Metabolism, as it is understood by most people, refers to the ability of the human body to turn food – the fuel for the body; into energy, so that the body can function efficiently.
In actual fact, science defines metabolism as the chemical transformations that occur to the cells of organisms so that they can continue to live. Of course, these transformations are instigated when food is digested.
Given the importance of correct weight maintenance to one’s health, metabolism is of vital importance. For the average person, their metabolism may be deemed a blessing or a curse. We all know someone who has a “fast” metabolism and is able to eat seemingly without restraint yet remain greyhound thin. Then there are others who claim to have a “slow” metabolism and only need look at food to gain weight.
The fact is that metabolism is genetic and we all have a different metabolism. Metabolism also does change over time. It slows as we age. However, there are proven ways to speed up our metabolism so as to help control weight gain.
Weight training builds muscle, and muscle is much more efficient at burning calories than fat. Even when sedentary we burn calories – and the more muscle, the more calories we burn. Similarly, following a workout, and for a period of approximately 24 hours following the workout, our bodies burn calories at a much better rate than if we didn’t exercise. And note, you need not pump iron like Schwarzenegger, for your metabolism to benefit from weight work.
But Don’t Forget the Aerobics
Weights may build muscle and provide an anaerobic workout, however an aerobic workout also helps boost your metabolism. For your metabolism to best benefit from an aerobics, a high intensity workout is the way to go. High intensity workouts need not take very long – 20 minutes is all you need; but the health benefits remain for hours.
And Gain Maximum Benefit with Protein
Protein is a much more efficient fuel for helping the body burn calories than fats or carbohydrates. Protein is also a major building block for muscles. Consequently, proper exercise and a proper diet can go a long way to improving your metabolism.
But Don’t Forget to Drink
The average adult human body is 60% water, so it is logical that we need water to process calories. Drinking water not only helps keep the body hydrated, it also fills us up, reducing our desire to eat. Drinking water, especially before meals, reduces hunger and improving our metabolism.
And Not Necessarily Water
The health benefits of green tea have been known for centuries but also scientifically proven. However, an additional benefit is that the caffeine in the tea helps speed up the metabolism at rest and also during exercise.
So don’t despair. We all age and not all of us are blessed with a “fast” metabolism, however there are ways to get the best out of our metabolism that also benefit our overall health and are not too difficult to incorporate into our daily lives.