Metabolism is the human body’s functional activity that runs the chemical and physical process to convert or utilize energy. It involves different body processes like breathing, blood circulation, contracting and relaxing muscles, digestion of foods we eat, elimination of waste materials from the body, controlling the body temperature, functioning of the brain and nerves, etc. Human beings depend on the metabolism for doing everything like thinking, behaving, etc.
Factors affecting the rate of metabolism
The rate of this process differs from person to person. It can also depend on the type of genes the person has. Scientists say that people can have a slow, fast, or moderate metabolism rate irrespective of their body parameters. The age of the person can also affect the metabolism rate. The metabolism rate will be higher at the younger generation, but as we become old, like any other body, metabolism also decreases. That’s why older people will show a loss in appetite, breathing process, memory loss, etc. Many different factors affect the rate of metabolism like:
- Muscle mass: muscles need more energy to function than fat. So if you have more powers, the body requires more energy. High metabolism is required to meet that much amount of energy.
- Hormones: the change in hormones can also affect the metabolism rate. The conditions like hyper and hypothyroidism are examples of this.
- Food: the diet we follow or the food we consume can alter the metabolism rate. The consumption of food and the method bring influence to metabolic activity.
- Drugs: the medications or the drugs we intake can also change the metabolism rate. Certain drugs like caffeine and nicotine will increase the metabolism rate while some other drugs like steroids and antidepressants decrease it.
- Physical activities: doing exercise will make the body to consume more energy. Exercise will build up the muscle mass and powers up the metabolism of the body.
- Environment: sometimes, the environment we live in can also affect the metabolism rate. If there is an increase in cold or heat, the body must use more energy to work. So it will also increase metabolism.
Can you boost metabolism?
The scientists report it is possible to give a boost up to the naturally slow metabolism. You can adjust or manipulate the metabolism to some degree. Most of the time, it will be a small change that may help to burn more calories. People generally alter metabolism by following a proper diet and doing exercise. Some of the other ways to boost your metabolism are:
- Protein intake: Consuming food will increase metabolism to a certain time. The thermic effect of food, taking the food body, requires extra calories to digest the food, absorb the nutrients from it, and increase metabolism. Among the nutrients, protein-rich food will increase the thermic effect and help alter the metabolism rate. Consuming protein-rich foods will give you a feeling of fullness and thus prevent overeating.
- Drinking a lot of water: Water is an important part of most of the processes happening in our body. For the smooth functioning of bodily activities, it requires a sufficient amount of water. Drinking water can temporarily speed up your metabolism since water helps indigestion. Various studies have shown that drinking about half liters of water can increase resting metabolism by about 10 to 30 percent for an hour, more effective if you drink cold water.
- Exercise: As we all know, exercise increases the metabolic rate of the body. During exercise, more calories are burned, and the body utilizes more energy. High-intensity workout or high – intensity interval training can burn more calories and increase the metabolic rate, even after your activity has completed.
- Weight lifting or building muscles: Our body muscle is more metabolically active than fat, and building muscles can increase your metabolism. Weight lifting enables us to build muscles and balance the drop in metabolism during a weight loss.
- Taking a good sleep or rest: If you do not take proper rest, it can affect your body in many ways. Sleep helps to improve the body. It helps to regenerate lost cells, produce and purify the blood, improve brain functions, etc. It may also reduce the metabolism process in the body. Lack of sleep makes you more vulnerable to become obese due to the negative effects of lack of sleep on metabolism. It has also been showing that sleep deprivation could increase the hunger hormone ghrelin and decrease the fullness hormone leptin.
- Use of coconut oils: You can replace cooking fats with coconut oil if you want to alter your metabolism. Cooking fats contain long-chain fats, and coconut oil contains medium-chain fats. It is shown that medium-chain fats can boost the metabolism more than long-chain fats. In some studies, medium-chain fats increased metabolism by 12 percent, while long-chain fats increased metabolism by only 4 percent. Coconut oils have some unique fatty acid properties. So replacing cooking fats with coconut oils can also help you to lose weight.
- Drink coffee: Caffeine is the main drug present in coffee. And many studies suggest that this caffeine can boost metabolism by 3 to 11 percent. But it can cause more burning of fat in generally lean people. That is, the change can be up to 20 percent. The effect of caffeine on metabolism and fat burning can also help in successful weight loss and maintenance. The consumption of green tea also shows a change in metabolism. It can boost the metabolism rate by up to 4 to 5 percent, help burn up fat by 10 to 15 percent by converting the fat stored in the body to free fatty acids. Green tea has a low-calorie rate, so drinking can also help in weight loss and perfect weight maintenance.
- Be more active: When the body is continuously working, more energy will be required, which will boost metabolism. Try to adapt smaller changes like taking the stairs instead of lift, taking a break after continuously sitting and working by standing up for some time or taking a walk. Sitting always for a long time have other bad effects also. For: it can affect the spinal cord, the body posture, and it will burn lesser calories and can lead to weight gain. After a long time of sitting, stand up, and work. It can burn more calories up to 100.
Metabolism can be considered as a term that shows the chemical reactions of the body. These reactions that happen due to the bodily chemicals help to keep the human body alive and functioning. If you have a high metabolism, you can have more energy and make you more active. Simply the term metabolism can be considered an internal process by which your body utilizes energy and burn calories. It is a nonstop process. It happens 24/7 and also while you are sleeping.