Tag Archives: metabolism

How Does Breakfast Affect Your Metabolism?

If you break down the word breakfast itself into break and fast, the answer is much clearer. You are breaking the fast you were on while sleeping (unless you are one of those munchers that get up during the night to eat something).

When you get up, your metabolism has already processed all the food you had in your system when you went to bed. Because there isn’t much work to do at the moment, it is kind of napping itself and not really working much at all beyond the bare minimums it needs to do to keep your body going.

Unless you give it a reason to wake up, it will keep more or less at its “vegetative” pace. That is where breakfast comes in. When you eat, all of a sudden you are flooding your digestive system with food and your metabolism jumps into action at a high rate in its endless pursuit to process the incoming food.

What does a good breakfast look like?

A healthy first meal of the day should include protein, complex carbohydrates and healthy fats. Fruits, vegetables, low-fat dairy, whole grains and lean meats are all good choices along with eggs.

A two-egg omelet with spinach is my favorite. Scrambled eggs with diced bacon is another favorite. Use a little olive oil to make the eggs; it is much better for you than using butter. Complement your omelet with a piece of whole grain toast topped with some peanut butter. You could even add in a meat, such as bacon or sausage, both made from turkey.

Other breakfast choices could include oatmeal with cinnamon and banana slices, yogurt with granola or a smoothie made with protein powder, almond milk and your favorite fruit. Stay away from the unhealthy saturated fats, simple carbohydrates and sugar.

If you need something on the go, choose a couple of hard-boiled eggs, or some trail mix or apple slices with some peanut butter. For a beverage, choose black coffee or tea; the caffeine in either will help speed up your metabolism.

As far as how fast your body processes food, about 75 percent of the calories processed is dependent on your age, gender, weight, body composition and genetics. The other 25% is processed by the physical activity you do during the day.

Speaking of physical activity, try to work in at least 30 minutes of exercise each day. Cardio is good for burning calories and will keep your metabolism elevated long after you quit your workout. Mix in a couple days per week of strength training to build more muscle. The more muscle you have, the harder your metabolism has to work to keep feeding all that muscle mass.

Do Some People Really Just Have a High or Low Metabolism?

Genetics do have a role to play in our metabolism. Some people just have a naturally high metabolism, while for others it doesn’t work quite as fast. But before we get into the specifics of the causes of having a high or low metabolism and what can be done about either, let’s first discuss metabolism, so we have a better understanding of it.

What is Metabolism?

Metabolism is a biological process in most living organisms that breaks down food consumed so the body can use the nutrients as energy. It has two parts called reactions – catabolic and anabolic.

The catabolic reaction happens first as it breaks down food so the nutrients can get into your bloodstream and get eventually into your cells. The anabolic reaction occurs after the nutrients enter your cells and are used to build new tissue and repair your body.

The rate at which the catabolic and anabolic reactions happen is your basal metabolic rate (BMR). Your BMR plays a large part in how your weight is affected. A low rate means food is broken down more slowly; a high rate more quickly.

High Metabolism

On the surface, it sounds great to have a high metabolism; in theory, you could eat whatever you want and not gain weight. But, it isn’t all that great because it can cause some serious health issues of its own.

People with high functioning metabolisms eat a lot of calories in a day just to keep from being hungry, but much of the food they eat not only tends to be high in calories, but also high in saturated fat, sugar, salt – all things not good for them. This can lead to an increased risk of heart disease, strokes, high cholesterol and diabetes.

While a high metabolism in many people is caused by their genetics, gender and age, other causes can be an overactive thyroid, smoking and stress. There isn’t much one can do about their genetics, but the other three are treatable and manageable.

Low Metabolism

Generally a low functioning metabolism can be due to a hormone imbalance. As we age we lose testosterone which helps regulate muscle mass. The more muscle we have, the more calories we burn. To build more muscle, add a couple days per week of strength training in addition to your cardio exercise routine.

Just as an overactive thyroid can cause a high metabolism, and underactive one can cause a slow metabolism. Your doctor may be able to reset your thyroid activity through thyroid therapy.

Stress can also cause a slow metabolism due to weight gain brought on by increased cortisol levels. Reduce the stress and you’ll increase your metabolism.

As you can see, having either a high or low functioning metabolism can cause health problems. If you think your metabolism is out of whack, and nothing you try is working to make it function more normally, see your doctor; many times they can help get your metabolism back on track.

Boost Your Metabolism and Burn Your Belly Fat

There have been a lot of articles written recently about the importance of your metabolism. You may have noticed that there are new books appearing on this topic as well. These include how to increase your metabolism to ramp up your weight loss efforts. One particular area of interest is how increasing your metabolism can help your burn that stubborn belly fat!

