A healthy metabolism is key to burning stomach fat. It accounts for most of the calories you burn. Unfortunately, most people who become obese do so because of a damaged metabolism. Unlike exercise and natural activities, a healthy metabolism constantly burns calories, even while you sleep.
You can find your metabolism with a fitness calculator or multiply your weight by ten. This is not a hard-fast rule because some people will underperform the average while others will outperform the average. Your metabolism is like other biological identifiers (height, weight, etc.). It varies from person to person, and no two people have the same metabolism. But not to worry, you can optimize a healthy metabolism to burn more calories when you are doing nothing.
What is your metabolism?
Your metabolism is a system of organs that works together to process and use energy. It works like the circulatory, respiratory, digestive, or other systems in your body. A healthy metabolism depends on various organs to process and use energy. The major organs that make up the metabolism are the brain, kidneys, heart, and liver. These four organs account for 51% of a healthy metabolism while accounting for only 6% of your body’s total weight. In addition, these four organs work day and night, even while you are sleeping.
When unhealthy habits damage the major organs, it slows a healthy metabolism down. A sluggish metabolism affects your overall health because of the major organs. Also, a slow metabolism makes it almost impossible to lose weight. Your body mass index (BMI) increases as a healthy metabolism slows down. This explains why doctors use BMI as a health marker. Besides increasing BMI, prolonged damage to a healthy metabolism can cause obesity. According to the World Health Organization, obesity is the leading contributor to diseases that cause premature death.
What Role do your organs play in your metabolism?
The brain is the most crucial organ in healthy metabolism. It accounts for 18% of your metabolism and 2% of your body weight.
Besides using a lot of energy, the brain determines your mood and emotions. So it controls how often you perform biological activities and exercise. The brain comprises 80% water. It performs cognitive functions that control your body and its systems.
The heart is the second most crucial organ in healthy metabolism. It accounts for 8% of your metabolism and 0.5% of your body weight.
The heart uses more energy, pound for pound, than any other muscle. The heart comprises 75% water, and the blood it pumps comprises 83% water. It sends blood, nutrients, hormones, energy, and oxygen to other body parts. The heart plays a significant role in muscle hypertrophy and causes muscle pump after an intense workout.
The liver is one of the most versatile organs in healthy metabolism. It accounts for 19% of your metabolism and 2.6% of your body weight.
The liver comprises 75% water. It processes fat, produces cholesterol, and cleanses the blood. The liver performs over 500 vital functions in the body.
The kidneys keep a healthy metabolism clean and moving. They account for 7% of your metabolism and 0.4% of your body weight.
The kidneys comprise 85% water. Like the liver, the kidneys are a cleaning organ. The kidneys act as a filter. They rid the body of waste and return vitamins, amino acids, glucose, and hormones into the bloodstream.
After the brain, heart, liver, and kidneys, the other organs account for 49% of the metabolism and makeup 94% of your body weight.
The Digestive system processes energy for a healthy metabolism.
Many organs make up the digestive system, including the mouth, stomach, and intestines. It accounts for 10% of your metabolism and 1.7% of your body weight. The digestive system comprises 75% water. It handles the intake and breakdown of food and drinks for energy.
The muscles are the most prominent part of a healthy metabolism. It accounts for 20% of your metabolism and 40% of your body weight.
The muscles comprise 75% water. Many people believe they are the key to healthy metabolism and offer the best solution for weight loss. This is not true. While you need them to burn fat, they only account for 20% of your metabolism and stop burning energy right after or soon after you don’t use them.
The other organs, while many, play a significant role in healthy metabolism. They account for 16% of your metabolism and 31% of your body weight.
One of the most important of these organisms is the lungs. The lungs comprise 90% water. They play a crucial role in burning fat. It takes 3 pounds of oxygen to burn one pound of fat. The byproduct to burn a pound of fat is almost 3 pounds of carbon dioxide and one pound of water. Oxygen and carbon dioxide are required to burn fat. The skin and bones are other essential organs and comprise 64% and 30% water.
Fat mass is the most undesirable part of a healthy metabolism.
Yes, fat burns fat. It accounts for 3% of your metabolism and 21% of your body weight. Fat mass comprises 10% water. Also, it provides energy for the body when there is no food available. Without body fat, the body would blackout when food isn’t available and cannibalize muscle. Two percent is the lowest acceptable level of body fat for organs to function correctly. Bodybuilders compete with 6–7% body fat.
How to increase a healthy metabolism safely.
Drinking more water increases a healthy metabolism because it hydrates the organs that make up your metabolism.
Multiple research studies have shown that drinking a large, cool glass of water will increase your metabolism by 24-30% for 90 minutes. Water hydrates the organs and keeps them healthy. Most of the organs comprise 70% or more water. They need water to function and burn energy. Because organs make up your metabolism, they also determine how many calories your metabolism burns. The average person needs 0.5 to 1 ounce of water for every pound of weight. Therefore, a 200-pound man needs to drink 100 to 200 ounces of water, 12 to 25 glasses of water daily. Even when they think they are drinking enough water, most people are not. Water improves a healthy metabolism in the following ways:
- Brain Function
- Organ Detox
- Muscle Hydration
- Skin Health
Sleep increases a healthy metabolism because it revitalizes the organs that make up your metabolism.
