What Is Metabolism Anyway?
Metabolism is the name given to the chemical procedure carried out by the body when it converts the food you eat or the fat that your body has stored into energy.
Even if you are lying very still, the body requires and energy source to keep all its involuntary functions going. Every process in the body, including thinking will burn calories. It is a small cost but it biological terms, it counts.
This is particularly true during sleep, when the body is making all of the repairs and replacing cells that have become too damaged or weak to go on.
During these rest periods, the food or fat your body has collected is converted into their most basic parts to be used to nourish the body and build new cells.
In general, the number of calories that it takes to make this happen, is called the metabolic rate.
How Metabolic Rate Affects Your Metabolism
There are several factors that play a major role in dictating how many calories it will take to keep body functions moving and make it possible for you to repair cells.
Age is a major factor to consider in metabolism. When people get older, the metabolism tends to slow down quite a lot. That is why older people tend to gain weight much more quickly if they aren’t as active as in their youth.
A slower metabolism means that you won’t burn calories or metabolize the fats stores in your body as quickly, so you are likely to end up gaining a few inches over time.
Your size also plays a fairly large role in determining how many calories you burn. Big people burn more calories than smaller people because it takes more energy to run a larger body.
Gender is also a factor, in that women have smaller muscle mass, so they burn less calories in general than men.
Factors that Slow Down Your Metabolism
When you want to achieve health goals and reach a lower weight, variances or changes in your metabolism could be a real obstacle, but the question is, how does this happen?
As people get older, the body loses some of its ability to regenerate and repair cells that are damaged or have gotten overworked and need to be replaced.
This is because as humans age, their metabolism will naturally slow down, causing them to store fat that they were at one time able to burn by simply being active.
As people progress into their late 30’s and early 40’s, the metabolism slows down and becomes less efficient.
When was the last time you got to do something physical? A physically demanding lifestyle can help you to keep a healthy and make sure that your metabolism keeps working at a more efficient level.
People with an already sedentary lifestyle will experience increased effects of this, because if the body records that it doesn’t need a lot of calories on a daily basis, then it will optimize the metabolism to burn only what it needs.
That means that if you eat more calories than you use, that food eaten will become fat in the body.
A lot of people have become used to eating very few meals in a day. Depending on your activity level, this could be very bad for your metabolism because your body will think that it is starving and convert the foods you eat too fat to make sure there is always energy available.
It can also make you sleep strange hours to conserve energy resulting in lethargy. This can keep you from enjoying the quality of life that promotes other healthy behaviors and thus create a vicious cycle of lethargy and weight gain.
As you can see, very small changes can have a drastic impact on your metabolism and how well you are able to lose weight.
Foods That Can Boost Your Metabolism Naturally
When your metabolism isn’t working at its most efficient level, you’re very likely to feel sluggish, and tired even right after you’ve just woken up.
As it turns out, there are foods that can help you to correct your metabolism, so this article will be exploring the foods that can boost your metabolism naturally.
This close relative of cabbage can have a positive effect on the metabolism. It is super high in antioxidants and carries a high amount of calcium which is known for its ability to help the body to metabolize fats.
Broccoli is also very high in dietary fiber, which helps to clean out the intestinal tract. A clearer intestinal tract, particularly of the lower intestine, means that broken down foods can be more easily absorbed through the intestinal walls.
When plaque builds up in the intestines, the body has a harder time getting the nutrients that it needs.
Jalapeno and Cayenne
The jalapeno and cayenne peppers are a popular flavor additive when people want to heat up their favorite dishes. The active ingredient in them is called capsaicin, and it’s had a long history of being included in remedies to help with vascular health.
Research has shown a particular effect that capsaicin has on the metabolism, in that it can stimulate blood flow and increase metabolic activity for over 2.5 hours.
That means that while the capsaicin in your body, you are more likely to burn calories that you’ve stored, or burn the calories of the foods you’ve just eaten.
Have you had an apple today? Apples are well known for promoting a healthy digestive tract. They are full of useful vitamins and are very high in fiber that the body needs to sweep the digestive tract.
Modern science has discovered that his is largely due to the agent found in apples called pectin. It has the ability to bond to cholesterol and many toxins found in the body to make them easier to eliminate.
Apples aren’t the only fruits that contain pectin. Plums, pears, and some berries also contain this amazing agent, and it’s the thing in food responsible for the consistency of jellies and jams.
Since apples are low in fat and calories, they are also ideal for weight loss.
Herbs That Help With Your Metabolism
This famous herb has been associated with energy and metabolism for 2000 years.
Its presence in tea has made ginseng tea a favorite among people looking to promote a more energetic lifestyle, and studies have shown that ginseng can greatly help with weight loss if consumed every day for a sustained period.
Ginseng was also found to have a favorable effect on insulin sensitivity, making it a good choice for people who deal with diabetes.
People have had a strong love of cinnamon for quite some time due to its festive flavoring and associations with holiday time, but this powerful spice has many other advantages.
Research has shown that cinnamon can lower blood sugar levels substantially, in addition to increasing glucose metabolization by more than 18 times the regular amount.
This means that it helps to make your metabolism more efficient, which also make it a wonderful thing for people who have diabetes or might be close to becoming diabetic.
Mostly, people think of mustard as simply a condiment, but it’s been shown that less than a teaspoon of mustard seeds can boost your metabolic rate by 25%. Which could result in an extra 40 – 50 calories being burned per hour.
Morning Rituals That Give Your Metabolism a Boost
Eat Some Breakfast
There used to be a saying that breakfast was the most important meal of the day. It turns out that this is partially true, because eating in the morning kickstarts your metabolism.
Studies have shown that just eating a bit of breakfast can help to improve your metabolic function.
This of course also means that it should be something healthy. When you do this, your body knows it’s time to start the day and it begins the process of preparing to remove waste from the previous day.
Something simple with carbs and protein can wake up your mind and make you ready to face the day’s challenges.
One of the best things that a person can do for themselves is to take on some kind of exercise routine in the morning.
This doesn’t mean that it has to be an intense, pulse pounding exercise, just that you do a small amount of movement enough to get your heart rate up.
Morning stretches can be a great example of that. If you stretch your limbs and engage the muscles in your core each morning, you’re far less likely to sustain injury from minor twists, turns, and reaches that you do during your work day.
When your body has the right nutrients, it will function on a more efficient level. B vitamins can help to stimulate your metabolism.
They do this by giving your body the ability to metabolize carbohydrates, proteins, and fats into energy that you will need throughout the day.
This is why it’s great to have some eggs with whole grain toast in the morning. Taking just a little bit extra can help you to convert that food into energy so you can be productive and burn calories all from morning until night.
Give these simple rituals a try to see if it makes a difference with your metabolism and weight loss efforts.