“Metabolism” is a word that’s bandied around a lot. Some people claim they are fat because they have been cursed with a slow metabolism, while others are proud their metabolism is so fast.
The metabolism is important. Everyone and his mother appears to know this. It’s an accepted fact, but the strange thing is, most of the people who are talking about the metabolism are not entirely sure what it is at all.
That’s no disgrace. People talk about electricity all the time, but a lot of baffled looks ‘d meet you if you began asking them to explain the physics of electricity and describe how it does the things that it does.
So what is the metabolism? It’s a set of chemical transformations that occur at a cellular level within the body, allowing it to attain and the energy it needs to survive.
All the metabolic processes continue without stopping throughout your entire life, allowing your body to go on functioning. These processes are controlled by your nervous system and hormones and can be influenced by a number of additional factors including diet, gender, age, level of physical activity, and muscle to fat ratio.
Feeling baffled? Never mind. Putting it in simpler terms, the metabolism is the rate at which your body burns calories at rest, during physical activity, and while digesting and absorbing food.
Catabolism and Anabolism
Metabolic processes are either catabolic in nature or anabolic. The first could be seen as destructive; the second is to do with repair.
Catabolism refers to the processes responsible for breaking down nutrients into simpler forms to obtain energy.
This process alone accounts for 10-15 percent of the body’s Total Energy Expenditure (TDEE). The body also needs the energy to support important functions such as cardiovascular activity and breathing. Even the act of thinking has to be powered by the energy provided by the body’s catabolic processes. So if you thought the energy was only burned during exercise, you were wrong.
Anabolism is the constructive side of your metabolism. It supports the growth of fresh cells, assists the maintenance of body tissues, and stores away excess calories for future use. Although catabolism and anabolism could be seen as two opposing forces, they work together in harmony and offer support to all cellular activity within the body.
How Your Metabolism Can Help or Hinder Your Attempts to Burn Fat
Overweight people want to burn fat to lose weight; bodybuilders want to get leaner to improve their muscle definition. Whatever your personal reasons for desiring fat loss may be, a fast metabolism will be friendly to you cause but a slow metabolism will not.
It’s often said the average man would need 2,500 calories per day just to maintain his existing weight and the average woman would need 2,000. However dietary inadequacies, such as a lack of iodine, can cause the metabolism to slow down and begin burning calories more slowly.
Hormonal problems and the build-up of toxins within the body can have a similar effect. When the body shifts into this slow-burn state the diet is more likely to provide more calories than are needed, causing the excess calories to be stored as fat.
However, a fast metabolism burns calories at an accelerated rate, helping to cause the calorie deficit that is necessary to encourage fat burning.
An Age-Old Problem
Some young people appear to be able to eat like a horse and never have any weight gain to show for it, but in the majority of cases, all this changes as they become older.
This is partly because the metabolism slows down with age, but many people also become less active as they get older and there is often a loss of muscle mass.
Both these things can give the metabolism a further shove in the wrong direction. However, research suggests an ongoing commitment to regular exercise may prevent age-related decline of the metabolic rate so there is a lot to be said for keeping active, no matter what your age may be.
Tips for Speeding up Your Metabolism
Keeping active is one of the best ways to enjoy the benefits of a faster metabolism, but it’s not the only way you can increase your metabolic rate.
Many people do not get enough sleep and research suggests lack of sleep can have a slowing metabolism effect and cause hormonal imbalances that further tip the scales in favor of weight gain.
Lifting weights and other forms of resistance training can also have a favorable influence on your metabolism. Apart from helping you to keep active, this kind of training helps to increase muscle mass, and the body has to burn an extra 50 calories per day to maintain every pound of muscle that is gained.
Certain foods and beverages can boost metabolism as well.
Chili peppers, green tea, and coffee are good examples, and all three are so renowned for their metabolism-boosting abilities concentrated extracts are often added to weight loss products (such as PhenQ)
However, adding a little chili pepper to food and drinking green tea can be a good way to boost the metabolism naturally, though it’s best not to overdo it with coffee because caffeine is a stimulant. It’s also worth remembering drinking green tea or coffee may cause you to gain weight if you add sugar. The best way to take advantage of their natural metabolism boosting abilities is to add nothing but hot water.