Dukan Diet Tips: Understanding Your Metabolism
To get the most out of any diet it is important to understand your metabolism. A lot of people confuse metabolism with metabolic rate but the two are not the same. Your metabolism is your body’s mechanism for using and converting energy and your metabolic rate is the speed of your metabolism measured by the rate at which you burn calories.
Your metabolic rate is influenced by many things
- Your Body
- How much you weigh – the more you weigh the more calories you need to stay at the same weight.
- How much fat and muscle you have – fat needs less calories than muscle, so the more muscle you have the more calories you burn.
- Your Genes
- Whether you are a man or a woman. Men generally have less fat that women so that they have a higher metabolic rate.
- What metabolic rate you have inherited. This is why some people stay thin whatever they eat and others get fat just looking at a cream cake!
- What Foods you Eat
- How much protein you eat. Your body needs more energy to digest a high-protein diet like the Dukan Diet.
- How much you eat. There are studies which have shown that eating less than 1,200 calories a day reduce your metabolic rate — which means that by not going hungry and eating high-protein foods you can help stop your metabolic rate declining.
- How often you eat. Skipping meals or going with long breaks between your meals can also slow your metabolic rate which is why many diets advise eating a meal or snack every two to three hours. ( This is why the Dukan Diet encourages you to eat three meals and two smaller snacks each day.)
- How much caffeine you consume. Because caffeine is a stimulant it increase the rate at which your body burns calories for a short period of time. (Both coffee and tea are allowed on the Dukan Diet.)
- If you like spicy food. Spicy food can stimulate your metabolism in a similar but less effective way than caffeine. (Spices are freely allowed in all phases of the Dukan Diet)
- How Active You Are
- What exercise you take. You burn calories without doing any exercise but you can increase the number of calories that you burn by increasing the amount of exercise that you do. (This is why the Dukan Diet encourages you to exercise and walk more.)
- How Old You Are
- Your metabolic rate is likely to slow down as you get older.
- You lose muscles at the rate of around 2% per decade and this can start as early as your twenties!
- Where you live
- Extreme weather either hot or cold causes our bodies to worker harder and therefore use more calories to maintain its normal temperature.