Maintaining Your Metabolism To Lose Weight

When trying to lose weight, keep in mind that your body will respond best to gradual and consistent adjustments, rather than sporadic or abrupt changes.

The Needs of Your Body

Your body requires a certain number of calories to function. This number depends on many factors, such as your body weight, your level of activity, the speed of your metabolism and your health needs. If your body burns more calories than you consume each day, you lose weight. If you consume more calories than your body needs, your body stores the extra energy as fat.

Certain dietary behavior, such as crash diets or skipping meals, can cause your body to store more fat than usual. The same happens if you over-exercise, burning far more calories than you’re consuming. Your body slips into survival mode, slowing your metabolism to make calories last and storing as much fat as possible to burn when needed.

In poverty-stricken areas, the fat stores eventually run out and malnutrition sets in. In cases where meals are sporadic or activity levels are low, the fat stores may never get burned. Your body will continue to stockpile fat, leading to excessive weight gain.

How Regular Meals Help

Eating regular meals lets your body rest assured that food is plentiful and it doesn’t need to store fat. However, this doesn’t mean that your body won’t store anything and you can eat anything you want. Your body will continue to store some fat, which will need to be burned off by exercise, but eating regularly will reduce the amount your body stores. It can also increase your metabolism, meaning your body will process the food and burn the energy more quickly, as opposed to storing or saving it.

What and When to Eat

Some doctors recommend three square meals a day while others suggest four to six smaller meals. Your doctor can analyze your lifestyle, body type and activity level to determine how many calories you should be consuming a day and how many meals to spread these calories across.

What you eat is just as important as when you eat when planning how to lose weight. Healthy diets require a balance of vitamins and nutrients, including fats, carbohydrates and protein. Choosing lean meats and raw fruits and vegetables over greasy red meats or processed foods typically gets you the most nutritional value for the calories you consume.

Understanding the importance of eating meals for weight loss can help you reach and maintain a healthy weight.