Can you do anything to get your metabolism running faster?
What is metabolism?
It refers to the amount of energy (calories) your body burns up in a day. Sixty to 70 percent of your daily caloric expenditure goes into your resting metabolic rate (RMR), the energy required just to keep your body functioning. People who eat like a horse and never gain weight - said to have fast metabolisms - are born with high RMRs, meaning it takes a lot of food for their particular bodies just to stay alive.
How do you measure it?
The most accurate method uses large, indirect calorimeter machines in labs or hospitals under strictly controlled conditions. Originally, metabolism (low thyroid) was determined by underarm temp under strict conditions, cholesterol levels, physical exam findings. Underarm temperature measurement under strict conditions is still a clinically reliable relative indicator followed by more sophisticated lab testing.
How much can one person's metabolism differ from another's?
A lot. Or a little.
If age, gender, height and body composition are the same, the variation in resting metabolism is likely to be less than 3 percent. Body composition is key here. The more lean body mass (muscle) metabolism, is higher, even and especially at rest. Muscle burns calories 24 hours a day. Fat? No. Nutritional status (intake of specific vitamins and minerals) can also make a difference.
Do overweight people have slower metabolisms?
No, not always. Because the more you weigh, the harder your body has to work. Some overweight people create fat stores that blow up like balloons. They can find these very hard to mobilize making it very important to avoid overweight in the first place.
Can you crank up your RMR?
Yes. Having your thyroid checked... Clinically and functionally. It is very important to do both. Resistance (weights and machines properly done) exercise cranks your metabolism for hours after. And it can build lean body mass. Dietary intake can increase your thermogenic (calorie burning) capacity. Protein produces 7 times the metabolic boost of carbohydrates or fat. Is all protein the same? Hardly. Knowing the right types and amount of protein can make a big difference.
Nutritional deficiencies will impair maximum efficiency of conversion of your food to energy. It will also impair the power of your thyroid hormone. If your have toxicity from heavy metals such as lead, mercury, or other chemical exposures... they do major damage to your energy production. Correcting other problems such as anemia is very important. Interaction and balancing of other hormones deserves a very close look as hormones very much affect the performance of other hormones and body systems.
Do the supplements that promise to speed up your metabolism deliver?
They can help but it is much better long term to correct your total metabolic system allowing it to become a part of your basic health.
Does metabolism slow as you age?
Yes. For women, there's a big drop with menopause. Between ages 40 and 80, an average person's RMR slows down by 25 to 30 percent. Can that be offset? If you know what to do.
How does dieting in general affect it?
As soon as you restrict your calories, your metabolism goes down. The body protects itself from starvation.
Does metabolism really matter?
If you drive through McDonald's and eat your fries in the automatic car wash while you call a guy on your cell phone to mow the lawn for you, you are never, ever going to lose weight. Health is use it or lose it. Everything works together in burning fat and keeping you at peak health.
Call our office today and make your appointment!