Sunday, July 7, 2013

Which is Your Metabolism - The Tortoise or The Hare?

Are you tired of running faster than your metabolism? Is it slowing you down in your summer weight loss plan?  Although genetics and your age both play a role, recent studies suggest you have a large say over how well your metabolism functions. Your metabolism may be slow, but being fat does not have to be your fate.
Metabolism is the process of breaking down proteins, carbohydrates, and fats to yield the energy your body needs to maintain itself. The rate of your metabolism depends on the interaction between the number of calories you consume, the number of calories you burn while eating and exercising, and the calories you burn based on your individual genetic makeup. The faster your metabolic rate, the more easily your body can burn fat, the more weight you will lose.

Common causes to slow metabolism

A slow metabolism can be tricky to determine,  it can be related to heredity, illness, and sometimes just by not eating the right foods. A lot of people incorrectly blame their slow metabolism for their weight gain.  It is important to know the truth behind what causes slow metabolism , even though fat can cause your metabolism to slow down, slow metabolism can’t always be blamed for more fat.

  • Stress can slow metabolism - lower your stress levels and clear your mind with exercise, yoga, or a nice summer walk
  • Not drinking enough water - consume the recommended 8 cups daily to stay hydrated and  help body function
  • If you are over the age of 30, there is a big drop in your growth hormone, leaving your body with a loss of muscle, therefore, fall in basal metabolic rate
  • Eating less calories than your body requires to maintain your basal metabolic rate, meaning you will  not lose weight by starving yourself.

Additional factors in causing your metabolism to slow are; thyroid condition, fat relative to muscle in the body, and lifestyle factors including; medications that treat depression, skipping meals or fasting, and genetics.

How to boost metabolism?

By pushing your metabolism to a higher level, you can burn fat and reach your fitness goals much sooner.  The more you burn, the easier it is to drop pounds., follow these tips to rev up yours.

Diet

Eat often, but eat right--The trick is to find foods that are in the amount needed to fuel your body, while keeping you satisfied. The body needs nutrients and calories in order to work properly.  By eating a meal every 3 to 4 hours, you'll stay satisfied, and keep from overeating later in the day.   Diets high in protein and fiber, balanced with fruits and vegetables, will keep you full and require extra energy to digest and metabolize, therefore burning more energy.  If you’re on the go a lot or just have a hard time eating that often, then protein powders like Almased or Sun Warrior can be a huge help.

Exercise

The best way to increase your metabolism is exercise, it revs up metabolism and builds lean body mass, the more muscle you have, the faster your metabolism.  Studies have shown that how you exercise can be more important than how long you exercise, adding intense bouts of exercise can turn on genes responsible for energy metabolism. Adding muscle by weight training develops muscle mass, which burn more calories! When you become active, you become healthier.

Sleep habits

Experts believe too few zzz's upset the balance of important appetite, which regulates hormones.
A Swedish study found that even one night of disrupted sleep can cause the body to burn up to 20 percent fewer calories the following day. Aim for seven to eight hours of pillow time a night.  Trying to make a change in your sleep schedule can make a big difference in your health, not to mention your ability to burn calories, so try to keep it consistent.

Use these simple techniques to aid in your quest for a faster metabolism, and as a result, a fitter, slimmer YOU!


Kristin Bonham is a true health nut and mother of 6.  She enjoys reading and writing about nutrition, and understands the challenges of balancing work, health, and home.

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