content and if you are a regular coffee drinker ensure that you don’t over do this common ingredient.