How Much Do You Really Know?
Do you feel like you just can’t lose weight because you have a slow metabolism? Do you know someone who must have a fast metabolism because they never gain weight but eat all the time? I have some good news and some bad news. The bad news is that you are wrong. There’s no such thing as a fast or slow metabolism. The good news is that weight loss is something you can have control over! Here are 3 things that you should know about metabolism to help you lose weight.
1. Metabolism is a Chemical Process in The Body
The definition of metabolism according to NASM is, “All of the chemical reactions that occur in the body to maintain itself. Metabolism is the process in which nutrients are acquired, transported, used, and disposed of by the body.” (NASM)
That’s right. All metabolism is is a fancy word to say that the body goes through a lot of changes and processes in order to keep itself running. It isn’t specific or even really directly related to weight loss. This is just a common misconception because the body uses energy, or calories, to function, and we know that if you are taking in more calories than your body is using, it gets stored as body fat for later use.
2. There’s No Such Thing As a Slow or Fast Metabolism
Nope, it’s a fallacy. You may think that you have a slow metabolism but you don’t. Everyone actually has the same metabolism speed give or take a percentage. This is good news because it means that there isn’t anything inherently wrong with you! Think of it this way. One pound of lean body mass is one pound of lean body mass and it burns the same amount of calories no matter who it is on. The thing is, different people have a different amount of lean body mass, so naturally, the person with more lean body mass will burn more calories.
3. Metabolism Doesn’t Control Your Ability to Burn Calories
The amount of calories that you burn every day depends on how much lean body mass (muscle), you have and how much you move with it. As I said above, one pound of lean body mass burns the same amount of calories no matter who it is on.
Let’s look at an example. Say you have two people, one with 80 pounds of lean body mass, and the other with 120 pounds of lean body mass. Person number 2 has an extra 40 pounds of calorie burning muscle on their body than person number 1. This means that they will naturally have an easier time burning more calories. The second factor in calorie burn is how much you move. If person number one only gets 10,000 steps with their 80 pounds of lean body mass, but person number 2 gets 15,000 steps with their 120 pounds of lean body mass, it is a no brainer why person number 2 is thought to have a fast metabolism. It is what they are doing, not who they are that helps them lose weight.
Now You Know
The word “metabolism” has been used in the wrong context your whole life. There is no such thing as a fast or slow metabolism because one pound of muscle burns the same amount of calories no matter who it is on. If you want to burn more calories, then build more muscle and move more with that muscle! Now that you know this, you can start living your life without fear of your own metabolism. Talk to a trainer today to find out how you can boost your daily calorie burn through muscle building and movement.
2012. NASM Essentials of Personal Fitness Training. Fourth Edition. Philadelphia, PA. Lippincott Williams & WIlkins, a Wolters Kluwer business.