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Can You Rev-up Your Metabolism?

Here are a couple of things to think about when you hear someone tell you how to rev-up your metabolism.

First, and most importantly, just because you burn more calories, doesn’t mean you burned calories from the breakdown of stored body fat!

Your body burns calories by breaking down calories from either carbohydrates, proteins or fats.  Those are the three fuel sources your metabolism has for producing energy.  People who struggle with cravings, fatigue, mood swings, inability to lose weight, depression, etc…are usually burning the wrong fuel source.  They are burning calories from the breakdown of carbs and lean muscle.

So revving up your metabolism, and burning more calories won’t necessarily help unless you’re burning calories from stored body fats. That’s the crux of the problem!

Just because the exercise equipment (treadmill, stair stepper, elliptical machine, etc.) shows that you burned 300 calories, you can’t assume those calories came from the breakdown of stored body fats.  That is the biggest mis-conception out there. Yes, you may have burned more calories, and may have revved-up your metabolism with various supplements, but unless you correct your metabolism problem you will continue to wonder why you can’t get over this plateau.

Think about how many people are dieting and exercising and still not losing weight?

Remember calories are a measurement of heat, and you burn calories to produce energy. So as the analogy I use with regards to your metabolism and a fireplace – you can create a lot of heat by burning twigs and small branches, which is OK.  However, the problem is that you have to keep adding more twigs and small branches to create the same amount of heat or energy.  Doesn’t that sound like the person who has to eat every 2-3 hours otherwise their blood sugar drops.  This is because they aren’t burning those big fat logs…and instead are constantly burning carbs and lean muscle.

Fats produce more than two-and-a-half times more energy than carbs and proteins.  So the key is in triggering your metabolism to burn fats…Not simply burn more calories, otherwise you won’t really change your level of health and fitness.  It’s when you breakdown fats that your energy level rises, cravings stop, mood swings decrease, and most importantly you finally start tapping into that reserve fuel source we call stored body fat.

So in short, revving up your metabolism is a great marketing ploy to sell various supplements.  They’ll don’t distinguish between burning calories and burning calories from stored body fat, because burning more calories isn’t the problem!

Lastly, and this is big with regards to your workout. Aerobic training causes an increase of your metabolism for about an hour and a half, which is great…BUT, Strength training (high intensity, interval, burst training….i.e. the Work Horse Fitness Trainer) causes an ‘afterburn’ of you metabolism for about 15-17 hours.

It’s that higher intensity workout that triggers a ‘larger’ increase of testosterone and growth hormones, which are your allies and critical if you are looking to add lean muscle and burn stored body fat.  This is really important for women who are more prone to do more aerobic exercise and not enough weight training.


Len Lopez is a contributing blogger for JenningsWire.