Metabolism? What Does That Do?

What is metabolism? Metabolism is the chemical process in our body that breaks down food. Energy is made available. Having a poor and slow metabolism is often associated with being overweight. However having a poor metabolism isn’t the reason to blame to being overweight. The main causes for being overweight includes poor nutrition, limited exercise and not enough sleep. These three factors are directly linked with the health of your metabolism.

Exercise is the safest form and the greatest way to increase your metabolism. In fact the best way to increase your metabolism is to include both weight training and cardio in your fitness routines. Although doing cardio burns more calories than weight training, weight training has greater after effects.  Muscle cells require much more energy than fat cells which means muscle cells burn more calories than fat cells throughout the day.

 Nutrition has a large impact on one’s metabolism as well. Think of your body as being a well-designed efficient vehicle. If you don’t provide the right fuel and/or the right amount of fuel for your vehicle, it’s bound to have problems. The same can be said among ourselves. If you’re eating poorly and not eating enough you’re more likely to have some health concerns or problems like being overweight. Eating several small meals throughout the day helps to keep blood sugar levels steady which prevents insulin spikes in the body by weight gain. Eating breakfast helps to increase metabolism because after sleeping for several hours your body needs fuel again to get started. By skipping breakfast your body’s metabolism doesn’t work hard to break down and convert food to energy. So by the next time you eat, your body is more likely to hold onto calories which equates to less calories burned. As well you’re more likely to binge and have a big lunch and bigger meals throughout the day.

There several things you can eat to help increase your metabolism. Foods containing omega 3 fatty acids such as salmon or tuna help to increase metabolism because they balance the body’s blood sugar levels and reduce inflammation. Recent research has shown that drinking green tea is also linked with increased metabolism because green tea contains catechins that improve fat oxidation. This leads to more caloric expenditure during the day. As well remember to carefully look at the food labels and ensure no added sugar.

Lastly, sleep is an important factor when considering your metabolism. Being sleep deprived is linked to increase caloric intake as a way for the body to feel “more awake”. Also not getting enough sleep increases appetite, and often the food choice is something high in carbohydrates. Sleep is needed in order for muscles to grow, so if you’re not getting enough sleep your lean muscle mass will grow at a slower rate.

So when considering your metabolism, remember to keep in mind these three key things. One exercise, exercise, exercise!  Remember to weight train and do some cardio! Two, consider your nutrition; “you are what you eat!” what you put into your body is what you get out of your body. Three, get enough sleep! Your body needs rest and being sleep deprived increases craving to binge! Working on all three of these areas will help to increase your metabolism and increase your health! 

Sources:

http://www.canadianliving.com/health/nutrition/top_5_ways_to_boost_your_metabolism_naturally_2.php

http://www.huffingtonpost.ca/2013/01/18/boost-metabolism_n_2498854.html#slide=1996388

http://www.health.com/health/gallery/0,,20306911_3,00.html

http://thyroid.about.com/od/loseweightsuccessfully/a/metabolism.htm

http://www.webmd.com/diet/features/make-most-your-metabolism?page=2

http://www.medscape.org/viewarticle/502825

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