Why is Your Metabolism Important?

Your metabolism works as the driving force behind your body. It provides you with enough energy to keep your body moving and functioning each day. If you look up metabolism in a dictionary it is described as a life sustaining function. When your metabolism does not work effectively any more, it can cause a host of problems. This includes diabetes, weight gain and thyroid issues. It has also been shown that a slow metabolism can in fact be heredity.

The Building Blocks of Your Metabolism

Your metabolism is made up of a network of enzymes and hormones. Together they help convert food into fuel for your body. Liken it to trying to drive a car without any gas, it just won’t go anywhere.Your metabolism works as a living process which includes generating fuel for your body, then storing it and finally putting it into use when needed.

Problems can arise when a person metabolizes food very quickly. This type of person would always be thin and extremely lean as their body just cannot store any fat. On the other hand if your metabolism is slow you may often feel weak. This is because your body is not able to pull on resources from the foods you have just eaten.

This short video will help you finally to boost your Metabolism , Lose Weight and get rid of your belly fat.

Have you ever noticed how some people can diet and exercise for months – or years – without getting any real results . . . While other people can diet and exercise FAR LESS, and always seem to look GREAT!

The Problems Associated with Metabolism

The biggest problem with your metabolism is that there is not one set rate when it comes to burning calories. There are many influences that can affect how fast or slow your metabolic system works. One deciding factor is your age. It has been shown that older people have a slower metabolism. After you reach the age of 40 your metabolism generally slows down by about 5% each 10 years. Plus men do tend to burn calories more quickly than women, when resting.

Another factor is your amount of lean body mass. A larger muscle mass means that you will burn calories more effectively as your metabolic rate will be higher.

In addition you may actually have some type of genetic condition which means your metabolic system just doesn’t function correctly. This is what happens when you develop diabetes. It is also possible to be lacking in a particular enzyme.

What is important is for you to understand how your metabolism works. Once you have identified this you can then approach losing weight from a different angle. This will finally allow you to see those results you have been striving for.

Increasing Your Metabolism for Losing Belly Fat

Even if heredity is to blame for your slow metabolism there is good news ahead for you. It is still possible to lose weight. What you want to remember is that muscles burn more calories than fat. This is even true while your body is resting. This means that if you work on increasing your muscle mass, your metabolism will work for you for longer periods. This is often referred to as your resting metabolic rate.

What this really boils down to is that often dreaded word of Exercise. Each pound of muscle burns approximately 35 calories per day. Compare this to just 2 calories for day for each pound of fat!

The best combination of exercise will be aerobic exercise for 30 minutes at a time – to help speed up weight loss. Then add in 30 minutes of weight training – this is going to increase your metabolic resting rate over the long term.

Your Diet

One issue that you may have when trying to lose weight is in knowing how many calories to consume. While you may think that eating as few calories as possible is the way to go, this is not always true.

Research has shown that eating more calories can actually lead to weight loss. While we are not advocating eating huge meals, we are suggesting that you eat small meals more often. Some people find that eating 5 small meals over the course of a day works extremely well.

This works because you are consistently fuelling your metabolism during the day. When you don’t eat, there is no fuel for your metabolism to burn, so it goes into rest mode. Not good when you are trying to lose weight at all!

Eating more frequently will help keep your energy levels high too. Including two healthy snacks per day will help prevent those afternoon slump attacks.

Try dividing your meals into smaller portions with approximately the same calories for each meal. This will help increase your metabolic rate and turn you into a fat burning machine.

What Foods to Eat?

While you may have the best intentions in the world, it can often be difficult to know what foods to eat to lose weight and boost your metabolism. Let’s address this next.

Most foods are going to actually help increase your metabolism. This increase generally takes place for the first hour after you consume any type of food.

What is important to understand is that certain foods use more energy in order to be digested. For example it is recognized that protein foods use about 25% more energy than a food heavy in carbs, even if they contain the same amount of calories.

Hot peppers and spicy foods seem to help boost your metabolism by about 20% during the first 30 minutes. Green tea has also been shown to do the same. Green tea contains EGCG which is a powerful antioxidant that is similar to those found in hot peppers.

There has been research done on some of these foods which has shown positive results. One study was done by the journal of Medicine and Science where they stated that males who added red pepper to a high carb meal boosted their metabolic rates significantly.

The best foods to eat are going to be those that are low calorie and lean. Increase your protein intake by having a small amount of protein at each meal. Break up your meals into 5 smaller ones each day.

