Food and Your Metabolism

Food and Your Metabolism
By
Stephanie Pollard, MPH, MB,MT(AMT)
What Is Metabolism?
Your metabolism, experts say, involves a complex network of hormones and enzymes that not only convert food into fuel but also affect how efficiently you burn that fuel.
The process of metabolism establishes the rate at which we burn our calories and, ultimately, how quickly we gain weight or how easily we lose it; not everyone burns calories at the same rate.
Your metabolism is influenced by your age (metabolism naturally slows about 5% per decade after age 40); your sex (men generally burn more calories at rest than women); and proportion of lean body mass (the more muscle you have, the higher your metabolic rate tends to be). Heredity also makes a difference as to how well your metabolism works.
Revving Your Engine
Though some of the factors affecting metabolic rate can’t be changed, happily, there are ways to maximize the metabolism you’re born with — even when you’re dieting.
Among the best ways is exercise. This includes aerobic workouts and walking to burn more calories in the short term, and weight training to build the muscles that will boost your metabolism in the long run.
Your best bet for keeping metabolism revved: Build muscles, snack on low-calorie, high-protein foods, and keep moving!
Your Body’s Metabolism Rate
Your metabolic rate measures the rate at which your individual body is using up energy (as measured in calories) to stay alive. It’s not a rate that remains constantly the same. Your metabolic rate varies throughout the day and throughout your life, depending on your level of activity and other factors.
The rate at which you burn calories is lowest while you sleep and greatest when you physically work hard. Here’s a guide that describes the approximate calories burned during various types of work. Keep in mind that these “burn rates” will vary from person to person, so use this as a guide to the relative energy used up for each level of activity.
Activity
Calories per Hour
Sleeping
65
Very light work or sitting at rest
100
Light work
120
Moderate work
175
Heavy-duty work
375

2 Replies to “Food and Your Metabolism”

  1. Thank you for another fantastic article. The place else could anyone get that kind of info in such an ideal way of writing? I’ve a presentation next week, and I’m on the search for such info.

    1. Hello Kerry, how did your Presentation go in November? You can message me back, if you would like more information for future presentations. Thanks

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