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Metabolism & Weight Control

Metabolism: Converting Food into Energy?

Energy is a primary requirement of body. Whether in motion or at rest, body demands sufficient energy to carry out its functions. Even while body is at rest, it conducts various activities like breathing, adjusting hormone levels, circulating blood, and repairing cells. In order to carry out the basic functions, body uses calories. The number of calories used is known as the basic metabolic rate or metabolism.

Metabolism is a complex biochemical procedure through which body converts food and drinks into energy. During its process, it combines food and beverages with oxygen and releases energy so that the body can function effectively. A number of factors signify the metabolic rate of an individual.

  • Size and Composition of Body– People having larger or muscular bodies burn more calories, even while they are at rest.
  • Sex– At any particular age, men have more muscles and lesser body fat than women. Therefore, women burn higher amount of calories than men.
  • Age– With age, both men and women start losing their muscles and accumulate more body fat. Ageing slows down rates of calorie burning.

 

Metabolism & Weight Control

Metabolism and body weight are inversely proportional. Increased metabolic rates bring down weight whereas slower rate of metabolism contributes to weight gain. Slow metabolism happens from two reasons- medical problems like Crushing’s Syndrome and Hypothyroidism; and a combination of human-driven factors including genetic mechanisms, hormonal controls, inadequate sleep, less physical activities, increased stress, anxiety and depression.

Any of the above conditions causes an imbalance in the energy equation. People therefore end up eating more calories and burning lesser calories they consume. And, in order to bring weight under control, body has to increase its rate of metabolism. People need to create an energy deficit increase their physical movements.

 

Metabolism & Physical Activity

Physical activities especially exercises are ideal for boosting metabolism. As people workout, their muscles remain tight and stable even at matured ages. This prevents slowing down of body’s metabolism and keeps body live and active. High-intensity aerobic exercises and weight lifting can have maximum effect in increasing body’s metabolism.

 

Effects of Nutrition on Metabolism

Besides physical activities, nutrition is another major factor that influences the basic metabolic rate of body. Most people have a habit of eating fewer times in a day and consuming larger quantities of food while they eat. This is however a bad practice which further slows down the metabolic rate. Long gap between meals causes the body to compensate its metabolism. As an alternative, people must take smaller quantities of food and eat frequently. By doing so, their body will increase its metabolism.

 

Maximising Metabolism through Eating

The best way to maximise metabolism with a proper nutritious diet is by starting the day with a healthy breakfast. According to research, people having healthy breakfast on a regular basis have lower amount of body fat than those skipping the first meal of the day.

Besides eating well, drinking sufficient amount of water also boosts the efficiency of metabolism. It’s essential to keep the body hydrated, all the time. Dehydration decreases the body temperature which makes the body store higher amount of fat for maintaining the temperature. Such a condition severely reduces the metabolic rate.  Water mobilizes fat content, whereas dehydration promotes higher amount of fat.

 

Best Foods to Increase Metabolism

Incorporating the following foods in regular diet will boost metabolism and maintain good health.

  • Almonds– Having soaked or dry almonds early in the morning are a good practice to metabolize body and make it active. Almonds contain essential fatty acids which does the work of optimizing metabolic rate.
  • Asparagus- Asparagus especially the organic ones are highly nutritious and contain less calories. Exercises and asparagus make a perfect combo to enhance the basic metabolic rate.
  • Coconut Oil- Since it contains good fat which contributes to high metabolism, coconut oil is another recommended food for boosting metabolism.
  • Coffee- Black coffee without sugar does the work of stimulating metabolism and keeping the body hydrated for a long time.
  • Fruits-Normal fruits like apple, strawberry, orange, pears and those easily available at the stores are highly effective in pushing up body’s metabolic rate.
  • Green Tea- Boosting metabolism is an addition to the long list of benefits derived from green tea. It also keeps people energetic and hydrated.

 

Can Pills or Supplements Reduce Metabolism?

Pills and supplements won’t reduce metabolism, until people eat well, drink sufficient water and follow a healthy lifestyle. Although there are companies claiming to increase metabolic rates through pills and artificial supplements; however things don’t work in this fashion.

On the contrary, natural supplements have greater potential to boost metabolism. Extracts from green tea; caffeine, and ephedrine are proven to stimulate body’s metabolic rates.

 

Metabolism & Calories

Naturally, metabolism reduces with higher calorie consumption along with lesser physical movement. After consuming high-calorie of fatty food, people must immediately burn it out through some activities. This will maintain normal metabolic rate and will prevent weight issues in the long run.

 

Best Practices to Maintain Body Weight

  • Like the saying goes “Early to Bed and Early to Rise” is the best way to control body weight. For those who find it difficult, can follow the 7-8 hours sleep routine to rejuvenate their mind and keep their weight under control.
  • Besides a healthy breakfast, healthy meals are equally important. Also, light snacks in between those meals does magic to body weight.
  • Having heavier meals during the day hours or the work hours (for those who have night shifts) and going light during the dormant phase, is a good practice to maintain proper weight.
  • Exercises and sufficient physical movement also keeps a stern check on body.
  • Drinking lot of water (at least 8-10 glasses per day) keeps body hydrated, maintains its temperature, which in turn maintains good and healthy weight.
  • Having green tea, black coffee, fruits, green vegetables and other natural supplements help in maintaining proper weight.
 
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