photo illustration of metabolismEver wondered why some people can gain weight easily and why others can’t, why some people gain muscle growth easily with fewer workouts, while others spend a considerable amount of time and workouts to get the same result.

Metabolism plays a big role in fitness and weight loss. This is the process whereby your body converts what you eat and drink to energy.

The energy the body requires to carry out basic functions such as breathing, digestion, blood circulation, regulating hormone levels, growing and repairing cells is known as basal metabolic rate.

The higher the basal metabolic rate of your body, the faster the body burns calories and vice versa.

FACTORS THAT INFLUENCE OUR BASAL METABOLIC RATE

1. Sex. Men naturally burn more calories than women. This is why men have less body fat than women of the same age.

2. Age. As you grow older, your body’s basal metabolic rate reduces. Our body tends to replace muscles with fat.

3. Body Size and Composition. People who are huge and people who have bigger muscles naturally have a higher metabolic rate and as a result, burn more calories. This can be natural through genetics or acquired through exercise and bodybuilding.

4. Genetics. Genetics play a big role in metabolism, metabolic disorders and diseases. The role of metabolism in human health has been studied. The relationship between hereditary and body fat has also been studied.

WEIGHT LOSS AND METABOLISM

Metabolism alone doesn’t determine if you will gain weight or not. Weight gain depends on a complex of factors which include genetics, ageing, metabolism, diet, hormone regulation, and the impact of the environment on your lifestyle, including sleep, physical activity and stress. All these factors result in an imbalance which results in weight gain. This means that you gain more calories than you burn and these calories are converted into fat.

HOW TO BOOST YOUR METABOLISM

Even though we all don’t have the same metabolism, we can improve our metabolism by a variety of ways.

Ways we can burn more calories include:

1. Cardio exercises. These include exercises such as running, jogging, walking, cycling and swimming. These exercises are very effective in boosting our metabolism and losing weight. In fact, it is almost impossible to lose weight without doing cardio. If you are new to fitness and unsure of where to start, read our article on Fitness basics.

2. Strength training. Exercises such as weight lifting are important for boosting your metabolism. Although a study found that Cardio is better than strength training for metabolism, strength training is known to burn more calories.

3. Lifestyle changes. Simple everyday lifestyle changes such as limiting stress, relaxing, doing exercise, walking, getting enough sleep are beneficial in boosting our metabolism. They also help the body maintain its homeostasis, thereby preventing imbalances in metabolism which prevents weight gain.

4. Diet. Diet is very essential for metabolism and weight loss. Some diet help to boost your metabolism. Eating fruits, drinking enough water and eating a balanced diet will help regulate and improve your metabolism. And don’t forget to limit junk foods and diets high in cholesterol.

It’s important to know about your metabolism if you are committed to fitness and want to see results. In our article on Genetics, we talked about how some factors which determine our overall health can be attributed to genetics. These things can’t be changed. Your metabolism is one of them. We can’t change it; you should work with it in other to get your desired results.


Dr. Klas

Dr. Klas aka Dr. Emmanuel Adeniran is a medical doctor, a health educator, and a fitness expert who has been into fitness for more than five years. He is willing to share his knowledge and experience with you.

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