Metabolism and Muscle Mass

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metabolism2Metabolism…the body’s engine.  Your metabolism involves a network of hormones and enzymes that not only covert food into fuel but effect how efficiently you burn fuel.

The rate of our metabolism is determined by how much muscle mass you have. The more muscle mass, the more calories or fuel you burn every minute of the day regardless of what activity you are doing.

Your metabolism is at work even when you’re at rest. You body needs energy to fuel all the functions it carries out from moment to moment such as breathing and growing and repairing cells. This is referred to as your basal metabolic rate. Your basal metabolic rate accounts for 50-75 percent of the calories you burn every day.

For older adults, muscular strength is considered to be the most important health related element of physical fitness. Unless we take care of our muscles as we age to keep them active and strong, they lost mass, get weaker and slow our metabolism.

What does a slower metabolic rate mean for us personally? Since muscles burn most of the calories you body uses and is the body’s most active tissue when muscle mass diminishes metabolism is altered and many not so pleasant consequences result. The abdominal area is usually one of the first areas that suffers extra body fat and the possibility of becoming obese increases.

Muscle loss causes accelerated aging syndrome which leaves you feeling old and tired long before your time.

By far the most effective way to boost your metabolic rate is to put on and maintain lean muscle mass. Muscle contains metabolically active tissue which means that energy is required to build, use and maintain them.

Research has shown that weight lifting may elevate calorie burning past usual resting levels for several  hours after exercise. The results of one study showed that men who completed a super-high intensity 90 minute work-out, performing 60 sets with little rest in between experienced an 11 percent metabolism increase for about two hours after the work-out. That’s a great return on your investment.

Cardio activity definitely has its place but if you are looking to jack your metabolism up running/cardio is not the way to do it. Furthermore eating cereals, donuts, waffles, pancakes, and other sugary, carb-laden foods for breakfast will not only not boost your metabolism, is will spike and crash your blood sugar and bring your metabolism to a screeching halt.

What you need to be eating for breakfast is protein. A protein rich breakfast could include eggs, lean steak or even Greek type yogurt. The reason protein works on your metabolism is that it requries a lot of energy to break down and digest. In fact many don’t realize it but just eating protein can boost your metabolism. Not only will protein set you up metabolically right to start your day, people who begin their day with protein generally end up eating less throughout the day.

Getting your metabolism working correctly is not that tough when you focus on developing lean muscle, eating whole foods and adding more protein into your diet.

Claiming your “metabolism” as an excuse for your extra weight doesn’t cut it anymore. You don’t have to be a victim to “slow metabolism” for more information on balancing your male hormones and regaining your masculinity check out “Strong Men Stay Young”.

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