At the very core, it is the basic activity of an organism which is also the most important. Without energy the organism will not be able to move or carry out the other functions. In human beings, metabolism is used loosely to refer to the rate of breaking down food to make energy. That is why some are said to have low, high or metabolism that is somewhere in the middle. This is an indicator of how long it takes for nutrients to be completely absorbed from food and applied to the body functions.
What does metabolism mean and how does it work?
Metabolism is an organic process that is fundamentally important for life. Younger people typically have high metabolism and this makes it easy for them to lose weight. It slows down with age making it harder to lose weight as you get older. Exercises also speed the rate of metabolism.
A high metabolism contributes to good overall health, proper digestion, burning fat, shedding off excess weight or keeping it off altogether. On the other hand having a slow metabolism can have negative effects on our dieting efforts. It can also make the process of energy production slow thus making you lack the drive to exercise and engage on everyday tasks.
When you eat food, it is digested in the stomach to disintegrate it into nutrients that can be used in the body. The speed at which your body breaks down food is what is more commonly referred to as metabolism. However, it goes further as to include the process of applying the nutrients to cells, maintaining them and even providing energy for your normal body functions.
Foods that increase metabolism and burn fat
There are certain foods that we can incorporate into our diets to boost our metabolism levels and enable our bodies to burn more fat. Nuts, asparagus, beans, celery, cruciferous vegetables, coffee, cucumbers, fruits, ginger, green tea, lean meat, lemons, oatmeal, spinach, spices. Foods that increase metabolism conversely also help to burn off excess fat. Some people can engage in unhealthy eating without increasing their weight disproportionately. However, having a high metabolism is not a license to engage in negative nutrition.
Now that we have discussed the first concern of “what does metabolism mean?” The next important thing is to get some of these foods and incorporate them into your diet. It does not mean you should completely rid your diet of other foods. Moreover, you should consciously increase your consumption of a combination of these foods. Your body will take the hint and start upping your metabolism gradually.
There are certain foods that do not enhance our metabolism. This list includes processed foods, sugar and snacks. The body can easily get accustomed to eating snacks so that it builds up the fat deposits. Most of the snacks have addictive flavors and one finds themselves eating mindlessly.
Does exercise increase metabolism?
Exercise not only facilitates the rejuvenation of the cells but it also increases the metabolism rate. This is experienced even as we mild exercises such as sit ups since the breath becomes short and faster, we get hotter and even start sweating.
When you engage in a strenuous workout that makes you sweat the metabolism is higher. Your body burns up calories and even stored fat to release energy for exercise. Suitable workouts for boosting metabolism are cardio exercises, jogging, running, yoga, weight lifting and any other exercise that enables sweating.
All body functions use energy and this is true when we exercise. The organs work to enhance blood flow to all parts of the body and the heart beats faster. In all this the brain signals to the body to work harder and faster. A lifestyle of exercise will definitely lead to increase metabolism. Conversely, laziness and lack of exercise causes the muscles to dull and lose their energy.
How can I speed up my metabolism?
Eat the right food
To speed up your metabolism you first have to engage in right eating – provide the body with the required nutrients. Protein is an essential nutrient since it provides the building blocks for cells. Recent research findings indicate that the current RDA of proteins at 0.8g/ kg of body weight is insufficient to protect us against muscle loss that occurs naturally with age.
You should aim to incorporate recommended spices such as cinnamon, hot pepper, ginger etc. into your diet. So, what does metabolism mean? As you can see, metabolism is not a simple term to define. As much as possible, eat raw foods as salads, sides or steamed. Choose a healthy extra virgin cooking oil such as sunflower, coconut or olive oil. Hydrogenated oils may not have some of the benefits of the virgin oil.
Adapt positive mindset
Having a positive mindset is important if you want to impact your body. This is what will enable you to get through the tough times as you engage in a lifestyle change. People who have engaged in different diets without achieving great results may also experience frustration and demotivation. However with the right food, exercise and mindset, you are on your way to a better you.
Take more water and fiber
Water is an important nutrient because the human body is composed of 70% water. Water helps in detoxification, revitalizing cells, digestion and healthy appearance. Fiber can also have an impact on the general state of your metabolism since it aids digestion, absorption and elimination of waste from the body.
Engage in exercise
Exercise is important whether you are looking to lose weight or not. Moreover once you understand what does metabolism mean you are in a better position to make effort to get it right. One should look for proportionate exercises that help to work on all parts of the body. Excess body fat is usually deposited in the belly, thighs, upper arms and buttocks. Exercise must therefore target the muscles in these areas to tone and firm.