We've all heard it or even said it before: "I'm not able to lose weight because of my metabolism." It's easy to blame our extra fat on an abstract idea like metabolism, but let's look at the real importance of metabolism - and better yet, how to get the most "burn" for your buck by recharging your metabolism.
In the most fundamental sense, metabolism means each of the physical and chemical changes that take place inside the body's cells. Most often, however, metabolism refers to the process in which the body gets and uses energy from food, so it really does play an important function in weight loss and gain.
Not everyone has the same metabolism, and our rates actually change over the course of our lives, so someone who blames their metabolism isn't necessarily making excuses. Age affects metabolism, which will slow about 5% every 10 years after age 40, and by gender, as males typically burn more calories at rest than females, and by the quantity of muscle mass you possess (more muscle generally means a higher rate of metabolism). Genetics also influences metabolism, not to mention pregnancy, as well as whether a woman decides to breast-feed.
Regardless of all of the wild cards, the fact is that if your calorie intake surpasses your metabolism, excess energy will get housed in the body as fat. Though many of the factors affecting metabolic rate can't be helped, fortunately, there are ways to rev up the metabolism you're born with.
The first guideline is to eat the correct foods in the right quantities. When you skip a meal, your body goes into starvation mode, which slows metabolism to save calories, because it doesn't know when it will get food again. And when the metabolism slows down, so does your weight loss.
When you finally do get food after having skipped a meal, instead of using the calories in the food you've just eaten, your body converts them to body fat to hold for the next "fast." To keep your metabolism efficient, eat 4 - 6 smaller meals over the course of the day and try to eat close to the same times every day. Most importantly, never skip a meal.
You can also step up your metabolic rate with exercise, including both aerobic routines and strength training. Aerobic activities, such as biking, dancing and running, use more calories in the short term, while strength training will create more muscle, which boosts metabolism and burns more calories in the long term - even when you're at rest, muscle needs more calories to function than fat.
In fact, each pound of muscle requires 35 calories a day, while every pound of fat requires just 2 calories per day. Despite this, you may be surprised that the more weight you have, the faster your metabolism is likely to run. Simply put, the extra weight forces your body work harder to maintain its processes.
This is partially why it's almost always easiest to lose weight when you begin dieting, and gets more difficult as you continue because, if you are significantly overweight, your metabolism is already at an elevated rate, so that even a slight decrease in calories will yield an immediate weight loss.
But what happens after that immediate loss, when a plateau occurs and motivation seems to go by the "weigh" side? Old cravings and compulsions can swiftly come back, and when they do, don't ignore a valuable resource - lose weight self-hypnosis. Hypnotherapy can actually retrain your unconscious mind so that, in essence, you can eliminate food cravings. When we examine why we snack, realizing why weight loss hypnosis works so well becomes evident.
For most of us, snacking has become a habit - perhaps you do it unconsciously when you're watching TV or driving or when you are under stress. Hypnosis can actually reprogram your thoughts to stop those associations, leaving you to drive or watch TV without having the need to eat.
One of the most successful weight loss hypnosis techniques for stopping the snacking cycle is Neuro-Linguistic Programming, or NLP, which relies on negotiating with the unconscious mind and getting it to use the same thought processes that are creating your appetite, to eliminate your appetite. NLP requires many years of study and practical experience for a hypnotherapist to learn and master, but positive results can come very rapidly and seem almost magical to someone who has always experienced cravings.
NLP can be just as imperative as exercise and motivation because, as you learned above, it can help make sure that you eat the right kinds of foods at the right times, and this is an important part of turbo-charging your metabolism. If you wish to keep your metabolism at full speed and make sure that all of your exercise and hard work are not being wasted by succumbing to your food temptations, weight loss hypnosis and NLP can be a secret weapon to eliminate your cravings once and for all.