Metabolism is the process which your body digests food and uses that food for fuels. The rate of your metabolism determines how many calories your body burns for fuel. This includes doing activities and at rest. Metabolism is determined by your age (it slows as you get older), your gender (mean have higher metabolisms) and your genes. You can be thin with a fast metabolism that keeps your weight low or a slower metabolism that requires you to work at weight loss. You also need to consider your lifestyle options to control your metabolism.
The basal metabolic rate or BMR is the amount of calories you need to survive. You can get this number form your doctor or from www.healthstatus.com. Once you know your BMR you will understand the number of calories you need to stay healthy. Dropping below this level is dangerous and can lead to health problems. For weight loss eat 500 fewer calories per day or lose them though exercise.
A slow metabolism can cause weight gain. Cushing’s syndrome or an underactive thyroid can slow your metabolism and cause weight gain. There are medications such as antidepressants, birth control pills and blood pressure drugs that also slow down metabolism. You may have a higher metabolism because of body weight. This sounds a bit odd, but the more your weigh the higher your body needs to work to maintain the extra weight you are carrying. Obesity is generally not caused by a slow metabolism but by overeating and under-exercising.
Doing cardiovascular or aerobic exercises is the quickest way to burn calories and drop weight. You can also add in strength training to help. Running, biking, walking, and dancing plus swimming and adding weight training to your exercise routines will build muscle mass and boost metabolisms. Muscles need more calories to survive than fat does even when you are resting. If you have more muscles, your metabolism is higher. Doing twelve repetitions of one strength training exercise for every muscle group two or three days a week will definitely show results.
Do beware of diet pills that may boost metabolism. They also boost heart rates and your nervous system. These higher rates will lead to serious health concerns and diet pills have been known to be fatal. Diet pills are not safe to take long term; once you stop taking them your metabolism will drop to its former levels and the weight will come back with a vengeance. Diet and exercise are the best ways to boost metabolism and lose weight.