For us to survive and function, our body converts what we eat into energy, called metabolism. Metabolism powers everything from breathing to blinking, even during sleep, our body works continuously. What causes metabolism to slow down or burn fast? Charge it to individual genetic differences in metabolism, muscle mass, and physical activity.
- Fan the flames – While it’s true that genetics help determines our metabolism, we can boost metabolic rate by proper nutrition and through exercise, build muscle. Muscle is active metabolically, which means that people who are muscular burns more energy than those with high-fat percentage.
- Age is just a number – As we age, our muscle decreases in size and slows down the metabolic rate. But you can counteract this process by increasing physical activity through exercise.
- The real deal – No magic food will speed up metabolic rate. Only a well-balanced nutrient-dense diet will help boost metabolism.
- The deal breaker – A circadian rhythm is an internal process that regulates the sleep-wake cycle. Nighttime is for resting, not eating; the GI tract has to rest from digesting food. Studies showed when researchers tracked the eating habits of 52 adults; they found that those who ate past 8 p.m. consumed more total calories than earlier eaters. People are more likely to snack in the evenings while watching television. The extra calories consumed by late eaters could lead to weight gain over time.
- Survival of the fittest – In an attempt to lose weight, people skip meals or fast and only eat one meal a day, can backfire if not under direct supervision by a physician. One of our bodies defense mechanism is trying to survive hunger, by storing energy and so will slow down metabolism to conserve energy and save it as fats.
What is the takeaway? Avoid dieting and instead prioritize healthful nutrient-dense foods, including whole grains, legumes, vegetables and fruits, and fun physical activity. Eat at least three meals a day. Be mindful of your diet and chew your food slowly. Practice a healthy weight lifestyle that includes stress management and get enough sleep.
At Doctor for Life, our staff recognizes the Fire in your belly!!!. Whether you, your child or your whole family want to embrace a healthy weight lifestyle, we can help. Doctor for Life has a full team dedicated to creating a doctor-guided, patient-centered program individualized to your needs. We address all aspects related to living a healthy lifestyle, including nutrition, exercise, behavior, and pharmacotherapy.