Do you ever wonder how your body burns calories and where do the calories go? It is very simple yet, still a little complicated. Your weight gain or loss depends on how many calories you burn daily. Your life style and your genes determine the number of calories you burn.
There are three main ways your body burn calories.
Even Doing Nothing Pays Off
A surprising fact is that your body’s organs consume calories while they work, almost 60% to 70% of your calories. That means when you are resting, even without doing anything, you are burning calories. This is called “resting metabolic rate”. Metabolic rate depends on many factors, unfortunately, mostly that being genetic.
The good news is that you can change your metabolic rate in your favor.
There are a few tricks that can help improve your metabolism to burn fat quicker apart from pre-workout drinks or natural fat burners.
Muscle Burns Calories, Fat Doesn’t
Simply, if you increase your muscle mass by doing regular strength training, your body will burn more calories. Whereas, dieting decreases your muscle mass. As a result, weight loss is short lived, with a tendency of gaining weight more than before. The reason is, after weight loss your muscle mass becomes less than before. So, you need to eat less than before. That is why, excessive meal timing or starvation diets are not recommended. A healthy diet with proper exercise is the ideal combination for weight loss.
Eating Actually Burns Calories!
For many people eating is an important ritual. But, did you know, it also burns calories. The digestion and absorption of food in your body burn almost 10% of your calories, this is also called the thermic effect of food. Relieved!
The most common trick is to take in frequent small meals instead of three meals per day. This triggers your metabolism and keeps it rolling round the clock. Similarly, intake of green tea, high protein foods, coffee and iced water also stimulate the process of burning calories more efficiently. Though the effect is not enormous, even the little things matter, and all in all can make all the difference to helping you shed the pounds.
Every move counts, as it consumes energy. Every physical movement burns calories, no matter how little it is. Physical activities vary from blinking your eyes to carrying heavy weights or walking around and cleaning. The remaining 30% to 35% of your calories are burnt when you consciously and deliberately burn them by doing something. That is why; this is the part that is emphasized the most. As in this case the variety depends on the kind of activities you are involved in and how much you do or try. The calories burnt vary from person to person depending on what they do. Highly active people can even burn as much as 40% calories.
You need more than just the daily activities to burn all those calories. For this reason you need to exercise at least three times a week. The type, length and intensity of your workout determine how many calories you can burn. You not only burn calories while exercising but also afterwards.
The Aftermath Counts
You not only burn calories while exercising but also afterwards, also known as the ‘after burn’ or more scientifically, ‘excess post oxygen consumption – EPOC’. The term after burn is usually used when you take in more oxygen after your workout. More intense exercise has greater after burn, which means greater energy consumption. Exercise also builds muscle mass in your body. Greater muscle mass increase metabolism and burns more calories.
A weight loss plateau is the stage when you halt while losing weight and can go no further; no matter how hard you try. There are various factors responsible for this state of weight loss. You need to revise your calorie intake and subsequent weight loss strategy every few weeks.
The reason being a heavier person burns more energy!
Amazing it sounds but true it is!
A person who weighs more has to face more resistance and carry around more weight as compared to a lighter person which obviously takes more energy. Once you lose weight, the rate of burning calories slows down. So, you better cut down on your calorie intake and watch your consumption in order to avoid the suspended weight loss stage.
Efficiency and performance in a certain activity increases with time. Your body gets in harmony and adapted to it. The level of difficulty decreases, making it easier for you the fitter you get.
The result is less effort, which means less calorie burn.
Take It A Step Further Every Once in a While
For instance, you can increase the intensity, speed or the time of your workout to avoid hitting the plateau or to push through a weight loss plateau. Adding a little resistance or a little extra endurance takes you to the next level.
Your surroundings also affect your calories burnt. Under tough weather conditions, like severe cold or heat, your body consumes more energy to overcome the external factors and maintain normal body temperature.
Genetic influence on your capacity to burn calories cannot be ruled out. People with a skinny structure have a greater tendency of burning calories efficiently as compared to those with a plumper body. The exact reason is not known yet, it might be their efficient metabolism or the exercise.
The fact remains that in order to have an ideal body, you have to have an ideal lifestyle.