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The Fitness Fixer
The Fitness Fixer

Metabolism - How to Lose Weight and Save Money


Many false claims are made about metabolism.

Metabolism as you get older is not the culprit with much weight gain. Think of all the people who are eating more than in past years, exercising less, doing less, sitting around more, and eating junk food and soda. They gain weight and say the reason is that their metabolism slowed because they got older.

That fact that you burn fewer calories when you decrease activity can be twisted by clever product advertising as "slower metabolism." Don't fall for it. Find fun, healthy things you like to do and start them again to get the increase in metabolic calorie burning that comes with activity.

Don't fall for pills and supplements advertised to increase metabolism and therefore promote weight loss. Some contain stimulating compounds that increase heart rate or other functions. That is not helpful or healthy for your body. Many people feel stimulated and happy on these products, and don't notice the nervousness, anxiety, inability to focus, moodiness, difficulty falling asleep at night, and depression that also often occurs. A more serious cycle starts when people take other drugs to try to stop these symptoms. Then more drugs when the first drugs upset their stomach. Exercise will improve mood and increase your metabolism for weight loss more safely without the negative effects of stimulants and medicines.

Several devices, pills, and patches claim to burn calories or fat while you sleep or watch television. They can claim that because you always burn calories and fat when you sleep or watch television. That is how you stay alive. It is not because of the pill or the machine.

Eating food raises metabolism. The increase comes because your body has to do something extra – digestion. You still gain calories from the food and can gain weight if you eat more calories than you burn. Watch out for advertising that exploits the fact of the "thermogenic" (heat producing or calorie burning) effect of food. The effect is small compared to the calories you have eaten.

Some devices and pills claim to increase metabolism even after exercise ends. They can claim that because all exercise does that - with or without the device or pill. Exercise raises metabolic levels. It takes time after stopping exercise to return to resting level.

Live a healthy active life. Get outside and play. Move, bend properly (Disc Pain - Not a Mystery, Easy to Fix), and stretch as part of your everyday life (What is "Fitness as a Lifestyle?"). Get up now and walk away from the computer to take a break, breathe, stretch arms overhead, move, look up at the sky, and smile. The average amount of money spent on diet products that don't work is saddening. Every time you want to spend on them, put the money in a jar and go do something active instead, even if it is just dusting or gardening. Lift weights, including your own body, to regain the muscle you need for metabolic rate (How Good Would You Look From 400 Squats a Day - Just Stop Unhealthy Bending). Muscle loss from sitting around is often confused with aging. You will burn some calories, keep your joints moving, feel better, and save enough to give to the poor with enough left for a vacation.

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Thank you to Paul & Aline for this photo from Creative Commons
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About the Author


M.Ed, PhD, FAWM

Dr. Bookspan is an award-winning scientist whose goal is to make exercise easier and healthier.

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