In a world where everyone is concerned about their metabolism and how fast it operates – do we really know what we’re talking about?
It’s pretty safe to say that we’ve all discussed our metabolism at some point – “My metabolism isn’t fast enough”, “The older you get, the slower your metabolism works”, “You’re lucky you have a fast metabolism, that’s why you don’t gain weight”.
The one thing that most of us fail to acknowledge is: Are any of these statements based on facts? Metabolism is an extraordinary facet of the human body, controlling the amount of calories we need to survive, how we become hungry after a few hours of eating, and the energy provided to our bodies.
What exactly is a metabolism?
With the word being thrown around so often, we must ask ourselves, do we really know what the metabolism is, or what it does?
The body requires energy to operate – every process, movement, action all require energy. Anything from physical activity to bodily processes such as, digesting food, taking breaths, and even pumping blood throughout the body. These are all functions that would not be possible without energy and is a vital process to everyday life.
Energy is what keeps the body moving and completing functional tasks. What many people fail to acknowledge when it comes to energy and metabolism is your BMR, which is known as Basal Metabolic Rate. This rate is the minimum amount of energy needed to continue all the processes that keep us functional.
Well, what exactly does this mean?
Let’s look at an example of somebody that refers to a slow or fast metabolism.
“Andy had mentioned multiple times that his metabolism is very slow and is inhibiting him from losing weight”. What Andy is actually referring to here is the speed of his BMR. A fast BMR is equal to a fast metabolism and a slow BMR is equal to a slow metabolism.
When it comes to consuming calories and understanding our bodies, it’s important to know what our personal BMR is, which will help us understand our own personal energy needs. Energy comes through calories, which come from food. Your BMR helps to gauge the minimum amount of calories needed to function daily.
The vast majority of people need to consume more than their BMR caloric needs. As each person is different and has an individual BMR, categories like: age, gender, exercise routine and genes all contribute to how many calories we need per day to stay energized.
Speed of The Metabolism
I’m sure we’ve all heard it before at some point, “I was born with a slow or fast metabolism.”
Your lifestyle and health habits have a bigger impact on your metabolism than you may think. Although there is a genetic factor that plays a part in a metabolism, the single most significant contributor that affects your metabolism rate is actually muscle mass.
So, the more muscle you have, the more efficiently your metabolism works. As noted in history and genetic composition, men tend to have more muscle mass than women, giving them faster metabolisms.
As for why peoples metabolisms may slow down as they get older, they tend to lose muscle mass as they age.
How does metabolism affect weight loss/gain?
It has been heard many times that, “I can’t lose weight because of my slow metabolism.”
Humans have been questioning the speed of their metabolism for decades. As noted previously, although genetics play a role, health and muscle mass are the major contributors. Also, many people fail to recognize that a persons eating habits also have a major affect on their metabolisms.
Another critical point is to recognize that restricting caloric intake, your body will need to find a source of energy from somewhere. This first source will be your muscle. As muscle mass declines, your metabolism will ultimately slow down.
As this type of living is not sustainable, as soon as you begin to increase your caloric intake again, you will gain weight back quickly. There are only a few thorough ways to actually lose weight and keep it off: burn more calories than you consume.
The major factor in this theory is to still reach the caloric needs of your BMR.
No doubt, losing weight this way will take longer but it will be much easier to keep off as you’re not tearing through your muscle mass.
Still Not Losing Weight?
Months and months of hard work and you’re still confused as to why you’re not keeping the pounds off? Well, your caloric intake you’re accounting for could be wrong.
- Be sure to measure all of your portion sizes. The habit of snacking or consuming more than you realize is a very feasible thing.
- Many healthy foods are loaded with calories, such as nuts, oils, peanut butter and more. Be sure to limit these foods and to not snack on them between meals.
- Underlying condition/disease could be inhibiting your metabolism from working properly, such as an under active thyroid or what we know was Cushing’s syndrome.
If you think you have an underlying disease, please see your doctor.
Is it really possible to increase your Metabolism speed?
Everything has been tried and tested in the past, from energy drinks, powders & supplements, shakes and various foods, all claiming to have some kind of effect on your metabolism – these are all facades.
Please be aware that many of these products are usually not effective and can actually have negative effects on your overall health.
The scientific and proven way that we can all become healthier, increase fat loss & metabolism speed is through a well planned out exercise plan. This consists of everything from cardiovascular, strength, stretching and more!
Following an in-depth training program that incorporates days of cardio, strength, and endurance will have a major influence on how your metabolism operates. Remember what we stated before: the more muscle mass you have, the faster your metabolism works.
Maintaining Healthy Weights
I think we’ve come to the conclusion that there is no true switch for increasing metabolism speed or a quick way to losing weight.
If you eat healthy and maintain a rigid workout plan, it’s inevitable that you will become healthier over time. This process should be looked at as a marathon and not a quick sprint to the finish line!
If you are having a difficult time keeping weight off, you may want to contact a professional trainer, Dietitian, or speak with your healthcare provider on following steps to take.
If you want to learn more about Nutrition and Healthy living, or if you are interested in helping to build this brand, head over to SANTORINOS.
Thank you for reading!