What is the metabolism?
The metabolism is the body’s process of taking in fuel (in the form of foods), turning that fuel into the various compounds each part of the body needs to maintain itself and store energy within the internal organs, muscles and fat.
That energy (in the form of calories) is then used (or burned) to heat our bodies and allow them to move and function, and is recycled to maintain the various parts of our bodies and be temporarily stored again within our organs, muscles and fat. It is a continuous never-ending cycle that never stops until we die.
People whose bodies utilize and burn off their energy (calories) faster than they can take in their fuel (food) and store it in their organs, muscles and fat are said to have fast metabolisms. They burn off the fuel/calories faster than they can take them in. This is why people with fast metabolisms end to be thinner – their energy or caloric output is larger than their energy or caloric intake.
People whose bodies utilize and burn off their energy (calories) more slowly than they can take in their fuel (food) and store it in their organs, muscles and fat are said to have slow metabolisms. This is why people with slow metabolisms tend to be heavier – their energy or caloric intake is larger than their energy or caloric output.
One’s true metabolic rate is known as their resting metabolic rate. This can be defined as the very least amount of calories or energy required to support one’s very basic life functions, such as heart/blood circulation and breathing. The higher one’s resting metabolic rate, the faster their metabolism.
Despite some seemingly unchangeable factors that affect resting metabolic rate including age, gender and genetics, there are many things that anyone can do to boost metabolism, lose weight, build muscle and become stronger, more focused and more energetic.
- Sleep – Sleep is the time for one’s body to rest and recharge. Without adequate sleep, the body becomes overused and fatigued, resulting in a lowered metabolism and decreased weight loss. Make sure to get at least six to eight hours of sleep each night. Your more energized body and increased metabolism will thank you!
- Water – Water is a great metabolism booster. Drinking eight 8 ounce glasses of water a day will reduce your appetite, flush out toxins and assist the body in metabolizing stored fat more efficiently.
- Eating the right foods – Lean proteins and green vegetables will speed up your metabolism because more energy is needed to digest them. Your body will burn more fat and increase muscle mass during this process. Eliminate tempting foods containing sugars and bad carbs from your pantry and watch unwanted weight disappear!
- Go organic – The chemicals, pesticides and preservatives in many foods will slow your metabolism down because those toxins prevent the foods from being properly metabolized. The toxins will cause fat to be stored instead of being turned into energy because the body does not know what else to do with such strange and unnatural chemicals. You can lose ten pounds just by replacing your regular foods with organic versions of them.
- Spice it up – Higher internal body temperatures caused by the capsaicin in spicy foods will increase your body’s metabolism by eight to ten percent if eaten regularly. Spicy foods will also make you feel full more quickly so that you end up eating less.
- Eat larger meals earlier in the day – Eating a good breakfast, an early lunch and a light dinner will speed up your metabolism and weight loss. This is because you have the whole day while you are up and about for that food to digest and metabolize more efficiently and effectively because you are using more energy. Eating large, heavy meals before bed will cause your metabolism to slow and your weight to increase because your body is not moving around, causing the food to just hang around and turn into fat.
- Don’t overly restrict your food intake – If you are consuming less than 1000 calories a day, your body will instinctively go into starvation mode and hang on to the stored fat.
- Eat smaller, more frequent meals – Eating six smaller meals approximately two to three hours apart will keep your metabolism continuously working, thus increasing your energy and not allowing the food enough time in between meals to turn into fat.
- Exercise – Regular aerobic exercises, weight training exercises and walking are the best metabolism boosters ever! A thirty-minute session will cause calories to continue burning for up to an hour afterwards, and you will feel increased energy and a better mood (caused by endorphins) for the rest of the day. Even if you can only exercise three times a week, you will totally see and feel the difference.
It’s often difficult to get motivated to start exercising, but once you get addicted to the positive energy from the endorphins, it’s hard to stop. Also, it takes thirty days for something to become a habit. Stick it out for thirty days and it will become part of your routine.
Another tip to help you stay motivated is to purchase a good pedometer. It has been proven that walking 10,000 steps a day will increase your metabolism and cause significant weight loss. Achieving that daily goal of 10,000 steps is very satisfying and makes walking for exercise a lot more fun.
Incorporating these metabolism boosters into your lifestyle will make a significant change in the quality of your life. You will be happier, more mentally focused and your body will be healthy and fit. And with your new increased metabolism, you won’t have to work as hard to stay that way!