Metabolism is the term used to describe the process by which the body converts food and nutrients into energy. It is needed to perform all bodily activities, create new cells and tissue, maintain body temperature, heal injuries, repair damage and free the body of all toxins.
Your metabolism kicks in when you eat and your stomach begins to digest your food. After you have eaten, the body uses enzymes released by the pancreas and thyroid gland to break down the digested food into simple substances (sugars, amino acids and fatty acids). These substances are distributed by the bloodstream and absorbed by the body cells to be used as energy to run the various processes in the body. Excess energy is then stored by your body (as either muscle or fat) so that it can be used in the future. Everybody has a unique resting metabolic rate, called your basal metabolic rate or BMR, which determines how quickly, or slowly, your body uses up energy when you are resting. Metabolism is measured according to your basal metabolic rate (BMR). This calculation will determine how quickly your metabolism works when you are resting.
Nutrition, hydration and physical activity are vital contributors to a healthy metabolism.
Lean muscle mass burns more calories than any other part of your body, and a higher percentage of lean body weight results in a higher metabolic rate.When you become older, your metabolism slows down as you lose lean muscle mass. This metabolic decline usually starts from the age of 30. Family history also influences your metabolism. Some people are born with a slower metabolism causing them to gain weight more easily.
Adequate and effective sleep is crucial to boost your metabolism. When you don’t get enough sleep, an increased amount of fat is stored as a result of the inability to metabolize carbohydrates. This leads to high blood sugar levels causing an increase in the levels of insulin produced and increasing the stores of unused fat.
Metabolic rate also depends on the thyroid. An underactive thyroid will have a slower rate and as a result it will be more difficult to lose weight. Catechins contained in green tea supplements can increase metabolic rate. Starvation diets tend to slow metabolic rates whereas intermittent fasting diets tend to increase metabolic rates. Detox processes which provide a tonic to the liver tend to increase metabolic rate.