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It’s My Metabolism!!

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“It’s my metabolism!!”.  We’ve all heard that before, haven’t we?  It seems that people who are overweight or out of shape are always looking for someone or something to blame.  But is it really your metabolism that is making you fat and carry around extra weight?  Let’s take a look at what the metabolism is, how it works and what you can do to maximize yours.


According to experts, your metabolism involves a complex network of hormones and enzymes that not only convert food into fuel but also affect how efficiently you burn that fuel.  Your metabolism establishes the rate at which you burn calories and, ultimately, how quickly you gain weight or how easily you lose it.  Of course, not everyone burns calories at the same rate.


Your metabolism is influenced by four factors:

1.) Your age (slows about 5% per decade after age 40)

2.) your sex (men generally burn more calories at rest than women)

3.) Proportion of lean body mass (the more muscle you have, the higher your metabolic rate tends to be).  Muscle burns fat, just as Chalean Johnson, creator of Turbo Fire.

4.) Heredity makes a difference.  Researchers at New York University Medical Center found that some people just burn calories at a slower rate than others.

5.) The more weight you carry, the faster your metabolism is likely running.  That’s one reason it’s almost always easiest to lose weight at the start of a diet, and harder later on, when you are overweight your metabolism is already running so high that any small cut in calories will result in an immediate loss.  Then, when you lose significant amounts of body fat and muscle, your body needs fewer calories to sustain itself.  That helps explain why it’s so easy to regain weight after you’ve worked to lose it.

One researcher at Mount Sinai Medical Center in New York explained it like this, “If two people both weigh 250 pounds, and one got there by dieting down from 350 and the other one was always at 250, the one who got there by cutting calories is going to have a slower metabolism,”  “That means they will require fewer calories to maintain their weight than the person who never went beyond 250 pounds.”


Though some of the factors affecting metabolic rate can’t be changed, Good News!!! there are ways to maximize the metabolism you’re born with — even when you’re dieting.  Among the best ways is exercise. This includes workouts like P90X, Insanity and Chalean Extreame to burn more calories in the short term, and to build the muscles that will boost your metabolism in the long run.  Again, muscle burns more calories that fat even when a person is resting.  Therefore, the more muscle you have, the higher your metabolism will be running at rest, the higher the rate at rest, the more calories your body will burn just to keep it functioning.  While 30 minutes of aerobic exercise may burn more calories than 30 minutes of weight training, in the hours following the workout, the weight training has a longer-lasting effect on boosting metabolism.  Having extra muscle also means you can eat more and gain less.


Eat more often, and you’ll lose more weight.   Small, but frequent, meals help keep your metabolism in high gear, and that means you’ll burn more calories overall.  I usually will eat 6 to 7 meals a day.  People will often ask me how do you eat that much and lose weight or maintain your weight?  When you put too many hours between meals, your metabolism actually slows down to compensate.  So, If you then eat a huge meal — at the same time your metabolism is functioning as if you’re starving — your body wants to hold on to every calorie.  Eating every 2 to 3 hours keeps me full all day and my metabolic rate high, while fueling my body through the day.  Snacking between meals (200-300 cals) will help keep your metabolic rate up, help you eat less calories and reduce body fat.


There’s no shortage of claims for foods that are said to increase metabolism, from green tea to hot peppers.  But do any of them work?  Actually, any food will increase your metabolism, mostly in the first hour after you eat.  Also protein generally requires about 25% more energy to digest.  So — at least theoretically – a high-protein snack might rev metabolism a little more than a carb-heavy food with the same number of calories.  That said, it’s not clear that any food has special powers to boost metabolism significantly.

A study published in the journal Medicine & Science in Sports & Exercise, reported that male athletes who added red pepper to high-carbohydrate meals boosted both their resting and active metabolic rates 30 minutes after the meal. But there was no evidence this burn power was lasting.  The same appears true for green tea, which contains a substance called EGCG (epigallocatechin gallate), a powerful antioxidant that some believe can bring about the same kind of calorie-burning effect as hot pepper.  But it’s not clear whether this effect would be enough to boost weight loss. And that is precisely the point.  Drink green tea for other health-giving properties, but not to lose weight.

The bottom line, all these foods may have a slight impact on metabolism, but the increase is still insignificant compared to what you need in order to lose weight.  Your best bet for keeping metabolism revved: Build muscles, snack on low-calorie, high-protein foods, and keep moving!


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