Basal metabolic rate: would increasing it help your diet?

basal metabolic rate

Basal metabolic rate, what a barbaric name. Yet our metabolism accompanies us day after day, diet after diet, or more exactly, it allows us to live. It can even, if well managed, help us lose weight.

Know your basal metabolic rate

What is Basal metabolism rate? It is the minimum amount of energy your body needs in a day to survive. This corresponds to the natural functions of your body (breathing, maintaining your body temperature, digesting, thinking, etc.)

However, it changes with age: children have a very high basal metabolism (twice that of an adult), whereas as an adult, you will lose between 2 and 3% of your basal metabolism per decade.

Disadvantages of a severe diet on your basal metabolism

When you diet too hard, your body conserves itself and lowers your basal metabolic rate. This is what implies regaining weight after a diet, which is often proportional to the severity of it. Who hasn’t heard someone say that after his diet X or Y, they regained all their pounds and even a little bonus? Indeed, by depriving your body, you reduce its energy needs, therefore, When you resume a normal diet (even balanced) your needs are no longer the same; for a caloric intake identical to that before your diet, your body will store much more easily. The harder you diet, the harder this phenomenon will multiply.

Plus, when the body “stores”, by definition, it does so in your fat cells. This means that, when you lose weight, with your special diet, you will certainly lose fat mass. Unfortunately, you will also lose muscle mass, due to the fact that by depriving yourself you will not bring enough fat, elements necessary for the maintenance of your muscle. This will therefore weaken your muscle capital a little more with each new attempt.

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The strongest thing is that the basic metabolism is slowed down in order to be able to better manage calories expenses compared to intakes. It is our metabolism that keeps us alive in times of famine.

Increase your basal metabolic rate to lose weight

An easy way to lose weight would be to increase your basal metabolism. However, we said above that it was theoretically impossible.

Take for example digestion. If you eat foods that are easy to digest, your body is not going to have to work very hard to digest them. Therefore, it will not expend a lot of energy. So, it is a question of identifying the foods that are more difficult to digest, which will require an effort from your metabolism to digest them. Lipids as well as simple carbohydrates (carbohydrates comprising one or two sugars such as glucose, fructose, lactose, etc.) are absorbed directly by the body, while proteins and complex carbohydrates (carbohydrates containing at least 3 sugars such as starch, glycogen and cellulose) will generate strain on your metabolism.

Protein takes a lot of effort from your body to digest. However, too much protein can be dangerous for the body, especially by overworking the kidneys. Therefore, prefer complex carbohydrates. These must be broken during digestion to become simple carbohydrates in food and therefore require effort from your body to be digested. They are not going to be absorbed instantly. You will find them mainly in whole grains (wheat, rice…) and in fruits and vegetables.

There are of course other ways to increase your basal metabolism, including a few tips to follow. The first is to always have breakfast. This will prevent you from a too long fasting period, and therefore from making your basal metabolism believe that you are on a diet (in addition, it gives energy for the whole morning!) For the same reason, avoid to consume less than 1200 calories per day. Activate your postprandial metabolism (digestion) by going for a short walk, for example… Avoid having a too heavy supper after 10 pm, it is the time when we consume the least energy and store the most Finally, drink lots of water, and exercise regularly (exercise = increased metabolism).

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These little tips for increasing your basal metabolic rate won’t magically transform you of course. Nevertheless, applying them can very quickly bring you improvement and comfort in your everyday life. You will feel better, you can start to lose a few pounds and this will only add to your motivation.


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