Your metabolism is the rate at which your body burns the calories you consume. When you are trying to lose weight, you may discover that you have a slow metabolism, which can hinder your weight loss efforts. While some of the factors that affect metabolism aren’t under your control, there are some other factors that can be changed.
Factors That Can’t be Changed
Your gender is one of those things that you’re born with. Generally, men have a higher metabolism than women. This is usually because men have more muscle mass than women.
Your age is another factor that you can’t change. As an adult, your metabolism stays fairly consistent until around your 40th birthday. At some point around the time you hit the big 4-0, your metabolism will start to slow down.
Certain medical conditions, such as hypothyroidism (slow) and hyperthyroidism (fast) affect the way your body burns calories. Some medical conditions can be successfully treated with medication and other interventions, so if you have any medical conditions, talk to your doctor.
Factors That You Can Change
Your body composition is one of the main factors that you can change to increase your metabolism. A flabby body won’t burn as many calories as a firm, toned body. This is because muscle tissue uses more energy than fat tissue. Because of this, building muscle is one of the best ways to increase your metabolism.
When you are working to building muscle, you don’t have to look like a professional body builder. Instead, you need to work on toning your muscles through resistance training. You will also want to incorporate cardiovascular exercises into your routine so you can burn off excess fat stores.
Your diet can also affect your metabolism. Eating fibrous and filling foods can help increase your metabolism because your digestive system has to work harder to digest these foods than they do to break down easy-to-digest foods.
Planning your daily diet to include a variety of foods can help your body to work efficiently, which has a positive impact on your metabolism. Don’t get stuck in a diet rut of always eating the same foods. When you get stuck in a dieting rut, your digestive system gets used to breaking down those foods, which means that it won’t work as hard to break them down. You have to change up the foods you eat to keep your body working like it should.
When you eat your meals has a huge effect on your metabolism. If you want to really rev up your metabolism, you have to plan your day to include a small, snack-size meal every two to three hours instead of eating only three large meals. Your first meal should be a nice-sized breakfast within 30 minutes of waking up. At night, your body goes without food for a long time. This puts your body into fasting mode, which means that it begins to conserve energy by slowing down your body’s systems. This is a natural response that is meant to help you from starving to death quickly when you have to go without food for a prolonged period of time. By eating within 30 minutes of waking, you let your body know that you have enough food to survive, so your body begins revving up the systems to compensate for your daily needs.
The Health Local Staff is a team of writers and experts dedicated to bringing you the latest health, nutrition and lifestyle information at www.healthlocal.ca.