Much more than a fat and weight-controlling tool, as we are so used to know, metabolism is crucial for the proper functioning of our body. Once you understand how metabolism works, taking care of your health becomes easier. Come see what we're talking about!
WHAT IS METABOLISM?
Metabolism is a group of chemical processes that occur inside our bodies, transforming food into energy, so we can perform essential life functions, such as breathing, circulating blood, building and repairing cells, digesting nutrients, and eliminating waste.
There are two main types of metabolic reactions: catabolism – which breaks down complex molecules, like fat and carbohydrates, into simpler components, releasing energy -, and anabolism – which builds complex substances, like protein, from nutrients available inside the body.
FAST AND SLOW METABOLISM
When our body can execute these transformations quickly and effectively, we call it a fast metabolism. A fast metabolism will give the person more energy, disposition and quickly burn calories.
Conversely, if you have a slow metabolism, your body tends to store more energy than burn it, resulting in various effects and potential health problems, such as diabetes and heart diseases.
WHAT HAPPENS WHEN YOU HAVE A SLOW METABOLISM?
- Fatigue: With a slow metabolism, the body produces energy less efficiently. This lower energy production can cause chronic fatigue and decrease productivity throughout the day.
- Difficulty in losing weight: A slow metabolism makes it more challenging to lose weight since the body burns less calories while resting. It requires a tremendous effort to reach the necessary calorie deficit for fat loss.
Digestive problems: Slow metabolism can negatively affect digestion, resulting in constipation, bloating, and abdominal pain.
HOW TO ACCELERATE YOUR METABOLISM: CHECK THESE 4 TIPS FROM SPECIALISTS
An article recently published in Science Magazine indicates four key steps to maintain a healthy metabolic rate and keep your weight under control.
- REGULAR PHYSICAL ACTIVITY
Regular exercise, especially strength training, is one of the best ways to accelerate your metabolism. That's because active muscle tissue – and higher muscle mass - makes your body spend more energy at rest than adipose tissue, commonly known as body fat. Incorporating physical activities such as weight training, running, and swimming into your routine can increase basal metabolic rate, prompting your body to spend more calories.
- STRESS MANAGEMENT
Try adopting mindfulness activities like meditation, yoga, and other relaxing activities.
- SLEEP QUALITY
Lack of sleep is associated with hormone alterations that can lead to increased appetite and reduced metabolic rate. Prioritize quality sleep, which is seven to eight hours a day for most individuals. To optimize your rest, adopt sleep hygiene habits.
- WELL-BALANCED DIET
A balanced diet is crucial to maintain a healthy metabolism. Avoid restrictive diets, which can decrease metabolism in the long term due to the lack of vitamins and nutrients. The secret is to eat foods like fruits, vegetables, lean proteins, and whole grains, which are sources of nutrients, fibers, amino acids, and antioxidants.
Dehydration can temporarily reduce the metabolic rate, while adequate hydration can help optimize metabolic functions. Always keep a bottle or glass at hand to secure the daily intake of at least 2 liters of water.
FOODS THAT BOOST METABOLISM
Many foods help increase metabolic rate and break down fat molecules. Check below some foods that will help boost your metabolism.
- Hot peppers
- Green tea
- Whey protein
- Red berries
- Grains and seeds
If you believe your metabolism is out of balance, talk to an endocrinologist to evaluate the functioning of your body with precision and prescribe the proper treatment. Whenever possible, talk to a nutritionist to create a meal plan that includes all food groups according to your preferences.