6 Ways to Boost Your Metabolism - Omaha, Nebraska - CHI Health

6 Ways to Boost Your Metabolism

Article Date: Jul 19, 2011

Matthew Bott, M.D. You’ve heard the saying, “the battle of the bulge,” right? Well that battle has turned into an all-out war against weight.

Iowa was named the 21st most obese state in the country and Nebraska the 24th, according to the eighth annual “F as in Fat: How Obesity Threatens America’s Future 2011,” a report from the Trust for America’s Health and the Robert Wood Johnson Foundation. Iowa’s adult obesity rate is 28.1 percent and Nebraska’s is 27.6 percent.

Additionally, a new study reports that Americans eat roughly 570 calories more per day than they did in the 1970’s.

What’s going on? We are under snack attack, or more aptly put by one nutrition expert, "we're a generation of constant eaters" and apparently, that’s not good.

Matthew Bott, M.D., a primary care physician with Alegent Health Clinic at Lakeside, says there is no easy fix, but take heart – you can control your weight instead of letting it control you. All it takes is knowledge, a little science and, I’m sorry to say, some math.

First the science: Our bodies have three main sources of energy – carbs, fat and protein.

  • Each gram of carbohydrate contains 3.75 calories
  • Each gram of fat contains 9 calories
  • Each gram of protein contains 4 calories
  • Each gram of alcohol contains 7 calories
1 pound of fat = 4090.86 calories

Now the math: A person weighing 200 pounds eats, on average, 2,000 calories per day.

  • 14,000 calories per week
  • 60,000 calories per month
  • 720,000 calories per year
If your calories in = calories out, then your weight will stay the same.

To decrease your weight by 10 pounds of fat in a year, someone weighing 200 pounds would have to cut 40,900 calories from their diet. But if they tried to lose 10 pounds in one month, they would only be eating 19,100 calories per month, or 4,775 calories per week, which is only 682 calories per day. Dr. Bott says that’s not healthy, not sustainable and certainly not reasonable.

Our bodies, being the highly functioning machines that they are, sense when food is in short supply and slows down to conserve energy. Keeping that energy (or metabolism) high is an important element to losing weight and keeping it off.

Here are 6 ways to boost your metabolism:

  1. Build muscle mass – burns the most calories at rest
  2. Do not skip meals or drastically reduce your caloric intake – that slows metabolism
  3. Increase the amount of protein in your diet – controls the release of insulin
  4. Increase movement in daily lifestyle – park away from building, take the stairs
  5. Walk the dog every day even if you don’t have one (or, go for a daily walk) – move more
  6. Get adequate sleep – Human growth hormone is released during sleep and that controls metabolism
A winning strategy

The best strategy is to throw out those diet pills, cut your caloric intake by no more than 500 calories per day and never eat less than 1,200 calories total each day. On average this will lead to a 1 to 2 pound weight loss per week. Once you determine your daily calorie goal, divide it into six different small meals/snacks throughout the day. Then focus on increasing exercise to gain additional weight loss.

Remember: Alot of factors play into metabolism (or the “calories out” part of the equation). The level of activity you maintain, the types of food you eat, the stress you may be under, the amount of sleep you get, etc., all directly affect your ability to burn calories.

Be kind to yourself. Don’t expect perfection and celebrate your success.

Reader Comments
Posted: Jul 26 2011 10:24 AM CST by Matt McCahill

I have basically followed the above "6 ways to boost your metabolism" for the last 8 weeks and have lost 15+ pounds and over 8 inches of fat.

I am really excited about losing the next 15 pounds and 8 inches!

Posted: Jul 26 2011 11:47 AM CST by Matt McCahill

Find your e-mail adise very ibnteresting and helpful. Keep up the excellenty advice.....

Posted: Jul 28 2011 8:40 AM CST by Matt McCahill

A gram of fat contains 9 calories. But there are 454 grams in a pound, and 9 x 454 = 4086 calories, not 3500.

The reason for the discrepancy is that body fat, or adipose tissue, contains not only fat, but also other substances including protein, connective tissue, and water. The dietary fat referred to in the nutritional analysis of food is pure.

Looking at it another way, 3,500 / 454 = 7.7 calories. Thus a gram of body fat contains only 7.7 calories versus the 9 calories found in pure fat. It's easy to see that there should be a difference when you consider that body fat contains water, which has no calories.

Because of the differences in the two types of fat, it is appropriate to use the 3500 calories per pound figure when discussing fat "burned" by activity, and the 9 calories per gram figure when discussing the nutritional content of food

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