What is Metabolism?
Here is a definition: ‘Metabolism is the set of chemical reactions that happen in living organisms to maintain life. These processes allow organisms to grow and reproduce, maintain their structures, and respond to their environments.’ This means it’s your metabolism is what is keeping you alive by drawing energy from your food sources enabling you to function and grow. The rate of this process does vary, with some people metabolising very fast and some very slow. If you have a fast metabolism you will find it hard to put on weight and you can eat much more liberally and not notice any significant changes in your body fat. If you have a slow metabolism you will be able to put weight on very fast as your body does not use as many calories to maintain weight.
Factors that influence the rate of your metabolism
Your age plays a role in how fast you metabolise, for every decade past 40 your metabolism slows by a rate of 5%. Below 40 a general rule is the younger you are the faster you metabolise. Gender influences it with men having higher metabolisms than women because they generally have increased muscle mass. You also generally inherit the metabolic rates of your parents, so if theirs are low it’s likely yours is too. These are the factors you can’t change but how about an overview of what can be? Your diet and the foods in it are a huge part of your metabolism as well as the amount of exercise you get. Your stress and sleep patterns will also decrease metabolism.
How can you change these factors so you can increase your metabolism
Diet: The Body is a very efficient at it’s job, we are truly natural born survivors. Many people want to increase metabolism so that they can lose weight. This is a very good idea and will work however implementing a starvation tactic is going to slow down your metabolism and not increase it. Instead it’s better to eat more frequently with less food. If the body knows every few hours there is going to be a fresh supply of energy it relinquishes the need to store energy as fat. It’s also good to eat more protein in your diet, this can’t be stored yet it can be used as energy. It will also help with muscle building and recovery, as well as giving you a full feeling that will reduce cravings.
Avoid alcohol this halts fat oxidation and burning as well as being highly calorific itself, a big no-no in increasing your metabolism. Drink plenty of Green tea and water as well as fruit and vegetables. Green tea is very high in anti oxidants and is known as a thermabolic substance. Thermabolic substances are another thing you want to include, these are found in chillies and foods containing spices. Finally make sure your getting your daily recommended intake of all your vitamins, the benefits are seen in my other post here.
Exercise: Exercise is imperative it’s not only great for burning calories, but after 45mins of aerobic exercise your metabolism is increased by 15% for the next 48 hours. This means the average human being will burn a extra 600 calories in the next two days. Not only that if you exercise more you are going to build up more muscle, muscle takes 3 times the amount of calories than fat to maintain per day this in turn increases your metabolism. It’s best to mix up aerobic and resistance work for it to be most effective.
Miscellaneous: Being cold is also mean’t to increase your metabolism up to 20%. As well as being hot, i.e. in a sauna. So turn that heating off and become slightly colder, you will burn more calories. Being stressed or having an irregular sleeping pattern will also slow down your metabolism, so try to relax and ensure you get a good 8 hours sleep a night.
I hope this post has given you some insights into what is needed to increase your metabolism. I will be happy to answer any questions you have directly either via the comments section below or on twitter.