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Your metabolism is responsible for whether you lose or gain weight. If you have a sluggish metabolism, which can sometimes be brought on from years of yo-yo dieting, you will have trouble losing weight. If on the other hand, you can get your resting metabolic rate (RMR) to increase, you will begin to start burning fat and dropping some pounds.

What does Resting Metabolic Rate mean?

Your resting metabolic rate is the number of calories your body burns while it is at rest. Your resting metabolic rate is used when calculating the number of calories that you have burned during the day. This figure joins several other factors including how much you exercise, the calculation that determines the thermogenic effect of food, the amount of excess oxygen you consume after exercising, and thermogenesis that is not generated by exercise.

Your body does not have to use any energy when it is storing fat, but it does require energy when maintaining muscle mass. This is one of the reasons why a person who is toned and has built up their muscles will burn more energy and have a higher resting metabolic rate. The muscles require more energy even after you have completed your workout. A body that is in shape will have a higher RMR because of the existence of lean muscle mass.

What is the difference between your BMR and your RMR?

Even if you are not doing anything at all, your body is still burning energy. Your BMR, or Basal Metabolic Rate, is how many calories you would burn if you did nothing all day but sleep. This calculation is done under laboratory conditions as they must monitor your sleep.

Your RMR is different from your BMT because it determines how many calories your body needs to merely function on a daily basis. It is the base from which you want to build in order to lose weight. The more energy your body is burning, the more weight you can lose.

Your BMR decreases as you get older which makes it harder to lose weight. Many people become frustrated and start lowering their caloric intake which only reduces your BMT even further. You can increase your BMR with cardiovascular exercises, such as brisk walking, running, or riding a bike.

How can you determine your RMR?

There are several calculators online that can give you your RMR. All you have to do is provide it with the required information. Your gender is a factor, your current height and weight need to be included, your age is a major factor and if you know the percentage of your body fat it will give you a more accurate reading.

What will increase your RMR?

Building up muscles in your body will increase your RMR. This does not mean you have to become a bodybuilder. It just means that a regular routine that consists of lifting weights that is done 3 times a week will make you more toned and will raise your RMR. Your body will even look like it weighs less because the muscles become lean.

Your RMR will increase during the winter months, especially if you live in an area that has very cold temperatures. Taking a cold bath or shower will increase your RMR as well. This is because your body has to work harder to keep warm.

Eating several smaller meals will increase your RMR because your metabolism is used to digest your food every time you eat. Besides making you feel full longer, eating smaller meals will help you to drop weight easier. You won’t be so apt to binge on something because you’re hungry if you know you are going to eat something in another hour.

What decreases your RMR?

The two things you can’t do anything about – your age and genetics – will cause your RMR to decrease. As you get older it will decrease and if it runs in your family, you’ve inherited it as well.

Going on and off diets will definitely decrease your RMR. It throws your entire metabolism off as it adjusts to eating very little and then when you resume regular eating it is on overload.

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