Yes really. You can increase your metabolism by training, which means your body burns more energy, which means more calories used up! It's quite simple really, so give your exercise a boost and read our quick guide.
The sum of all biochemical body activities that occur is your metabolism. They are cyclical reactions that take place in the body. Metabolic pathways provide the body with everything it needs to survive. This includes enzymes, hormones, blood, bone and muscles.
Processes in the body rely on metabolism. For example, dead tissue is also broken down and disposed of and it can be used for the production of energy. Via the circulatory system, pathways are created by the foods that we eat which are consequently broken down and distributed throughout the body. Metabolism is essential for maintaining healthy muscle tissue. The muscle tissue is metabolically active and people with more muscle tend to use more energy.
Metabolism refers to a rate of energy usage. This rate of energy usage is known as metabolic rate and when we are at rest, such as during sleep, we burn calories at a lower rate which is called the Basal Metabolic Rate (BMR) and can be a good indicator of levels of fitness. The energy content of food is measured in calories (KCal).
Control, regulation and the metabolic rate is important for optimising health. Eating small amounts of food regularly is the key to achieving a higher and more stable rate. Ideally, food should be consumed every 2-3 hours and the stomach should definitely not be left empty for more than 5 hours at a time. By leaving large gaps between meals, the body resorts to a mode whereby it prepares for starvation, conserving fat and utilising muscles as the main source of energy. The rate then drops and the proportion of muscle decreases while the amount of fat increases.
Consuming foods in sporadic patterns results in a large drop in blood sugar levels which can lead to energy slumps and hunger pains. eating small amounts of food regularly maintains a higher metabolic rate which can help you to slim more easily and quickly with the chance of sustaining such weight loss being that much higher. This can also help you to maintain steady blood sugar levels and energy levels. Many diet plans such as Slim-Fast suggest that you eat 6 times per day, with others also promoting this type of eating pattern for health benefits.
The reason for this self-defeating link between dieting and metabolism is quite simple. When our bodies are suddenly deprived of food, they go into what is known as starvation mode. In other words, they have a defensive response, which means that you start storing fat and burning muscle instead. This is very useful if youre facing a famine but rather frustrating if youre trying to lose weight.
The problem is made worse by the fact that the more muscle you have, the more calories you burn. So on an extreme diet where your intake of calories is suddenly vastly reduced, you may indeed experience short-term weight loss. Yet once you give up the diet and your calorie intake returns to normal, you will put back on the weight. Only this time as fat rather than muscle.
The muscle you lost during your diet means your metabolic rate is now slower so that it will be harder for you to lose weight in the future. The answer to all this is to avoid extreme dieting, particularly of the yoyo or starvation kind, which is not sustainable. Its far better to have a healthy balanced diet with controlled calorie intake.
Also exercise is the key to building muscle and thus increasing your metabolic rate. The result on the scales may not be instantly dramatic but as you slowly turn fat into muscle, you will feel and look much leaner and healthier.
A healthy, well balanced diet in combination with taking regular physical activity is the key to success for anyone looking to slim, tone up and achieve their target weight with the aim of sustaining such weight loss in a controlled way.
So what is the connection between dieting and metabolism? The truth is that, unfortunately, if you dont make sure your dieting is controlled, your metabolism will slow down. This means your body will burn less calories per day. Hence the pounds you hope to lose by consuming fewer calories may not fall off you as youre now not burning up as many calories as you used to.