Whatever you’re doing right now – scrolling through Instagram, brushing your teeth, browsing your inbox, or playing with your kids – your body is using up energy. But where does this energy come from and how is it created? It comes from the food we eat and our metabolism is what makes it. Our magical metabolism converts calories into energy. It is a reflection of how fast (or slow) our ability to turn food into energy. People often refer to their metabolism as low, high, slow, or fast – without knowing exactly what that means. In today’s article, we delve into the metabolism of all things. We find out what causes a slow metabolism and the best metabolism boosting powders. Fortunately, a slow metabolism is not permanent. With the right modifications, you can improve your metabolism. Spoiler alert: It doesn’t require hours in the gym.
Featured image by Till Thompson.
What is metabolism?
At a very high level, metabolism is a series of chemical reactions. These reactions happen inside your body around the clock. It keeps you alive but more specifically, metabolism is the conversion of food into energy. This energy is used to grow your hair, pump bile out of your liver, and give you the strength to walk around the block. Because of our metabolism, there is an endless calorie burn. And while most people assume the majority of calories are burned in the gym, this is not actually the case. You burn most of your calories once you are alive.
The beauty of investing time and effort into your metabolism is that it pays off. Feeding your metabolism equates to a happy, healthy life.
How is metabolism measured?
Metabolism is measured by determining how much oxygen your body consumes over a specified period of time. You may be wondering if you are a “fast burner” or a “slow burner.” This is your metabolic rate.
Fast flame vs. slow flame
Although these are generalizations, they can give you an idea of what kind of stove you are. A fast burner usually feels hyperactive, anxious, and irritable without enough fat and protein. Fast-fired appetites are usually strong and consistent, with animal protein being preferred. On the other hand, a slow cooker does not process food as quickly (this may be due to hypothyroidism). The slow cooker gravitates towards simple carbohydrates, sugary foods, etc. In general, their appetites are less insatiable. And while a slow burner tends to have poor circulation and dry skin, a fast burner is usually warm and sweats easily. Slow burners especially benefit from the best metabolism boosting powders!
What factors affect our metabolism?
There are many factors that affect whether a person has a high or low metabolic rate (more on that below). Some of us burn more or fewer calories during the day, without even trying. Here are the reasons:
Genetics: Some people may be genetically predisposed to have a faster or slower metabolism.
lean body mass ratioMuscles require more oxygen than fat tissue. But what does this mean? Basically, your body has to expend more energy to maintain muscle. That’s why the more lean muscle you have (and thus, the less body fat), the higher your metabolic rate will be.
Calorie restriction: If you eat fewer calories than your body needs, it can send your body into survival mode. When this happens, calories are conserved rather than burned. This in turn reduces your metabolism.
Meal frequencyThe calories you consume are used to fuel your digestion. Therefore, the more food you eat, the more calories you burn during digestion. This is less about eating continuously And more about eating Consistently. Aim to eat every 3-4 hours to maintain your metabolic rate. Supplementing with one of the best metabolism-boosting powders helps, too.
External factors: Lifestyle and environmental factors can easily affect the metabolism. Some of these factors include extreme temperatures or cold, smoking, stress, and sleep.
3 ways we burn calories
Did you know that your body burns calories in ways other than just physical activity? Yes, walking or shoveling snow makes a difference but we burn calories and burn the most basic physiological functions. Breathing, maintaining a stable body temperature, and pumping blood around the body. Here are three ways we burn calories.
basal metabolism (resting)
Your basal metabolic rate (BMR) accounts for more than half of your overall metabolism, and surprisingly, it’s the number of calories you burn doing nothing at all. Think: lying on the couch watching Netflix or sitting in bed reading. This part of your metabolism is fueled by the inner workings of your body – your beating heart, dividing cells, etc. It is the number of calories required to keep the body functioning at rest. Curious to know what your basal metabolic rate is? To get your BMR, simply enter your height, gender, age and weight here. Keep in mind that this formula doesn’t tell the whole story — a variety of other factors, particularly genetics, can alter your metabolism.
