Running increases your basal metabolic rate.

Aging challenges our ability to lose weight. One solution, such as dieting, or exercise, doesn’t work as well as it used to. Sometimes you need multiple solutions for success. Some people eat low-calorie diets, restore their hormonal balance, consume fiber, persevere daily with their exercise program, and can’t seem to get the weight loss process started. Another strategy that might help is to increase your Basal Metabolic Rate (BMR).

Your BMR rate might be set too low. The BMR is the minimum calories required to sustain your life while at rest (assume that you sleep all day and all night and don’t move). Your BMR is responsible for burning up to 70% of the total calories expended daily. Calories are burned to support all bodily processes (respiration, maintaining body temperature, digestion, pumping blood, maintaining your balance, etc.). Your BMR is a combination of factors – genetic and environmental.

Genetic factors mean that some people burn calories faster or slower than others. Gender, age, and weight also have an impact. Men have greater muscle mass and burn calories at a higher rate. After 20 years of age, it is all down-hill – you begin to loose basal metabolic efficiency at approximately 2% a year. So, at age 60 it is not unusual to see your BMR slower than you were at age 18. Aging adjusts your BMR, the result is that weight loss is more difficult.

Body surface area and body fat percentages also affect your BMR. The greater your body surface area, the higher your BMR. A short person will gain up to 15 pounds a year compared to a tall person with the same weight. The higher your body fat percentage the higher your BMR.

Diet and exercise have an effect also. Diet changes – from starvation to abrupt changes in eating patterns can cause your BMR to reduce by 20-30%. This is a serious change in burning calories in your body. Exercise can raise your BMR because you are adding lean muscle which burns more calories compared to fat.

Your body temperature affects your BMR. For every degree increase in your internal temperature (normal body temperature is 98.6 degrees) your BMR can increase by approximately seven percent. Chemical reactions occur more rapidly at higher temperatures.

The outside air temperature can affect your BMR. Hot temperatures have little effect since your body can compensate by releasing more heat to the air. But, colder temperatures have a more pronounced effect because your body has to generate heat to compensate for the colder outside temperature.

The thyroid gland produces thyroxin. It regulates the increase or decrease in your BMR. The more thyroxin produced the higher your BMR and vice versa. Adrenaline can also increase or decrease your BMR, but not to the same degree that thyroxin does.

The following nutritional supplements have been shown to safely raise your BMR. Fucoxanthin is found in brown algae, pomegranate seed oil, green tea polyphenols (epigallocatechin gallate – EGGC) in combination with caffeine (50 mg EGGC with 90 mg caffeine), fish oil rich in EPA (eicosapentaenoic acid) and DHA (docosahexaenoic acid), CLA – (conjugated linoleic acid) found in meat and dairy products – particularly the trans-10 and cis-12 isomers, capsaicin (the active ingredient in hot red peppers and extracts of ginger can raise your BMR.

Each works a little differently. EPA and DHA inhibit key enzymes responsible for lipid synthesis and enhance lipid oxidation and fat burning. They also inhibit free fatty acids from entering your fat cells for fat storage. CLA causes increased energy expenditure, decreased fat cell differentiation and increased fat burning and fat oxidation. EGGC in combination with caffeine and capsaicin work thermogenically. Thermogenesis increases your body’s BMR by increasing your body’s core temperature. Extracts of ginger increase your oxygen consumption and enhance fat burning.

There are lots of options to choose if you want to add this strategy to your weight loss program. Boost your BMR and it should help you lose weight. Again, not all strategies work individually. This strategy might complement another to be more effective.

Live Longer & Enjoy Life – Red O’Laughlin


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