Author: Jim Robertson
Metabolism is essentially the speed at which our body's motor is running. The speed at which our body burns calories is called the metabolic rate. It's how fast your "motor" is running when you're still in a reclined position or sleeping. The body at rest in such a state expends about 60-75% of its energy.
The metabolism is based on the number of calories we burn throughout the day. Our body constantly burns calories to keep us going whether we are eating, sleeping, working, etc. Muscular people with a lower percentage of body fat have a higher metabolism than others that are not less muscular because muscle uses more calories to maintain itself than fat.
Some people have a slower metabolic rate and have a harder time staying slim. Younger persons have higher (faster) metabolism because of the increased activity of cells. A slow metabolism actually causes us to store fat. The slower the metabolic rate, the greater the weight gains. There are simple exercises that speed up the metabolism.
Causes for low metabolism
* A low calorie diet
* Snacking throughout the day on high sugared foods (candy, colas, cakes, gum).
* Eating or drinking too much sugar containing foods.
* Lack of physical activity.
* Underactive thyroid.
A slow metabolism can also come from the following:
* Diabetes or insulin resistance (pre-diabetic condition)
* Higher percentage of body fat
* Loss of lean body mass, muscle with age or inactivity
A slow metabolism can be a result of extreme low calories, poor food quality, processed foods, lack of complete protein, lack of essential fats, excess carbs, dehydration, stress, toxins, parasites, prescribed and over-the-counter drugs, chemicals in food, and alcohol.
Many people, in an effort to lose weight quickly, tend to cut calories drastically without having a base plan to follow. This is one of the major reasons many people dieting suffer from a slow metabolism. When you drastically slice calories below your maintenance level, your body tries to conserve every last bit of energy for survival. When this happens, the glycogen stores become depleted and your body will oxidize protein for energy.
A lack of calories can be further broken down into the type of calories. Insufficient complete protein can lower your metabolism, as well as a lack of carbs and essential fat. Balance is so important, and so is knowing how to implement each of the macronutrients to rebuild your metabolism. Even if you have wrecked your metabolism with any of the factors listed above you can repair it.
Fixing a slow metabolism
There are tried and proven methods to speed up or increase your metabolic rate. This means burning more calories, burning more fat and losing more weight even while being sedentary. There are ways of increasing your metabolism without having to take any pills, go on any drastic diets or exercise programs.
Begin by getting off any unnecessary medications and drugs. Here are some steps that will help get your metabolism back on track:
o Reduce stress in your life.
o Reduce the amount of refined and processed foods in your diet.
o Eat more fruits and vegetables, especially fruits such as berries that have anti-oxidants.
o Clean out your system with foods that help eliminate colonic waste. Eat fruits such as papayas, which aid digestion.
o Add exercise to your life. Don't just talk about it, do it! Exercise is vital to getting your metabolism working properly.
o Eat frequent meals consisting of quality foods. Try to get foods with beneficial bacteria such as yogurt in your daily diet.
o Drink more water. There is no substitution for having enough water in your system for your cells to work well. A metabolism can only work if you have proper hydration.
If you think you have an unusual metabolism, it may be worth getting it tested, now that it's possible to have that done easily and accurately. Getting your metabolism checked out medically might be a good place to start. There is a precise method of determining resting metabolic rate is via respiratory measurements in an exercise physiology lab or health center. If you have a slow metabolism, there are effective ways to speed it up and keep it elevated. Following some of the steps mentioned above will help.
Remember that it is often not just one factor that affects your metabolism, but rather, a combination of things that can be affected by your attitude and lifestyle. Having a healthy metabolism will help you have more energy throughout the day and a overall happier disposition. In addition, when your body starts to get into shape you have more bodily confidence.
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