If Metabolism 101 were a class, you'd be the teacher's pet: You never skip breakfast—you know a little food in the a.m. kick-starts the day's calorie burn. And you don't crash diet, either, because that leads your body to hang on to Every. Last. Calorie. Ready for the advanced course? We found out what real people with high metabolism do right. Adopt their ways to shrink your waist and get in peak shape.
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Eat the Correct Number of Calories
Science time! Metabolism is the chemical process in the body that converts the food you eat into fuel. The result: You get the energy that keeps you going each day. Your basal metabolic rate (BMR) is the number of calories per day your body naturally burns at rest, says Louis Aronne, MD, an obesity specialist at the New York Presbyterian Weill Cornell Medical Center. Knowing your number is key because it means you'll be aware of exactly how many calories to consume to maintain your weight (or lose or gain, if need be).
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Calculate Your Calorie Burn
Of course, you don't just sit around all day—even a couch potato has to lift the remote once in a while. So in order to get a more accurate figure, factor in how active you are by using this calculator. Your result is the number of calories per day you need to maintain your current weight. Want to lose? Shave 500 extra calories a day by eating less, working out more or, ideally, doing a combo. You'll drop 1 to 2 pounds per week.