Digestive metabolism, or the thermic effect of food (TEF), burns calories. Simply digesting food – turning carbohydrates into sugar and turning protein into amino acids – typically burns 10-15% of your daily calories. And get this: digesting protein burns more calories than digesting carbs or fats — about 25 calories per 100 consumers.
Last but not least, exercise and movement. This part of the metabolism includes both exercises in the gym and other pleasant physical activities. Some of them are called activity-athletic thermogenesis, or EAT, while others are called non-exercise activity thermogenesis, or NEAT. Exercises target only 15-30% of fat burners.
What causes a slow metabolism?
In terms of the causes of a slow metabolism, this depends on the person. In general, genes, hormones, and lifestyle play a role. For example, if you have too much cortisol – known as the “stress hormone” – you may experience a sluggish metabolism. Natural amounts of cortisol can help you burn fat, but if you have too much cortisol, your body may think you are under duress and thus conserve energy.
Elevated insulin levels can do the same. High levels of insulin and blood sugar can contribute to weight gain and thus a slowed metabolism. Same thing with low estrogen and testosterone. A deficiency of estrogen (in women) and testosterone (in men) leads to an increase in fat mass and a decrease in lean mass. It may also be helpful to check your thyroid gland. After all, the thyroid gland helps regulate thyroid hormones, which greatly affect the body’s metabolism. Last but not least, lack of exercise leads to a slow metabolism. You need lean muscle mass in order to maintain your metabolic rate.
Does a slow metabolism cause unwanted weight gain?
This is part of the chicken and egg complex. Being overweight can slow down your metabolism, but a slow metabolism can also lead to unwanted weight gain. People with a slow metabolism tend to conserve more energy, thus storing fuel (food) as fat.
Can you change your metabolism?
The good news is you can Make changes to increase your metabolism. Through many changes in diet and lifestyle, you can control your metabolism (to some extent). Eating a healthy diet, incorporating a metabolism-boosting powder, getting your body moving, and getting a restful sleep can make all the difference. The most important aspect of changing your metabolism is being consistent with your new habits.
7 ways to boost your metabolism
Our bodies are set up to be fat burning machines, so let’s make them run as efficiently as possible. Combining the latest results in exercise and nutrition with practical how-to tips, here are seven ways to help turn your body into a fat burning machine. These are scientifically backed ways to boost your metabolism.
- No diet. Food restriction will alter your metabolism. Instead of restricting, use the concept of “excluding” unhealthy foods. When you reduce calories, it makes your body think, I am hungry! In turn, it slows down your metabolism to conserve existing energy. Over time, the restriction can cause your body’s muscle tissue to burn. This reduces strength while giving more advantage to visceral fat.
- Prioritize protein. Speaking of dieting, eating enough protein is key. Your body needs enough protein to build lean muscle mass. And muscle mass is necessary to burn fat.
- Maintain blood sugar balance. Keeping blood glucose levels steady is important for many reasons, including metabolic health.
- When possible, go for membership. Research shows that added pollutants are stored in fat cells and can interfere with the energy-burning process. Plus, there are many other benefits of choosing a membership (and doing so on a budget!).
- Drink green tea. Studies show that green tea contains a compound that may increase calorie and fat burning. Coffee has similar effects too! A 2011 meta-analysis was published in Obesity Reviews I found that drinking about three cups of green tea helps boost metabolism (enough to burn an average of 100 extra calories a day!).
- Your zZz watch. We may seem like a broken record, but sleep hygiene is very important. Especially when it comes to maintaining your metabolic rate. Sleep deprivation has been shown to cause profound metabolic and cardiovascular effects.
- Move your body. This was no surprise. Fortunately, this does not mean that you need to start a vigorous exercise routine. In fact, just 20 minutes of brisk walking each day can make a difference. Resistance training is gold, though. Research shows that it is very effective in terms of building muscle and burning fat.
Top 5 Metabolism Boosters
When it comes to the best types of metabolism-boosting powders, look no further. The best metabolism-boosting powders are easy to incorporate, packed with quality ingredients and help boost energy.