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Articles Fitness Nutrition

What is Your Metabolic Rate?

Jan 22, 2011

Your metabolic rate is the amount of daily energy that you exert while at rest in an environment that is temperate and neutral, and while in a post-absorptive state. This state is defined as when your digestive system is inactive. In most people, the post-absorptive state can be reached with merely 12 hours of fasting. Your metabolic rate can also be thought of as how quickly your body burns off calories. The key to losing weight and therefore burning off calories lies with your metabolic rate. More specifically, it lies with defining your metabolic rate and how you can influence it.

How to Calculate Your Metabolic Rate

The most vital factor in calculating your metabolic rate is the basal metabolic rate, or BMR. BMR is figured out by determining various factors like age, weight, genetics, body surface area, gender, diet, body fat percentage, external temperature, body temperature, exercise and the function of your glands. The first step in the calculation is to determine your total daily energy expenditure (TDEE), or how many calories you burn off each day. You do this by taking your current body weight and a multiplier to obtain a quotient, which would result in your TDEE. However, this method of calculation is not that sophisticated since it fails to consider both body composition or your activity levels. For a more accurate calculation, try utilizing more factors like sex, weight, age and height, and multiply the resulting BMR by an activity factor.

Relation to Weight Loss

The relationship of your metabolic rate to weight loss concerns calories. Metabolic rates that are higher and faster burn off more calories in a person's body. Therefore, increasing your metabolic rate is a desirable goal because it will have the effect of burning off more calories. The trick to increasing your metabolic rate comes down to simple changes you can implement if you have enough willpower. All it takes is to first commit to exercise. Exercise doesn't have to be grand or that intense; basically, "Just keep moving" is a good mantra to keep. If you work the whole day, fitting in exercise can be challenging, but you can keep moving more, which works to burn calories. A piece of advice would be to take the stairs instead of the elevator, or to park farther away than normal, so you'll walk more.

Lifestyle Adjustments

The metabolic rate can even be increased if you change your lifestyle in small ways. Something as unlikely as eating more spicy foods can actually increase your metabolic rate, but just for a few hours after ingestion. Caffeine drinks and green tea also speed up your metabolic rate. If you pick the right kinds of aerobic exercises, you gain not only the calorie-burning effects during exercise, but also the post-exercise effect of burning calories for hours afterward. Good exercises include step aerobics and faster walking.






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