12th Mar 2018
Those with high metabolism can devour sinful treats with no noticeable effects on the weighing scale. Yet, others who have a sluggish metabolism find it difficult to lose weight. Why is that? The answer lies in different metabolic rates. Whether you are sitting, standing, sleeping or eating, the body is constantly expending energy by burning calories. Metabolism is the amount of energy (in calories) that the body burns to maintain itself.
SLOW VERSUS HIGH
Body composition, genes, activity level and dietary habits affect metabolism.
Those with a high metabolism have more muscle, lead an active life and eat sensibly.
What is body composition? Broadly speaking, this is the amount of muscle versus the amount of body fat. Why is this relevant to metabolism? Because muscle uses more calories to maintain itself than fat. Fat is basically metabolic ‘dead’ weight. Therefore, if you have more muscle than fat, you will have a higher metabolic rate than those who have a high percentage of body fat. For example, there are two people with the same weight and height. One exercises on a regular basis and has a low percentage of body fat. The other never exercises and therefore has a higher percentage of body fat. In this example, the person who exercises regularly will have a better body composition and also a higher metabolic rate.
Believe it or not, part of the reason you may not see the results you want is that you may not be eating enough or frequently enough. If you cut down drastically on caloric intake, your body perceives this as a starvation threat. It isn’t being fuelled efficiently and as a result, the body’s metabolism slows down. Eat small nutritious meals every three to four hours to boost your metabolism and to avoid having pangs of extreme hunger. Your mini meals could consist of fruits, salads, juices, soups and low-calorie snacks.
As you age (especially after thirty), your metabolic rate becomes progressively slower due to the natural process of muscle and bone loss. Owing to this, the body needs about two percent fewer calories with each passing decade to maintain the same body weight. Symptoms of slow metabolism include weight gain, constipation, fatigue and low energy levels.
WAYS TO REV UP YOUR METABOLISM
You can increase muscle mass by adding resistance training to your workout. Try lifting weights, using dumbbells, using dynabands or body weight. These exercises will not only improve your metabolism, but also tone and define your body and improve body strength.
INCLUDE CARDIOVASCULAR EXERCISE
Do some sort of aerobic exercise such as walking, jogging or swimming at least once/twice a week, for a minimum of 30 minutes. Metabolic rates can increase up to 25% after a vigorous aerobic workout. This form of exercise will also help improve the digestive system and decrease levels of body fat.
RESIST YO-YO DIETING
Do you repeatedly start a diet and give it up after a while – only to regain weight a few months later? When you starve yourself frequently, the body becomes better at conserving calories – a strategy meant to keep you going in times of deprivation. Instead commit to eating regular, well-balanced meals.
EAT SLOWLY AND SENSIBLY
The faster you eat, the more you consume. This results in increased storage of fat. Eat slowly, sensibly and at regular intervals foods that are low in fat to increase your metabolism and to digest your food better.
LEAD AN ACTIVE LIFE
Keep your mind and body active to avoid lethargy from setting into your routine. Nothing is worse than that for slowing down the metabolic rate.
Remember, it is possible to jump-start your metabolism and kick it into a higher gear. Just eat wisely, exercise regularly and keep your mind and body active.