Boost Your Metabolism

Metabolism refers to all the chemical changes that occur within the cells of our body. 

Metabolic rate is the rate at which those chemical changes occur within the body = how fast we burn calories.   

Basal Metabolic Rate (BMR) is the rate in which all the chemical processes occur when our body is at rest.

People burn calories (their metabolic rate) differently depending on a number of factors, including thyroid gland activity and other hormones.  

Genetics is also a factor.  Ever notice how body size typically transfers from mother to daughter? 

Age - as we grow older, our metabolic rate slows at a rate of about 2% per decade.

Gender - males have a higher metabolic rate than females, due to their greater muscle mass.

Body Size - the heavier the person, the higher his/her metabolic rate tends to be since more energy is needed to maintain body processes.  Likewise, a person who has greater muscle mass burns energy faster than his thinner counterpart.  It's  estimated that a pound of muscle burns around 3 times as many calories a day as a pound of fat!

Source: Human Anatomy and Physiology, 5th Edition, Wm. C. Brown, Publishers


Ways to
Boost Your
Metabolism


  • Drink more water. Since the body requires water to process calories, even being mildly dehydrated may slow your metabolic rate.    
  • Build lean muscle - muscle burns more calories than fat.
  • Eat breakfast - the earlier, the better.  It provides fuel to kickstart your energy-burner and supports the reason that breakfast is the most important meal of the day!
  • Vary the intensity of your workout. Studies show it actually revs your metabolic rate!
  • Sleep more - there's a link between people who do not get an adequate amount of sleep and their tendency to gain weight. 

and...

  • Reduce stress - known to trigger the release of cortisol - a steroid that decreases metabolic processes, according to an article at http://www.disabled-world.com.  

According to WebMD, here are some tips for increasing your metabolic rate, which will help you manage your weight:

  • Exercise!  When you do, your metabolic rate speeds up, and stays at a slightly faster rate, even for a few hours.
  • Eat a healthy diet - concentrate on reducing the fat in your diet while eating more fiber, fruits, vegetables, and whole grains.  Lean meats and low-fat dairy products offer protein, which requires more of your body's energy to process. 
  • Limit alcohol and sugar. Alcoholic beverages pack a lot of calories, but have no nutritional value. Same with sugar. 
  • Eat on a regular schedule and more often to avoid making poor food choices and to keep your body pumped all day.
  • Drink cold beverages; requires more body energy. 
  • Avoid crash diets. They actually undermine your weight loss efforts since most of the loss comes from muscle > which lowers your muscle mass > which slows your metabolism!     

WebMD offers a fun quiz to help you learn more.  You can take the quiz at http://www.WebMD.com.


Summary

Jogger on a bike path.Jogger on a bike path.

In an article published in Medical News Today, author Christian Nordquist claimed: 

"it is a common belief that slim people have a 'high metabolism' while overweight/obese people have a 'low metabolism'. However, underlying conditions, such as hypothyroidism (underactive thyroid) are not the most common causes of obesity.

Weight gain is mainly due to energy imbalance."   Further, Mr. Nordquist asserted, "There is not much we can do to significantly change our basal metabolism - our metabolic rate when we are resting.

Long-term strategies, such as increasing muscle mass, will eventually have an effect. However, determining what your body's energy needs are, and then adapting your lifestyle according to that, will have a much faster effect on your bodyweight."View the article at http://www.medicalnewstoday.com

Do you have a tip you'd like to share? Please add it in the space below.

The Solution to Permanent Weight Loss

(the inspiration for this website)

by Robin D. George


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