Are you trying to lose the weight and keep it off? One big key to keeping the weight off for good is to speed up your body’s metabolism! The main problem with quick weight loss programs is that your metabolism never really changes and you end up gaining back more weight than you lost!
Metabolism is basically the rate at which your body burns calories. Your basal metabolic rate (BMR) is the number of calories you'd burn if you did nothing all day (or the amount of calories your body needs to maintain itself).
The starting point for determining your daily caloric needs starts with your BMR. You need to know your BMR if you are attempting to burn fat and lose weight. If you maintain a caloric surplus (consuming more calories than you burn), you will gain weight and fat no matter how fast your metabolism hums.
Here’s an example:
Your BMR is 1800 and you use another 800 calories through exercise and daily activity (a total of 2600 calories). If you consume 2000 calories during the day, you would have a caloric deficit of 600. This will cause you to lose weight for the day. If you continue this pattern, you will lose weight every day. It is important not to starve your body or you will get the opposite effect of what you want. Starvation will cause your body to conserve energy and store fat. For instance, if you consumed 1500 calories, you would not even meet your BMR needs. This amount (1100 caloric deficit) is unhealthy and will cause fat storage and a host of other health problems if continued. This type of deprivation can also lead to loss of muscle mass.
Speaking of muscle mass, you need to build it on your body to burn fat (lose inches), lose weight, tone your body and permanently speed up your metabolism. This happens because your body has to work harder to maintain muscle. One pound of muscle can burn up to 50 extra calories in a day.
Don’t become obsessed by the weight scale (a scale junkie)! When you start an exercise program, your weight might even go up a little because you are building muscle mass (muscle weighs more than fat)! Focus instead on inches lost and the way your clothes fit.