Metabolism and Its Role In Weight Loss
What is Metabolism?
Many people commonly associate buildup of body fat with a poor metabolic rate, but what exactly is metabolism and does it actually affect our body weight? Metabolism is an enzymatic and hormonal reaction that takes place in the body. This process is not only used to transform food into substances that the body system can utilize, but it also affects how fast the body utilizes and burns these substances which act as a fuel for the body’s normal functioning.
So essentially, your metabolic rate determines how quickly your body is able to burn calories and how easily you can gain or lose weight.
Metabolism and Weight
Now that we have established what metabolism actually is, let’s establish the factors that affect metabolism!
- Sex: Males utilize more calories at rest than females do.
- Age: The older you get, the slower your metabolic rate! After the age of 40, research indicates that your metabolism slows down by 5% every decade.
- Lean Body Mass: Metabolism tends to be higher for individuals with greater muscle proportion in their bodies.
- Hereditary factors: Research suggests that some people naturally possess a slow or fast metabolic rate.
- Body Weight: Nutritionists state that the more body weight you have, the faster your metabolic rate! This may seem contradictory, but the truth is that the extra body weight makes your body work harder. Thus, when overweight or obese individuals attempt to cut calories, they are able to see results relatively quickly at the beginning of the diet because their bodies are accustomed to working at a high metabolic rate.
Improve Your Metabolism!
Take a look at these methods to help you enhance your metabolic rate!
This is one of the best metabolic rate enhancers. Exercise, with an especial focus on aerobic workouts which aim to burn a high number of calories in a relatively short time duration, and weight training exercises to build up the muscle mass in your body should be incorporated into your weekly routine without fail. As noted earlier, a greater proportion of lean body mass leads to a higher metabolic rate.
With a combination of these two exercises you can prevent weight gain after the hard work and effort invested into losing that stubborn body fat; you can essentially eat more without gaining as much as you used to!
Eating smaller portions of food several times a day allows your metabolism to function at a high rate. However, eating the conventional three large meals a day tends to slow your metabolism down.
Lack of fluid in the body can slow your metabolism down so keep yourself well hydrated at all times. Some researchers suggest a possible link between eating spicy foods, high-protein foods, green tea and an enhanced metabolic rate.
Some factors can be changed, others such as age cannot. Make the most of your metabolic rate by avoiding crash diets, indulging in regular exercise and eating smaller portions more often!