Metabolism is the internal process where our bodies release energy and burn calories. Our metabolism is continuously working 24/7, even when we sleep, by converting all the food we eat into energy that we need to function. This energy can be used for breathing, repairing or growing cells, circulating blood, walking, talking, smiling and all other necessary activities.
A person’s metabolic rate depends primarily on their genes. According to the University of Oxford’s Medical Sciences Division, “Thousands of genes are involved in the regulation of our day-to-day metabolism, and relatively little is understood about their function.”
You could be one of those lucky people who naturally burn more calories than others. Then you can eat more food without gaining any weight. Others might have a slower metabolism and need to watch their waistline more carefully.
What is a Fast Metabolism?
Many people work hard to boost their body’s metabolism because it is a strategy for weight loss. Those who have a fast metabolism can consume more food which turns into energy. A fast metabolism diet requires you to eat certain foods at set times to trick your body into speeding up, which helps to lose those extra pounds.
Exercise is one of the most effective ways to speed up metabolism. A healthy and nutritional food plan with regular exercise is the best way to achieve that perfect summer body. To continue speeding up your metabolism, you will need to eat several small meals throughout the day rather than a few large ones. These meals should also be healthy and include all the food groups such as carbohydrates, fats, and proteins. Instead of snacking on pizza or chocolates, you should opt for avocado, peanut butter, nuts, and seeds because these are nutrient-dense. Having a high metabolism will also make you feel more energized, and you will naturally feel like going for a run rather than forcing yourself out of bed.
What is a Slow Metabolism?
If someone has a slow metabolism, the food they eat might take longer to convert into valuable energy. In this case, you might have to eat lesser calories than people with a fast metabolism. Even if someone’s genes unkindly slow down their metabolism, people could still exercise and change their diet to give it a boost. Otherwise, they might suffer from symptoms of slow metabolism such as chronic fatigue, depression, headaches, sugar cravings, constipation, or excess weight gain.
A lot of people hardly eat anything and still gain weight. You should always eat frequent meals to keep your metabolism pumping. Avoid eating junk food and have small portions of healthy meals throughout the day with snacks in between. If you are not exercising enough, reduce your daily calorie-intake to what is suitable for your body mass index. Many websites can help you calculate how many calories you should consume per day. When you become active in the gym, you can gradually start eating more and not gain weight.
What Affects Metabolism?
Aside from genetics, a person’s metabolic rate can also be affected by many factors, mainly their body size, gender, and age. People who have more muscle mass tend to burn more calories even if they are at rest. Despite how much you weigh, muscles will always make you look leaner and more physically fit.
Men often have less body fat and more muscle mass compared to women, even if they weigh the same. The additional muscle mass is an advantage to make them look slender, while women suffer from all the fat going to their hips and thighs unless they push themselves at the gym. Age is a factor that affects metabolism too as older people don’t have enough muscle mass to burn calories. This slows down their metabolism, and they end up gaining weight quickly. Sometimes, certain medications can slow down a person’s metabolic rate even if they regularly exercise and eat healthily. Some medical conditions can also affect your metabolic rate such as hypothyroidism, or polycystic ovary syndrome.
It’s out of your control…but there are things you can do.
A person’s metabolism is out of their control. If you have a fast metabolism, it still doesn’t mean you can eat five buckets of KFC because you can always gain weight. A person with a slow metabolism can take steps to speed it up, especially cardio exercises and lifting weights. Your goal should be to increase muscle mass because then you will burn more calories while doing nothing. You could wake up feeling as though you have burned enough calories worth a thirty-minute run, depending on how big your muscles are.
When you feel hungry, many physiological signals work hard to regulate both your appetite and metabolism. If you have an empty stomach, this triggers a hormone called Ghrelin, which is also the hunger hormone. After you finish eating, those hunger hormones are silenced. Make sure to pay attention to your body and reduce food portions to avoid overeating. Drinking water before eating a meal can trick those hunger hormones into thinking that you are getting full. Meaning you’re less likely to binge and feel more satisfied with healthier portions, giving your metabolism the boost it needs.
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