As we age our metabolism slows down. However some people naturally have a slower metabolism due to their genetic makeup. A slow metabolism can be the cause of extra weight gain or fat storage in the body. Metabolism is dependent on several factors not just genetics including age, gender, physical condition, fat and muscle in the body. In spite of this there are always ways to boost your metabolism at any point throughout your lifespan.
Metabolism is the amount of energy our bodies need to maintain proper body functioning on a daily basis. Our body is constantly burning calories to keep the heart pumping, brain firing, muscles contracting and every other function right down to the cellular level. The speed at which our body burns calories is our metabolic rate, which naturally changes throughout our life cycle. When we are younger our body has a higher metabolic rate because of the rapid rate of growth and the energy and calories it needs to grow. In addition, men generally have a higher metabolic rate than women. If you take in more calories than your body uses throughout the day the calories are stored within the body, most often as fat. The more fat that gets stored the more weight you will gain and your metabolism will slow down. Fat uses less calories to maintain itself than muscle which justifies the decrease in metabolism of heavier individuals.
Other factors which contribute to a low metabolism include fasting or starving oneself, low calorie diet, snacking on high sugar foods such as candy, cola, gum or cakes, eating too much sugar, and a lack of physical activity. Simple carbohydrates such as sugar use fewer calories for the body to break down than complex carbohydrates. Therefore eating junk food, candy, sweets and fatty foods require less energy from the body to digest it. All of the body’s functions even digestion requires energy. Therefore if you eat foods that have a higher nutritional value, the more calories will be burned to digest it. When you fast or starve yourself of food, you body tries to hold on to its fat stores because it doesn’t know when the next time it will get calories. The body slows the metabolism to slow the rate of calorie burn to save its energy. Lower levels of physical activity, means higher percentage of body fat. Fat only burns 2 calories per pound to maintain function in the body, compared to muscle, which burns 50 calories. Therefore less muscles within the body, lower metabolic rate. However, even if you have a slower metabolism, you can always increase it by making a change in your diet and daily lifestyle.
There are several ways to boost your metabolism. The best way is to start exercising. Daily exercise can boost your metabolism and keep your body burning calories for hours after you stopped exercising. The more weight that your body has to move during a workout the more calories it will burn. Try to include muscle-building exercises in your workout routine. Building muscle will reduce your fat and increase your metabolism tremendously. Avoid sugar and alcohol in your diet, which can easily be converted to fat. Eat foods that have a high nutritional value to increase calorie burning during digestion. Drink 8-10 glasses of water a day. Our bodies are primarily made up of water and therefore water is needed to maintain proper body functioning. Drinking different temperature water can increase metabolic rate because the body will need to burn calories to warm or cool the water once inside the body. In addition to changing your daily habits there are natural metabolism boosters that you can add to your diet.
Never skip your meals especially breakfast. When you skip meals your body thinks it is being starved and therefore drops your metabolism to store fat. By eating 5-6 small meals throughout your day you keep your metabolism at a higher rate by burning more calories. Small meals can include an apple, string cheese, yogurt, and a handful of almonds. Other additives that can boost your immune system include cayenne pepper, cinnamon, mustard, chili pepper, honey, garlic, apple cider vinegar and green tea. You can include these ingredients in your food preparation, take them individually or sprinkle them on top of your food to get an all natural boost to your metabolism. Also maintain your levels of vitamin B. The group of B vitamins are needed for many processes within the body and a deficiency can lead to depression, fatigue and disease. Taking vitamin B complex regularly can naturally boost your metabolism and keep your body healthy. In addition to drinking water throughout your day, green tea can have an added kick to your metabolic rate.
Sarah Labdar, “Natural Metabolism Boosters”, Everyday Health