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Metabolism

Great ways to boost your metabolism

Have you ever heard the phrase: "Wow, she must have a really fast metabolism"? The fact of the matter is not many people truly understand what metabolism is and factors affecting it.

What exactly is metabolism?

It's the process in which the human body converts food nutrition into energy. After you eat food, it's digested and then broken down into carbohydrates, proteins and fat. The body absorbs them and then they're used as fuel. Your body uses the calories it requires and then stores everything else as fat. If a person has a slow metabolism, they burn fewer calories at rest.

What determines total metabolic rate?

There are three factors that determine how our bodies burn calories:

  • Basal metabolic rate, which is the energy the body burns as we sleep and breathe. This also provides energy for the automatic functioning of our organs.
  • The thermic effect of food, which refers to the energy burned while processing food.
  • Exercise.

There isn't a lot you can do to alter the first two components, but the third component – exercise – is your shot at making some changes.

Factors that affect your metabolism:

  • Heredity.
  • Your sex. In general, women burn fewer calories than men at rest.
  • Age. After the age of 40, metabolism naturally slows down approximately 5 percent per decade.
  • Muscle mass. Your metabolic rate will be higher if you have more muscle.

How can you make the best out of your metabolism?

  • Eat small meals frequently. This will help keep your metabolism high, so your body burns more calories.
  • Exercise regularly. Incorporating aerobic workouts and weight training are important.
  • Stick to a healthy diet plan.
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