Metabolism is the biochemical processes that occur with any living organism – including humans – to maintain life. These biochemical processes allow us to grow, reproduce, repair damage, and respond to our environment.

How Does Metabolism Work?

Since our metabolism is a whole set of processes producing energy in your body, it needs some direction as to how fast or slow it should perform.  Basically, the thyroid functions as the moderator your metabolism.  The pituitary gland is the supervisor, and your hypothalamus is the director or chief.  The hypothalamus signals to the pituitary, which lets the thyroid know to release hormones to speed up or slow down your metabolism.

What Can Influence or Impact our Metabolism?

  • Age
  • Gender
  • Diet
  • Body composition
  • Physical activity
  • Lifestyle

Everyone has their own biochemical individuality and how these things will affect your metabolism may vary significantly.  Sixty to seventy percent of your total daily energy expenditure is used up by vital metabolic functions, such as breathing, heart rate, and body temperature.  By simply existing from day to day, we are burning up the majority of energy we consume!  Ultimately, the very things we cannot change, like age and gender, typically impact your metabolism the most.  However, one important aspect you can control in your daily life is feeding your body the right “fuel mix” (the correct ratio of protein/carbs/fats).  This will help to keep your metabolism running smoothly.

How Can You Speed Up Your Metabolism?

As previously stated, everyone’s metabolism is different, but there are some ways you can increase it by implementing several strategies:

  • Avoid sugar and grains because they are the leading cause of insulin and leptin resistance, which affect your hunger levels, weight, and risk of many different diseases
  • Listen to the cues your body gives when hungry and eat a healthy meal or snack when hunger strikes.
  • Incorporate a well-rounded exercise regimen that includes strength training to build muscle, as well as interval training, which has been demonstrated to significantly increase fat loss.  For every pound of muscle you gain, your body burns 50-70 calories more daily.  Therefore, if you gain 10 lbs. of muscle, your body will burn an additional 500-700 calories per day!

 

Sources:

http://www.foodmatters.tv/content/everything-you-need-to-know-about-your-metabolism

http://articles.mercola.com/sites/articles/archive/2011/07/13/is-your-food-making-you-old-by-ori-hofmekler.aspx

Photo Source:

http://phen375dietplan.org/boost-your-metabolism-with-phen375