Your metabolism is the governor of your weight loss. A fast metabolism means you burn calories faster, leading to greater fat loss, while a slow metabolism can be a diet nightmare, and forces you to cut calories extremely low just to lose a measly few pounds. By mastering your metabolism, however, you can control your weight loss far better and drop fat without living off lettuce leaves and egg whites.
Create a small calorie deficit. Burning more calories than you consume is known as a calorie deficit and is essential for weight loss. While you may think that creating a big calorie deficit will lead to faster weight loss, this isn't necessarily the case. Cutting your calories too low can cause your metabolism to slow down and your weight loss to plateau far sooner. The United States Department of Agriculture recommends women eat between 2,200 and 2,400 calories each day. Start with these figures and adjust them according to your progress.
Perform weight training at least twice a week. Weight training not only burns calories, but also boosts your metabolism, according to MayoClinic.com. By building lean muscle mass, you increase your metabolic rate and burn more calories on a daily basis. Perform two to three total-body workouts each week, focusing on moves such as squats, lunges, pushups and rows.
Add supersets into your workouts. Supersets involve performing two or three exercises back to back with no rest in between. Not only do these burn more calories than traditional weight training, they also have a powerful effect on your metabolism, writes Mark Schuenke, assistant anatomy professor at the University of New England College of Osteopathic Medicine in Maine in "Fitness Magazine." Pair a quad exercise with a hamstring one, chest with back and biceps with triceps.
Include a refeed day once a week. When dieting, your metabolism can lower due to a lack of calories and carbohydrates. On your refeed days, increase your calories by 20 to 50 percent, advises trainer Shannon Clark of Bodybuilding.com. Make the majority of these calories from carbohydrates, such as oats, sweet potatoes, fruit and rice.
- Aim to lose one to two pounds per week. Any more than this will likely be muscle loss rather than fat loss, which will cause your metabolism to slow down.
- Consult your doctor before starting a diet and exercise regimen.
- Ask a qualified trainer for assistance if you need help with any exercise techniques.
Mike Samuels started writing for his own fitness website and local publications in 2008. He graduated from Peter Symonds College in the UK with A Levels in law, business and sports science, and is a fully qualified personal trainer, sports massage therapist and corrective exercise specialist with accreditations from Premier Global International.