One of the most underestimated activities for weight loss is sleep. Sleep provides the body with rest and rejuvenation. The brain benefits more than most other organs from sleep. It allows the body to prepare for biological activities and workouts. Also, sleep gives the body the time and energy it needs to build hormones. The body produces significant hormones that determine muscle and fat during sleep. The considerable benefits of sleep are:
- Stronger immune system
- Lower risk of diseases
- Reduce stress and improve mood
- Increase cognitive function
- Improve workout performance
Natural activities increase a healthy metabolism because they keep the organs that make up your metabolism active all day.
Non-exercise activity thermogenic (NEAT) plays a crucial role in improving metabolism. They prevent you from living a sedentary lifestyle. The world health organization determined that a sedentary lifestyle and processed foods were the leading causes of obesity. Many studies revealed that sitting is now the new smoking. Natural activities keep you away from chairs and couches and keep you moving during the day. The best biological activities are walking and standing. An average person burns 200 calories an hour from standing and 360 calories walking. The significant benefits of physical activities are:
- Prevents joint and muscle stiffness
- Promote mental health
- Reduce stress and fatigue
- Warm-up for exercise
- Decrease the risk of diseases
How do exercise and dieting affect a healthy metabolism?
Exercise is work or play performed for a specific amount of time, volume, and purpose.
Many health experts, namely the American Heart Association and the Centers for Disease Control, recommend 150 minutes of exercise a week. The volume (volume =sets x reps x unit) of exercise determines how many calories you burn. The unit, in this case, refers to the unit of measurement (distance, weight, punches, etc.). Some purposes for exercise are weight loss, muscle growth, and physical performance. Exercise is a supplement to natural activities but should never substitute them. You can’t sit on the couch or at a desk all day and expect 30 minutes to an hour of exercise to eliminate it. Whatever you spend most of your time doing will determine how you look.
Exercise speeds up a healthy metabolism during and shortly after workouts.
Shortly after exercise, the body goes through the EPOC effect. EPOC refers to the increase in a healthy metabolism after an exercise end. Scientists linked elevated metabolism to increased consumption of oxygen, which is required to help the body restore and return to its pre-exercise state. Exercise is an excellent supplement to natural activities because it allows you to adjust to mistakes in your diet.
Let’s face it; your diet is always the elephant in the room. You can eat over 1000 calories in a minute, while it will take hours to burn 1000 calories. For those who love food and use it as pleasure, exercise offers a way to manage your calories successfully—ninety percent of people lose weight and keep it off training at least one hour each day. Also, exercise reduces the risk of many diseases and improves your mental health. The human body enjoys and needs exercise to stay healthy and fit.
A diet is the foods you eat to provide your body with energy, but dieting restricts calories for weight loss.
Dieting slows down a healthy metabolism. It is a simple fact that you can’t deny. Your metabolism slows down when you diet, no matter how well you eat. Not even the best fat-burning foods can stop your metabolism from slowing down when you diet. Your metabolism slows down when you diet because of work (work = time x volume). As you lose weight, the same activities useless calories. It takes fewer calories to stand, walk, work, or exercise when smaller. Fewer calories burned to make it more challenging to create a calorie deficit. You need a calorie deficit to lose weight no matter the diet or exercise.
The second reason your metabolism slows down when dieting is metabolic flexibility and adaptation.
A healthy metabolism uses metabolic flexibility and metabolic adaptation to protect the body. Your metabolism acts as a living organism by responding to the world around it. Metabolic flexibility switches from food fat or slows down to conserve or burn energy. In comparison, metabolic adaptation changes your metabolism completely to adjust to changes in your diet.
As you diet to lose weight, your body adapts to your diet and becomes better at using the energy in the food that you provide to it. This explains why weight loss is rapid at the beginning and slows to a plateau. Also, over time, you can regain the weight lost. For example, a study of the Biggest Loser show found that the participants recovered at least 70% of the weight they lost.
The World Health Organization credited processed foods and a sedentary lifestyle for causing the world obesity epidemic.
Whole foods or better for a healthy metabolism than processed foods because of the nutrients they provide. Hippocrates, the father of modern western medicine, said, “let food be thy medicine.” Whole food provides the body with energy and gives the body many vitamins and minerals it needs to rejuvenate and heal itself. Nature took millions of years to perfect the relationship between portion size and calorie amount in natural foods. When you eat whole foods, you get what you see. Orange has more calories than a strawberry. The size of the food and the calories tells the same story.
The problem with processed food is that it can pack 2000 calories into a slice of cake with absolutely no nutritional value.
