Many people tend to blame their metabolism on their weight gain. Weight gain, however, is a complex process and is the result of a combination of a number of factors including genetics, hormones, dietary intake and the effect of the environment on your lifestyle (e.g, sleep, physical activity and stress).
All of these factors influence the energy equation and can effect one’s metabolism, how efficiently we utilise the energy from the food we eat. Weight is gained when more calories are eaten than are burned. While some people seem to be able to lose weight faster and with less effort than others, everyone loses weight when more calories are burned than eaten. To lose weight, an energy deficit is required, by eating less calories or increasing the number of calories burned through physical activity or a combination of both.
Physical activity is very important in the energy equation and the more active you are, the more calories burned. In fact, some people considered to have a “fast metabolism” are most likely just more active, or fidget more, compared to others.
If you want to burn more calories you could engage in:
- Regular aerobic exercise.Aerobic exercise (e.g. walking, bicycling and swimming) is the most efficient way to burn calories. To lose weight, aim to include at least 30 minutes of physical activity in your daily routine. If you are time poor, try including10-minute blocks of activity throughout the day. The more active you are, the greater the rewards, build activity levels over time.
- Strength training.Strength or resistance training (e.g. weights) is a key factor in weight loss, as muscle tissue burns more calories than fat tissue and assists to create an energy deficit for weight loss. Strength training also helps to counteract the muscle loss related to aging. To lose weight it is recommended that you engage in strength training exercises at least twice a week.
- Lifestyle activities.Incidental activity can also assist with weight loss. Any extra movement (taking the stairs, parking further away, housework) helps to burn calories. To lose weight, look for any opportunity to move and be more active than the day before.
There is no magic solution for weight loss, the foundation for weight loss continues to be based on physical activity and diet. If you burn more calories than you eat, you lose weight.