We have all heard it or even said it one time or another: "I can't lose weight because of my metabolism." It is easy to blame our unwanted weight on an abstract idea like metabolism, but let's look at the real importance of metabolism - and better yet, how to get the most "burn" for your buck by recharging your metabolism.

In the most basic sense, metabolism includes all of the chemical and physical changes that happen inside the cells of the body. Most often, however, metabolism refers to the process in which the body obtains and uses energy from what we eat, so it really does have an important role in weight loss and gain.

Not everyone is given the same metabolism, and our rates actually fluctuate during our lives, so someone who blames their metabolism is not necessarily making excuses. Age affects metabolism, which will slow about 5% every 10 years after we turn 40, and by sex, as males have a tendency to burn more calories at rest than females, and by the amount of muscle mass you have (more muscle generally means a higher metabolic rate). Heredity also influences metabolism, not to mention pregnancy, as well as whether a woman decides to breast-feed.

Despite all of the wild cards, the simple fact is that when your calorie intake surpasses your metabolism, surplus energy will get stored in the body as fat. Though some of the issues affecting metabolic rate can't be altered, fortunately, there are ways to rev up the metabolism you are born with.

The first tenet is to eat the correct foods in the correct amounts. When you miss a meal, your body switches to starvation mode, which slows metabolism to conserve calories, because it does not know when it will get to eat again. And when the metabolism slows, so does your weight loss.

When you finally do get food after having skipped a meal, instead of burning the calories in the food you've just had, your body converts them to body fat to hold for the next "fast." To keep your metabolism efficient, eat 4 - 6 smaller meals during the day and try to eat close to the same times each day. Most importantly, never skip a meal.

You can also step up your metabolic rate with exercise, including both aerobic routines and strength training. Aerobic activities, such as biking, dancing and running, burn more calories in the short term, while strength training will build more muscle, which improves metabolism and burns more calories in the long term - even when you are at rest, muscle needs more calories to function than fat.

In fact, each pound of muscle requires 35 calories a day, while each pound of fat requires just 2 calories per day. Despite this, you might be surprised that the more weight you posses, the faster your metabolism is likely to run. Simply put, the extra weight forces your body work more to maintain its processes.

This is partly why it is almost always easiest to drop weight when you begin dieting, and gets harder as you continue because, when you are significantly overweight, your metabolism is already at a high rate, so that even a minor reduction in calories will bring about an immediate weight loss.

But what happens after that immediate loss, when a plateau occurs and motivation seems to go by the "weigh" side? Old cravings and compulsions can swiftly return, and when they do, don't overlook a valuable resource – weight loss hypnotherapy. Hypnotherapy can actually retrain your unconscious so that, in essence, you can do away with food cravings. When we study why we snack, recognizing why weight loss hypnosis works so successfully becomes clear.

For a lot of people, snacking has become a habit - maybe you do it unconsciously when you are driving or watching TV or when you are under stress. Hypnosis can actually reprogram your thoughts to stop those associations, leaving you to drive or watch TV without experiencing the need to eat.

One of the most successful lose weight hypnosis methods for stopping the snacking cycle is Neuro-Linguistic Programming, or NLP, which relies on working with the unconscious and making it use the same thought processes that are creating your appetite, to eliminate your appetite. NLP requires many years of study and practical experience for a hypnotherapist to learn and master, but positive results can come very quickly and seem almost magical to someone who has always experienced cravings.

NLP can be equally as essential as exercise and motivation because, as you learned above, it can help make sure that you eat the right kinds of foods at the right times, and this is a chief element to turbo-charging your metabolism. If you want to keep your metabolism at full speed and make sure that all of your exercise and hard work aren't being wasted by surrendering to your food temptations, weight loss hypnosis and NLP can be a secret weapon to eliminate your cravings once and for all.

Author's Bio: 

Alan B. Densky, CH has been helping clients with weight loss and appetite suppression since 1978. Visit his self-hypnosis weight loss website to enjoy his Free hypnosis videos. Many have asked, "Does weight loss hypnosis work?" The answer is that hypnotism for weight loss is a very effective modality.