The word metabolism is used a lot in the world of health and nutrition, but few are actually able to explain what it is and why it’s important to control your metabolism rate. The dictionary defines metabolism as a, “chemical process that occurs within a living organism in order to maintain life.” So, how is it relevant to health and nutrition? Metabolism is important in terms of weight loss because it controls our body’s total energy expenditure, i.e. burning of calories.
How Metabolism Affects Weight Management
Our metabolism burns calories even when our body is at rest. In fact, two-thirds of our total calories expended when our body isn’t in motion. Metabolic rate is like a fingerprint: it is unique to everyone based on their size, age, sex, hormone levels and lifestyle. Also, the older we get, the lower our metabolic rates drop, mainly because of hormonal changes, decreased physical activity and loss of muscle mass.
Our active energy expenditure accounts for the remaining one-third of our total calories. This depends on how active you are, including exercise and nonexercise activities, such as climbing stairs or walking to the bus stop. This is why an active lifestyle with a regular exercise routine is essential to boost your metabolism.
How to Control Your Metabolism?
Now that you understand what the metabolism is, you may already have a fair idea of how to control it for weight loss. Physical activity obviously plays an important role in controlling your metabolism. What we don’t realize is following the same exercise routine will eventually lead to a weight loss plateau. To boost your metabolism, intensify your workout routine by lifting heavier weights and doing cardio workouts for longer periods of time.
Non-exercise activities are actually more effective for increasing your metabolic rate. Unfortunately, the modern world has made it too convenient for us and as a result, we are leading a sedentary lifestyle. By disciplining yourself, you can increase your level of activeness, such as taking the stairs instead of the elevator.
Now that we know how physical activities control your metabolism, let’s look at our diet. About 10% of total calories are burnt through eating and digesting. Some foods, such as protein and fiber, require more energy for processing and digestion. So, to facilitate weight loss, load up on protein and fiber, while still watching your total calorie intake.
The time at which you eat your meals also plays a role in controlling metabolic rates. A study suggests your metabolic rate is most active in the morning and declines throughout the day. This is why you should “eat like a king at breakfast, a prince at lunch and a pauper at dinner.”
There is still a lot to learn about how you can control your metabolism, but for now it’s safe to say you should lead an active lifestyle and eat meals at regular times.