This week we are looking at the subject of metabolism. It is not uncommon for people to blame their excess weight on having a slow metabolism but in reality, it is extremely unlikely to be the case.
In this week’s Newsletter we hope to clarify some of the misconceptions about our metabolism in relation to our weight and Mary will explain in her Fitness section, how exercise can dramatically boost our metabolic rate and help us to slim down and stay that way.
Along the journey of my long career in diet and fitness I have had the privilege of working with some amazing people, including Professor Andrew Prentice who was introduced to me by Mary in 1995.
One of the occasions that Professor Andrew and I worked together was for a feature in one of my TV series, back in the day. The subject of the filming was to measure the metabolic rate, under clinical conditions, of a lady who honestly believed she had a slow metabolism. At the same time, my metabolic rate was measured too.
We all went along to a Nutrition Research Unit where Andrew was based. The very nice lady who had volunteered to have her metabolism measured was quite tall and probably three stone overweight and wasn’t an exerciser. She was convinced her metabolic rate (the number calories her body burned each day to keep her alive) was around 1100 a day. However, after being put in a special chamber that could measure her metabolic rate through the air she breathed in and out over a period of time, Andrew was able to tell her that her BMR (basal metabolic rate) was in fact 1850! She was visibly shocked as she came to the realisation that the only reason for her not losing weight was because she was simply eating too much and not exercising enough.
I was similarly tested. For my 5’2” height, my 8st weight and my age of about 50 at the time, a medical chart would have gauged my BMR at around 1250 a day, but because I was an exerciser, my BMR was in fact 1480!
When you read Mary’s explanation as to how we can increase our metabolic rate through strength exercises later in this Newsletter, I think you will be greatly motivated to do more exercise!
One point that should be made is that as we grow older, our metabolic rate will fall a little because of the natural ageing process however, some of that is due to the fact that our muscles reduce in size and strength because we are less active - another reason for exercising regularly!
If we want to lose weight, eating sufficient calories to enable your body to meet its basic metabolic needs (calories equal to our BMR) will ensure that we eat enough calories to be healthy, then, when we move about and exercise regularly, we will burn extra calories which is bound to create a weight loss. Happy days!
Why not have a look at our video Eat Healthily Forever and check out our Strength and Toning Exercises.