Awareness of the World's Greatest Creation
"The Human Body"
Your Metabolism: Do You Understand It?
How many people do you know that carry a little bit extra around their waist and then say to you: "It can't be helped, I have a slow metabolism."
Probably a few, if not many, have said this to me and they obviously just do not understand their metabolism. Though metabolism does play a big part in weight gain, if you are gaining weight year after year, it may be time to try and better understand yours.
First of all, the term metabolism refers to the rate that your body burns fuel. The more active you are the more fuel your body will burn, so if you take in (eat) more fuel than you burn in a day you will gain weight and vice versa. If you eat less than you burn then you will lose weight.
Your metabolism is partly genetic, but it is also very much affected by how you choose to live your life. Your metabolism will tend to slow down with age but it can be increased by choosing a healthy diet and participating in a regular exercise program.
Lifting weights is the best exercise because as your muscles become larger and stronger they will burn more calories even while you sleep.
Women tend to have lower metabolic rates, meaning that they need fewer sources of fuel than men to maintain the same body weight.
If you are attempting to lose weight and increase your metabolism avoid "Metabolism Booster" products and crash dieting. While studies have shown only a negligible metabolism increase from these booster products, they have been known to cause diarrhea, increased heart rate, perspiration, and nervousness.
Crash dieting will actually slow your metabolism down and cause you to gain weight faster once you stop dieting. This is because your body destroys hard-earned energy burning muscle tissue and holds onto its non-energy burning fat reserves because it believes you are starving to death. Not to mention you will experience less energy and your thought processes will be more sluggish.
The best approach is to exercise and focus on a healthy diet. Here are some tips that work:
- Never skip breakfast, it is much more important than dinner since you will use this energy throughout your daily activities.
- Eat smaller meals every 2 ½ to 3 ½ hrs. This will cause your digestive system to work more often resulting in more calories burned and a steadier supply of nutrients to the body.
- Plan your meals ahead. You will be less likely to make poor food choices if you have a plan.
- Increase your alkaline whole grains, seeded fruits and colorful vegetables in your diet. They are live, dense with minerals and therefore filling.
- MOVE!! Swim, dance, hike, bike, workout, walk with someone... just start moving!
If you are looking for the magic get thin and fit pill, trust me, you will not find it. All you will end up finding is a bunch of hype and marketing gimmicks that really do not work, but a steady determined approach to increase your metabolism, through diet and exercise, will.
Wishing you success in all your health and fitness goals.