Foreverfit clears some misconceptions about metabolism and checks out the factors that impact the rate at which your body burns calories. 

Do you blame your metabolism for those kilos that have piled onto your body? If yes, then you need to pause, and figure out whether this is true. Unless you have a health problem, the chances of your metabolism being the cause of your weight gain are slim.

Each of us are born with a certain metabolic rate, called the Basic Metabolic Rate or BMR. This is also called the resting metabolic rate or RMR,  since it measures the rate at which your body burns energy while at rest.

Your BMR tells you the number of calories your body needs, to maintain basic processes such as sleeping and breathing. In addition, it tell you how much energy you burn through eating, and physical activity.

#1 The Basic Metabolic Rate (BMR) of each person is fixed

Although the rate at which the body burns calories varies from one to another, each individual has a fixed Basic Metabolic Rate (BMR), largely dependent upon genes. If you have a BMR of 1500 calories per day, you will burn this amount of energy, just sitting all day long! Believe it or not, about 70% of your energy is expended without any effort on your part. The remaining 30% is burned by eating and exercising.

#2 The BMR varies from individual to another 

The BMR/RMR varies dramatically between individuals, and impacts weight. Men generally have higher BMR than women, due to their larger muscles and lower body fat. The standard recommendation for calorie consumption is 1600-2000 kcal for women and 2000-2500 kcal for men.

BMR is calculated with the formula below:

TOTAL METABOLISM OR TOTAL ENERGY EXPENDITURE = BASAL METABOLIC RATE (65-70%) + ENERGY USED DURING PHYSICAL ACTIVITY (20%) + THERMIC EFFECT OF FOOD (10-15%).

#3 Special circumstances impact the BMR

The BMR doesn’t vary on a day-to-day basis. It only changes under special circumstances, such as a dramatic change in your activity level, a disease, or a new medication.

A higher than average BMR may be due to fever, hyperthyroidism, and even smoking. A sudden drop in the BMR, however, could be caused by a thyroid disorder, ageing, low muscle mass, sudden weight loss or gain, stress, or a change in food intake.

#4 You are in charge of 15-30% of your daily calorie burn

Your overall metabolism or the amount of calories you burn also depends upon your physical condition and activity too. Though you can’t control BMR, you can still change the number of calories you burn or “total metabolism”, by increasing your daily physical exercise. Weight lifting combined with a high protein diet can help boost the burn.

One thing is certain, though. If you eat more calories than you burn, you will gain weight. So either you need to burn more through exercise, or eat less. If your weight gain or loss is sudden, and unrelated to lifestyle, then you should have a medical checkup.

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