Along with eating more protein you want to include more fiber in your diet. It is recommended that you eat at least 10grams of fiber per day. This isn’t a huge amount either, about a half a cup of beans or peas or 2 small apples per day. Eating a high fiber bread or cereal is another good option.

Let’s talk Exercise

This is often the dreaded area for anyone trying to lose weight. If you haven’t exercised in years just the thought of it can put you into a sweat.

For many men and women the one area of concern is the belly area. It can be difficult to lose that belly fat for anyone at any age. You need to keep in mind that this is the easiest place for your belly to store fat. Your metabolism has to find somewhere to use all the fat that you are not burning each day. So it just keeps adding layer after layer.

We all need fat in order to protect our organs. But too much fat is not healthy nor does it look attractive. Too much fat can cause problems such as high blood pressure, colon cancer, breast cancer and heart disease.

So your goal should be to reduce your fat intake and increase your abdominal muscles. This will help reduce the look of your belly and be better for your overall health.

To really burn your fat you need to exercise for 30 minutes a day at least 5 times a week. You will want to work up a sweat and your breathing rate should increase, without you becoming breathless.

Some good exercise choices are walking, swimming, using a treadmill or exercise bike, raking leaves, gardening, Zumba dancing and even just getting outside and playing ball with your kids.

To target your belly area use back strengthening exercises along with sit ups. An exercise ball is great for this, as is swimming. A stronger back will help tone up those abdominal muscles so they look great.

Don’t Forget About Sleep & Stress

Not getting enough sleep can be one of the biggest reasons you are not losing weight. When your body does not get enough rest each night, it just can’t perform at its peak during the day. Your goal should be to get 7 hours of sleep per night on a regular basis.

If you are not sleeping well maybe it is time for a new mattress or pillow. If you cannot sleep due to pain or breathing problems visit your doctor for advice.

Once you start exercising and eating healthier you should notice that your sleep patterns improve.

It is virtually impossible to not have stress in your life today. Even young children have to deal with stress at school and in social situations.

In order to lose weight you need to learn how to deal with stress. Yoga is a fantastic way to do this, plus you are getting in your exercise as well. Other ways to reduce stress is to make time to relax with your family and friends. Taking a hot bath or treating yourself to a massage are other ideas. Going for a relaxing walk after dinner with your spouse works wonders too.

Building Your Muscle Mass

As you have learned so far you need to boost your metabolism to help you lose weight. Your muscles are more effective calorie burners when it comes to burning off excess fat. So your next question probably is how do I build muscle mass?

The best way to do this is by adding weight training to your exercise regimen. You don’t have to start off with heavy weights, if you did, you would probably end up pulling a muscle and putting yourself out of action.

The best weights for beginners would be any type of hand weight. You want to start with doing bicep curls. These can be done at any gym using one of their weight machines. Just remember to use a low weight and increase as your fitness level improves.

Other exercises that will help build your muscle mass include push-ups and sit-ups. If you cannot perform a push-up modify it by starting out on your knees. If this is still too hard use a solid wall or a step on your basement stairs.

Sit-ups may be easier if done on an exercise ball, just watch your posture and don’t lean too far backwards so you don’t injure your back muscles.

Yoga and Pilates are both fantastic exercises for building muscle mass. Pilates is excellent and strengthening your entire core and back.

In addition to specific exercises for building muscle mass don’t forget to add in cardiovascular exercise. This will really help speed up your metabolism and get you dropping pounds quickly.

Activities that fall into this group include: cycling, walking, hiking, swimming lengths, kickboxing, Zumba dancing and aerobics class. Your goal here is to increase your heart rate to a point where you can still talk without being out of breathe.

Recap

If your goal is to burn off your belly fat, or fat from any other area of your body, you need to increase your metabolic rate. This can be done by eating 5 smaller meals a day. Space them evenly apart and include extra protein and fiber in your diet.

Start an exercise program that includes some type of cardiovascular exercise along with a weight training program. Aim to do this 5 times a week for about 30 minutes at a time.

Start off slowly and increase the intensity or time as you improve. Five pound weights are more than enough, if you don’t have any, try using a soup can at first. Always listen to your body and observe any exercise that is painful. While you may feel the exercises nothing should cause you major pain, if it does be sure to get yourself checked out.

If you incorporate all of these things into your daily routine you should expect to see results fairly quickly. The cardio activity will help you initially lose those first few pounds. The effects from weight training may take a little longer, but they will provide you with longer term results. Remember what we said about your resting metabolic rate.

You now have the information you need to help you get started on the road to a new you. You know how to rev up your metabolism and get results.

Have fun!