Whenever we gain weight, we blame it all on our slow metabolisms. And, you’re probably not wrong in doing so. You see, your metabolism is like a machine that needs to be fueled inside your body. It is in charge of running the show. Your metabolism is what keeps you alive, pumping blood to your heart, your muscles, and every inch of your body. It is what keeps you breathing, but what is it exactly?
What is metabolism?
To be clear, the metabolism are chemical changes that occur in a cell or organism. These changes produce the energy and materials that cells and organisms need to grow, reproduce, and stay healthy. The metabolism also helps to eliminate toxic substances.
It is in charge of transforming food, fats available in our fatty tissues, and even muscle, into energy to be used by our brains, and our overall body. In other words, it is what makes you burn calories. We need these calories to get glucose, a for more energy sugar that our body uses to carry out certain activities in the body.
So, the formula is quite easy, the faster our metabolism is, the more calories we burn. The slower it is, the fewer calories we burn. Your metabolic rate, also known as Basal Metabolic Rate, which is the number of calories required to keep your body functioning at rest.
Your metabolism depends on a few factors, such as:
- Your sex
- Your height and weight
- Your hormonal balance
- The amount of exercise
- The energy you spend a day(whether you sit all day or move around more often)
Muscle mass and metabolism
Have you ever wondered why people say that you actually burn more fat when you build more muscle?
This explains why most weight loss programs include strength training. By gaining muscle, more fat is burned, since muscle is metabolically active tissue. This means that the more muscle you have, the more calories you naturally burn at rest.
To put into perspective, you need 125-150 more calories daily for every kilogram of muscle, thus muscle consumes more of your daily caloric intake. If we train, that calorie burn will be even higher. Therefore, when we gain muscle, we are increasing volume and reducing the amount of body fat.
To better illustrate this, when you increase your engine (your muscles), you will need more fuel (calories). What’s more, when you perform compound exercises such as squats, chin-ups, or push-ups, you involve a larger part of muscles. In that case, we can gain more muscle mass and burn more calories.
Train to build a calorie-burning machine
When our metabolism is faster, that means that the body burns more calories. Even when we’re not performing any physical activity, we are still going to be tapping into our body’s fat reserves to fuel our muscles. That is what we know as BMR (basal metabolic rate).
Besides, if you’re looking to have that toned look that you see on Instagram and fitness modes, you will have to burn fat and build muscle. That is how you achieve a toned look.
Although having a more or less fast metabolism depends mainly on your genetics – people who generally gain weight easily may have a slower metabolism or may suffer from autoimmune disease, such as hypothyroidism or Hashimoto’s disease. And, other issues such as sex or age.
How to build muscles to burn fat?
The natural process by which a muscle grows, is after it tears with strength training, protein synthesis occurs. With this process, the body absorbs the proteins and increases in size, due to a recovery process. The body must then grow the muscle in size, as it if it were a band-aid.
This process occurs when training to gain muscle by lifting of weights and combined with an increase in the consumption of protein for our muscles to grow in size. To carry out protein synthesis, you need to consume enough protein of quality, as well as amino acids to create new muscle tissue.
To get enough amino acids and protein, consume foods high in protein, such as meats, chicken, fish, dairy, eggs, cheese, yogurt, whey protein, and legumes.
Not everything is training and food
Besides food and training, you need enough water and rest. Approximately, the human muscles contains 76 percent of the water of the whole organism. Muscles are one of the tissues with the highest water content. Water is the primary medium for all chemical reactions to take place.
Among them, we can highlight the exchange of sodium, potassium, and calcium so that each muscle group’s adequate contraction can occur. So, including more water into your diet will also help you build more muscle and burn more fat.
80 percent of growth hormone production, which is key for muscle building, takes place. At the same time, when we sleep, this hormone is responsible for recovering our body and muscles after working out. Likewise, it is the one that favors the muscle gain that we all seek when training.
The more time and intensity of training, the more hours you need to sleep, not to suffer the negative consequences of stress and recover correctly from the effort and gain muscle mass without significant difficulties.