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Metabolism: The Low-down

28th November 2019

28th November 2019

By Catherine Hargreaves

Let’s talk about energy. Doing things uses up energy. Going for a run uses energy, binge watching a Netflix series uses energy (let’s call it a workout?) – even sleeping uses energy. Our bodies essentially use up energy in two ways: through physical activity and through, basically, staying alive.

So what is your metabolism?

Your ‘metabolism’ is the set of processes that occur inside your body to keep you alive. Think digesting food, temperature regulation, respiration, and so on. The amount of energy needed by your body to carry out these processes is known as your ‘Basal Metabolic Rate’ (BMR). We measure energy in units known as ‘calories’ (heard of ‘em?), so your BMR translates to the amount of calories you’d burn in a day if you lay very still and did nothing all day. When people pursue a 'fast metabolism', what they really mean is that they want a high BMR - i.e. to be burning more calories at rest.

Your metabolism accounts for up to 70% of your body’s daily energy use, depending on your body size and composition: muscle cells need more energy to maintain than fat cells do (about three times the amount), so people with more muscle mass tend to have a higher BMR, requiring more calories to keep their body functioning properly.

A lower BMR, means your body needs less energy to function, and so uses up less energy from fuel (food). As such, you may find you need to exercise more in order to burn the ‘left over’ calories that you eat, in order to maintain a healthy weight. For example, say you are eating 2,000 calories a day, and your BMR is 1,600. This means you’d need to burn 400 calories in a day from physical activity. The more calories you burn, the fewer will be stored in the form of fat in the body, meaning boosting your metabolic rate can encourage healthy weight-loss.

So can you increase your metabolism? Sort of! What you’re really doing is increasing your BMR. To burn more calories at rest, try out the following:

Eat metabolism boosting foods:

  • Protein. Of all the food groups, protein is the one that will boost your metabolism the most. This is because it produces the highest TEF (thermic effect of food), meaning it uses more calories to digest, absorb and process all of the nutrients it provides. Protein will increase your metabolic rate by up to 30%, whilst carbohydrates will only increase it by up to 10%, and fats only 3%. Get the processes going with an Innermost Protein here.
  • Get spicy. Spicy foods have been found to temporarily increase metabolism by raising your body temperature. Spiciness has also been found to increase feelings of satiety, which can help prevent over-eating.
  • Foods rich in Iron, Zinc, Iodine and Selenium. These four nutrients are required for the proper function of your thyroid gland, which regulates your metabolism using thyroid hormones. Poor thyroid function leads to a slower metabolism, so look after it! Reach for nuts, seeds or seafood, or pick up The Recover Capsules here.
  • Green tea. This miracle drink is known to increase your metabolic rate due to its concentrated source of antioxidants known as 'catechins', which increase energy expenditure.
  • Cut to the chase: Try out our Tone Capsules here, which combine a host of functional ingredients designed to boost metabolism and aid healthy weight-loss.

Also Try...

  • Aerobic exercise such as walking, cycling, swimming, running. Cardio raises your metabolism during and also after a session, so don't shun it!
  • Strength training. Remember the drill: lean muscle burns more calories than fat. More muscle, fewer problems.
  • Ice ice baby. Your body uses energy getting your ice cold water to body temperature, so load up on the cubes.

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