A buzzword among weight watchers is metabolism. Slender women who seem to eat anything without gaining excess weight credit such good fortune to a good metabolism. Overweight individuals aim to their increase metabolism in their efforts to shed unwanted pounds. Metabolism refers to your body's ability to convert food and other substances that it consumes into nutrients to sustain your body.
Rates of metabolism differ among individuals due to the combined effect of each person's age, diet, sex, activity, emotional state and genes. Younger people have better metabolism than older people, while men have higher metabolic rates than women. Heredity also plays an important role as metabolic rates may be inherited from one or both parents.
While not much can be done about the genes that influence your metabolism, you may still gain some control over your body's ability to burn calories by choosing the right kinds of food, increasing your physical activities and getting enough sleep.
The following tips help you to maximize your metabolism:
Moving your body through regular exercise and physical activities can boost your metabolism. Aerobic workouts such as running, biking, swimming and dancing for thirty minutes burn more calories than when your body is at rest. Weight training for 10 to 15 minutes can build muscle which also boost metabolism in the long run. Muscle is known to burn more calories than fat even while it is at rest. When you develop more of your body's muscles, your body will also burn more calories to sustain itself.
Your body needs food to fuel its metabolism. This is why prolonged fasting and very low calorie intake are bad for your health. It is better for your body to feed on small portions of food regularly rather than to eat three heavy meals per day. When you eat small snacks at shorter intervals during the day, you keep your metabolic rate up at most times. Snacking also keeps you from eating much during your regular meals leading to reduced calorie intake. For those who are weight conscious, an increased metabolic rate coupled with a lower daily calorie intake can result in weight loss.
Generally, any kind of food can increase your metabolism. But certain foods are known to require more energy to digest and thus increase metabolism more than other foods. High protein foods and red capsicum boost metabolic rates within thirty minutes of consuming a meal. Green tea and caffeinated drinks are also believed to increase metabolism especially when taken with meals.
Not getting enough sleep may affect the way your body metabolises carbohydrates so that you feel increased hunger while your metabolism slows down. Inadequate sleep also leaves you feeling tired and your low energy levels may prevent you from engaging in your regular fitness routine. Less physical activity slows down your metabolism even further.
Vitamin and mineral deficiency can also slow down your metabolism. Your body needs adequate amounts of certain vitamins and minerals to function well. Iron, for example, is needed for transporting oxygen to your body's tissues. Not getting enough iron may result in anemia, a health condition characterized by pale looking skin and low energy levels. It is best to get essential vitamins and minerals from balanced quantities of lean meats, nuts, low fat dairy products, fruits and vegetables.