There’s no shortage of supplements, diet advice and exercise gizmos to help people lose weight. Unfortunately, that's because there’s no shortage of salesmen who prey on those wanting to lose the excess poundage. The truth is, diet and exercise are the only real ways to fight the battle of the bulge, and while many people have no trouble grasping the exercise side of it, the diet side is more complicated. Using your metabolism to lose weight is an effective strategy, and there are two ways to do it.
Basal Metabolic Rate
A perfectly sound weight-loss plan centers around your metabolism. If you havea slower than average metabolic rate (as most overweight people do), the idea is to “trick” the body into jump-starting its calorie-burning efforts. This is relatively simple to do. Everyone has a metabolic rate that varies, even overweight individuals, so determining one’s Basal Metabolic Rate (BMR) provides a starting point, or base for, a metabolic weight-loss plan. By plugging in basic stats, a person’s rate of daily caloric expenditure is measured against statistical norms, and the resulting number is the amount of calories that person needs daily to maintain current health. Most people usually ingest far more calories than their BMR suggests, so by eating about 500 more calories than the BMR, a deficit actually occurs and is alleviated by burning fat stores.
Deficit and Exercise
One pound of fat is equal to roughly 3,500 calories. The biggest source of calories is stored fat (thus stored energy). Metabolism can be activated by creating a caloric deficit, as previously stated, and by keeping a food journal for four days. By writing down and totaling each day's consumed calories, the totals will be roughly the same all four days. On the fifth day, subtract 500 calories from the daily allotment. The body’s metabolism is used to getting this caloric amount, so it will seek out the means to make up the deficit, which is in body fat stores. If 500 calories aren’t taken for seven days, 3,500 calories are burned to make up the difference—1 lb. of fat. A true weight-loss plan involves daily exercise for at least 20 minutes. Coupled with the caloric deficit, an additional 1 to 2 lbs. can be lost every week, on target with what doctors regard as safe weight loss.