In social networks and publications we see constant talk about metabolism, or rather, how to speed it up. Due to the huge amount of information around this term, there are a lot of myths. This led to the fact that not everyone understands what metabolism is and how it works, while striving to speed it up by any means. Typically, metabolic rate is correlated with the tendency to easily lose or gain weight. In fact, this process affects not only the figure, but also various vital functions. CLEARlife, explores answers to key questions about metabolism.
What is metabolism?
Metabolism, is a complex set of continuous chemical reactions in the body that help internal organs to function normally. These chemical reactions need energy. Its minimum amount necessary for normal functioning of the body is called the main (basal) metabolism. This is an ongoing process. It takes from 40 to 70% of the daily energy. A slow metabolism would be more correctly called a low basal metabolic rate. In addition to the main, there is an additional metabolism. It refers to the consumption of energy during any movement and the performance of any work – from training in the gym to lying on the couch.
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What is the normal metabolic rate?
In fact, the terms “fast” and “slow” used in relation to metabolism are not entirely correct. Rather, it is an individual’s ability to absorb nutrients. A normal metabolism provides all the body’s needs for energy and nutrients without compromising health. Each person has his own metabolic rate, since we differ both in physiological and biochemical factors, and in the lifestyle we lead. In order to maintain a normal metabolism, you need to eat right, exercise and give up bad habits. It is worth adjusting your lifestyle if you feel drowsy after eating, often feel bloated or heavy, and also feel constant tiredness, suffer from insomnia, or feel overwhelmed after sleep.
In addition, the metabolic rate slows with age. This is due to the fact that over time, the hormonal background may be disrupted or the health of the cells and organs involved in the metabolism (liver, kidneys, pancreas, stomach, intestines) may deteriorate. There are many metabolic rate calculators on the Internet. They are not very accurate, because they usually do not take into account a large number of factors. But if you still want to count, it is best to use the Harris-Benedict formula , which takes into account both age and lifestyle.
Is it possible to change the metabolic rate?
Despite the huge amount of information on the Internet, the rate of basal metabolism is almost impossible to change. It depends on static factors such as heredity, gender and age. However, there are dynamic factors that can be influenced, for example, the level of physical activity, diet, body weight, sleep, and psychoemotional state. By changing the parameters of the second group, you can achieve results, but it will still depend on the indicators of the first group. Therefore, metabolism cannot be changed: it can only be normalized and adjusted with a healthy lifestyle.
To speed up the metabolism, various drinks and food are often recommended. But there is no consensus on this. For example, some studies suggest that green tea speeds up metabolism and helps to lose weight – but there is nothing in studies showing the effect the beverage were not found.
Is it true that I can’t lose weight due to a slow metabolism?
Often losing weight is not an easy task. Therefore, if something does not work out, we begin to look for the cause of the failure. In the case of weight loss, people often begin to blame the slow metabolism for everything. However, according to the UK National Health Service (NHS), there is practically no data that would confirm this theory. Some studies show that in overweight people, metabolism is faster than in thin ones, because the larger the body, the more energy is needed to maintain the body’s daily functions. In addition, muscles require more energy than fat cells, so people with more muscle mass are also prone to faster metabolism. In addition, the NHS notes that people often think that they eat less than they actually are. Therefore, usually the reason for gaining weight is because people consume more calories than they burn.
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What if there is a change in metabolic rate?
There may be a situation when you lead a healthy lifestyle, but assume that your metabolic rate has changed dramatically. In this case, if you are unsure, consult a doctor. Accelerated metabolism may be a sign of hormonal imbalance or weakened immunity. A slowdown is often associated with hormonal imbalance. For example, with hypothyroidism, an insufficient amount of hormones is produced and metabolism slows down. Also, the metabolism can be slowed down if the adrenal glands do not work properly. For example, with hypercorticism syndrome (Cushing’s syndrome) – a chronic overabundance of the hormone cortisol. So if your weight begins to fall rapidly or, conversely, grow without obvious reasons – be sure to consult a doctor and undergo an examination.
If you lead a healthy lifestyle, feel good and have a stable weight, then you have a normal metabolism. In turn, a sedentary lifestyle, poor nutrition, stress, lack of water and sleep can reduce metabolism, but it is easy to restore – just make changes and make your lifestyle more healthy.
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