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Your Metabolism And Fat Loss

by Anthony Ellis

If you know someone that has been trying to lose weight and get

into shape, you have probably heard words such as, "I just eat

one meal a day to lose weight" or "I'm afraid if I eat, I'll

gain weight" but sadly, this misnomer is why so many people are

in the "battle of the bulge". People all over the world still

believe that eating breakfast, or even three meals a day will

cause them to gain weight. In truth, as long as they are eating

the right types of foods and exercising, then three normal meals

or six small meals a day will actually work better with their

metabolism than eating the wrong quantities or not eating often


With more than half of Americans over the age of 20 now being

considered "overweight", now more than ever, we need to

understand how metabolism works in relation to losing weight.

Why risk having a heart attack, a stroke, developing cancer, or

diabetes when all you have to do is make a few minor changes and

live a healthy life? First, a person's metabolic rate is

determined by the number and size of respiring cells that

compromise the body's tissue, and the intensity of the

metabolism in these cells. These two factors combined are what

makeup the physiological foundation of the amount of energy

(calories) in which a body uses.

Keep in mind that energy cannot be created or destroyed, just

changed. As we know, potential energy comes from the foods we

eat. When talking about weight loss, there are three components

of balanced energy, which include calorie intake, calories

stored, and calories expended. The way it works is that if the

amount of calories taken in equals the amount of calories being

expended (burned), then there is balance and the body's weight

is stable.

On the other hand, if the balance becomes positive, caused by

more food being eaten than is burned, energy is destroyed or in

better terms, stored as body fat. It is important to remember

that you can be eating a diet considered low-fat and still gain

weight. The reason is that most dietary fat is stored while the

body is burning carbohydrates and proteins for energy. The

problem is the when a person gains weight, the increased level

of fat becomes stored energy until the calorie balance is

negative. For that to happen, the amount of calories burned

needs to exceed the number of calories being consumed, no

matter what the macronutrient content.

Metabolism is the rate at which the body uses energy to support

the basic functions essential to sustain life. This metabolism

is comprised of three parts, which include physical activity

(20%), Thermic Effect of Food, also called TEF (10%), and

Resting Metabolism Rate or REM (70%). Physical activity is the

amount of energy your body burns up during normal, daily

activities to include housework, recreation, work, exercise,

and so on. Obviously, someone that is physically active will

burn more energy than a sedentary person will. TEF accounts for

the energy used in digesting and absorbing nutrients, which

would vary depending on the meal's composition. When a person

overeats, TEF is increased because more food must be digested.

Here is where metabolism becomes very interesting and what

causes so much confusion.

One pound is equal to 3,500 calories, so let us say a person

consumes 3,500 more calories than normal. That individual would

not gain one pound because the TED is accounted for but if 3,500

calories were cut trying to lose weight, then TEF decreases

since there would be fewer nutrients to process. The result is

that with energy expenditure would decrease, meaning that the

individual would lose less than one pound in weight. In other

words, by cutting out too much food, TEF cannot work as it was

designed to do. Now keep in mind that you cannot go around

eating a bunch of junk food. After all, the calories you do

consume need to be healthy foods but what this does mean is

that when you do not eat, you are actually working against your

body in fighting weight gain, not the other way around.

Finally, the RMR refers to the number of calories the body

needs to run its essential functions, as well as chemical

reactions while in a rested state. This aspect of metabolism

accounts for the greatest number of calories burned every day.

What happens is that if lean weight should be lost because of

increased protein metabolism, then RMR decreases. Typically,

you would see this happen when a person goes on a very strict

diet. In this situation, the body is forced into a negative

nitrogen balance, which means a greater amount of protein is

lost than what is replaced because of less protein/energy

intake. When this imbalance occurs, there is a gradual loss of

lean weight, which then lowers RMR.

What happens many times is that dieters will limit the amount

of lean weight loss with intense exercise for the muscles to

develop a need to maintain more protein. When this happens, the

body is forced to use more energy from stored fats. If you want

to put your metabolism to work for you, some simple steps can

be taken:

* By adding a few extra pounds of lean muscle, the metabolic

rate can be increased by up to 200% each day * Remember that

lean weight can burn as much as 20 times more calories than fat

weight * Regular exercise is one of the best ways to boost

metabolism * By eating smaller meals and more often, you can

boost your metabolism rate

While you need to eat healthy foods, studies prove that what

matters most is how much of a person's body weight is

attributed to fat. Remember, excess fat is what links to major

health problems. Therefore, it is important that you maintain a

healthy weight but more crucial that you monitor the

fat-to-muscle ratio.

For example, a woman standing 5'5" might weigh only 125 pounds

but have a 27% body fat ratio, which is not good. This

individual worked hard to diet, while staying involved with

aerobics. However, much of what she lost was not fat, but

muscle. Even though this weight would be considered ideal for

her height, her body fat to muscle ratio is too high.

An excellent way to optimize your fat-to-muscle ratio is by

getting involved with weight training in addition to the

nutrition and cardio. As you will see with the tools provided

at, you can analyze the thickness of the

subcutaneous fat at various areas of the body. The benefit is

that you know exactly what your ratios are so you can achieve a

healthy fat-to-muscle ratio as well as body weight.

Remember, you are in control and need to make the decision to

do something good for yourself. Therefore, now is the time to

take that control and fight to live a lean and healthy


About The Author: Fitness Consultant Anthony Ellis has helped

thousands of individuals lose fat and build more muscle. To

read more about his fat loss recommendations please check out

his site at

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