Metabolism is the process of body which converts the food into energy. Metabolism refers to all the chemical processes that body undergoes every day to keep us alive.
The metabolic rate and body weight are linked. The metabolism rate varies according to the individual. Those with slow metabolism tend to have more calories, which get stored as fat. On the other hand, those with a fast metabolism burn more calories and are less likely to accumulate a lot of fat.
Various factors that affects the metabolism: –
- Diet- Food has great impact on metabolism. The type of food and how a person eats affects his metabolism.
- Environmental Factors- Environmental changes such as increased heat or cold forces, in which body must work harder maintain its normal temperature affect metabolism.
- Age- Metabolic rate generally slows down with age. This is because of loss of muscle tissue and changes to hormonal and neurological processes. During development children go through periods of growth and extreme rate of metabolism.
- Body size- Bigger bodies have a larger BMR (basal metabolic rate) because they have larger organs and fluid volume to maintain.
- Hormonal Factors- Hormonal imbalance such as hypo and hyperthyroidism can affect metabolism of the body.
- Genetics- Some families have faster BMR (basal metabolic rate) than others with some genetic disorders also affecting metabolism.
- Physical activity- Exercise increase muscle mass and powers up the metabolic engines.
- Gadgets and computer usage – According to a study conducted by Northwestern University, exposure to the type of blue light emitted by smartphones, computers, and tablets immediately before and after dinner increased hunger and impacted glucose metabolism in people.
Ways to improve metabolism-
- Breakfast- First meal of the day is very important as it jump starts the metabolic process and keeps energy levels high all through the day.
- Drinking water – According to a study presented at the American Chemical Society’s annual conference, drinking two glasses of water before every meal helped dieters lose an average of 15.5 pounds over three months.
- Including whey protein – Paul Arciero, a professor in the Health and Exercise Sciences department at Skidmore College who has studied whey’s effects on the body says whey protein increases calorie burn and fat utilization, helps the body maintain muscle, and triggers the brain to feel full. Although all types of protein increases metabolism, protein burns more calories as it has a thermogenic effect
- Drinking coffee and green tea – caffeine is a strong metabolism booster and green tea is rich in catechins which is an antioxidant.
- Yogurt, probiotics and dairy products- A research has found that a diet rich in dairy may also directly promote weight loss. A study published in Obesity Research showed that obese individuals who ate a diet rich in dairy lost significantly more body fat and weight than other individuals eating the same number of calories but following a low-dairy diet. Consuming yogurt, probiotics and other dairy products such as milk reduces belly fat.
- High- Intensity workout- Adding a few high- intensity workouts with the exercise routine can boost metabolism. It also helps to burn fat.
- Lifting weights- Lifting weights is important for building and retaining muscle. Higher amounts of muscles will result in the higher metabolism.
Small lifestyle changes can increase the metabolism. Having a higher metabolism helps to lose weight and keep off unwanted body fat.