Food is already the elephant in the room and the most determining factor in weight loss. But processed food takes it to a whole new level. The goal of a diet is to create a calorie deficit, which means you have to match calories to calories and then some. Well, you cannot reach the calories in processed food with exercise unless you are a gym rat, road warrior, or professional athlete.
On top of the calories you can see in processed foods, the hidden calories turn a zero-calorie coffee into a calorie-making machine. One tablespoon of a coffee creamer has 35 calories in it. Once you add up the numbers, the math becomes insurmountable. Besides the calories that processed foods bring, you also have to worry about the cravings and chemicals they come with. Not only do processed foods overwhelm and outpace a healthy metabolism, but the chemicals they provide can also wreak havoc on a healthy metabolism.
Why it is essential to use natural foods and activities with dieting and exercising to increase a healthy metabolism
To increase a healthy metabolism, you need a balanced approach so that one part of the equation does not cancel out the other part of the equation. For example, it would be best to focus on water, sleep, biological activities, dieting, and exercise. Also, get your priorities in line. Despite using a balanced approach, some things carry more weight than others.
Just as you count the calories in food, measure the ounces or liters of water you drink. The ratio of water to weight is 0.5 to 1.0, whereas the percentage of food to weight is 10.0 to 1.0. That means that water affects your body ten times that of food. This is because water makes up most of your body. You can only go three days without water, but you can go over seven days without food. Thus, drink water more than you eat and track it more than you track the calories in food.
Dieting and exercise should supplement while relying on biological activities, water, and whole-food to increase a healthy metabolism.
Natural activities will make dieting and exercise easier to perform. For example, drinking water suppresses your appetite and helps you digest food better. While sleeping and biological activities guarantee your body is well-rested and warmed up for exercise.
A healthy balanced diet and active lifestyle allow you to lose weight quickly and keep it off. Please keep it simple by drinking water, eating whole foods, going on nature walks, exercising, and gradually restricting calories. By using a sensible approach, you can improve the health of your metabolism and increase it at the same time. Avoid quick fixes and empty promises that only lead to metabolic damage. Your metabolism is pretty intelligent. It has millions of years of experience. Work with it to get the best results by doing what worked best for your ancestors over thousands of years.
How to create a SMART plan to increase and improve a healthy metabolism.
A robust SMART plan to increase and improve the health of your metabolism should use a balanced approach. Select at least one goal for each behavior that influences your metabolism. Do not select over three for each behavior so that you can stay focused. A SMART plan should be specific, measurable, attainable, relevant, and time-specific.
Begin with the significant behaviors for a healthy and fit metabolism: water, sleep, biological activities, dieting, and exercise. Then generalize your goals. For example, I will drink the recommended daily amount of water. Next, get specific by adding numbers to your general purpose. For instance, I will drink 500 milliliters of water once an hour, 12 times a day, for three months. Next, track your goal with technology. Most phones provide apps that will keep you on task and encourage you. You should set this type of goal for each behavior that increases and improves the health and fitness of your metabolism.
Here is what a complete SMART plan that increases and improves a healthy metabolism looks like:
Water-I will drink 500 milliliters of water once an hour, 12 times a day for three months.
Sleep–I will go to bed at 9 am, wake up at 7 am, seven days a week for three months.
Natural Activities–I will stand for 15 minutes, once an hour, 12 times a day for three months.
Diet–I will eat 600 calories three times a day, seven days a week, for three months.
Exercise–I will work out (run, swim, do yoga, or resistance training) 45 minutes a day, three times a week, for three months.
Always create a plan that you can control and provide as many details as possible.
The plan mentioned above is specific for a reason. It creates many opportunities for success. It would be easy to say eat 1800 calories a day, but what happens when you go over? A general plan puts you in a win-all or lose-all situation. A specific program helps you to see where you are weak and strong. It allows you to target and fix the cause of the problem. For example, you may outperform your diet for breakfast and lunch while underperforming your diet for dinner.
A specific plan allows you to identify and fix the causes that prevent you from staying on track for dinner.
Also, identify three significant resources for each part of your plan. For example: to complete the diet part of the plan, you could use a calorie tracker, shopping list, and a meal plan. You can always use as many as you like, but only include three in your decision-making to keep it simple. The resources should help you complete your plan. A calorie tracker lets you know how much food to eat for 600 calories a meal. A shopping list enables you to avoid foods that sabotage your 600 calorie meal. Finally, a meal plan saves time and helps to include foods with nutrients.
Notice none of the goals talked about weight loss or performance. You cannot control those factors. Many factors determine weight loss, which fluctuates on a weight loss journey. Also, running faster or lifting more weight considers factors like your genetic ceiling. Those goals are not SMART goals because other factors like your genetics and environment have just as much to do with them as your efforts.
Focus on what you can control, and the outcome will surprise you. The key is to do what you can do better each time. Perfect, the basics, and let that be the foundation for building a healthy metabolism. A solid foundation will help you reach your goals faster. When drinking water, sleeping, and staying active are the foundation of a healthy metabolism, your other health, and fitness goals become easy to reach.
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