What exactly is metabolism?

If you are blessed to wake up another day then you know that something happened overnight. Your heart kept beating. Your lungs kept breathing. A LOT of other stuff happened that kept you alive without you having to run the show. It’s a good thing too – would you know what to tell it to do?

Those processes that God designed to occur in us "involuntarily" still require energy.  The amount of energy required for these involuntary processes to run for 24 hours is a measurement known as your resting or basal metabolism.

Your body uses energy measured in calories. It prefers to take what is most readily available to it – from the food you eat. The food gets digested and distributed for use in your body. Some ends up in your muscles, available for use immediately as you to move around.  Stored fat is also a source of energy, but your body prefers to use what is stored in your muscles first.   If you are a typical American, there is always plenty of energy coming in from the food we eat, enough to use and some to spare. Those spare calories get stored in your fat cells.



In some cases, if your body needs energy and can’t get enough from your muscles, it will look to stored fat, its next most available source. For most of us, insufficient stored energy is not the problem – it is having far more than we can use. For most Americans, the demands we place on our bodies to use energy don't keep up with the number of calories we take in, so our stored energy accumulates a little more each day.

Do you know what your metabolic rate is? In other words, do you know how many calories your body burns in a day?  Do you know how many calories you eat in a day?

Not knowing those two numbers is the perfect storm for weight gain and what we used to call creeping obesity. When we eat a little more than we need each day, we stockpile small amounts of fat that are not that noticeable day by day. But over time, the extra we accumulated little by little grows into burgeoning metropolis of swollen fat cells.

Three Steps to Begin Reversing Weight Gain

The most vital outcome of all weight loss efforts is to ensure your body begins to use its stored fat. How do you make your body do this elusive task? You must tilt your energy balance so that you are burning more calories than you eat. The simplest part of this is arriving at the number. Let’s start there.

First: Use the link on this page to calculate your resting metabolic rate.

Second: Multiply that number by 1.25. Why? It is an estimate that your daily activity in about 25% more than your resting metabolic rate.

Third: Subtract 500 Calories

What number did you get?

This is the number of calories you would need to stay under each day in order to lose about a pound of fat each week.

This is an estimate and will need tweaking based on a few factors specific to you. But for practical purposes, this gives you an idea of the calorie allowance you might be working with to lose weight at the rate of about 1 pound per week.

This tipping point for losing weight is easy to calculate and very useful. It takes the guessing out of losing weight. Mysteriously, (or not) very few people enjoy utilizing this simple but powerful little tool.

Losing weight is more than just a physical challenge. The parts that make losing weight hard to carry out are the emotional, mental and spiritual parts. Learn more about how we tackle those parts here:  Stop Dieting For Life Monthly Membership

Meet Laura Fulford

Laura Fulford is the Founder and Co-author of the Stop Dieting for Life System.  She graduated from Wake Forest University with a B.S. in Exercise Science.  Laura is a certified Life Coach and Wellness Coach. She battled her weight for nearly 4 decades before learning she was trying to solve the wrong problem with all the wrong solutions.

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