Boosting Metabolism To Lose Weight? Here’s How Metabolism Works


When people mention the word metabolism, it is not unusual to associate this word with weight gain or loss. So what is metabolism’s meaning? Metabolism refers to the process of converting the food we consume into energy for our body to function. People who have a fast metabolism burn calories more quickly than those with slower metabolism.

FACTORS AFFECTING BASAL METABOLISM RATE AND METABOLISM

A Basal Metabolic Rate (BMR) is the amount of energy required by your body to maintain functioning at rest. Factors such as muscle mass, age, body size, gender, genetics, physical activity, hormonal factors, drugs and diet can affect your BMR and metabolism.

Muscles need more energy to function than fat. The higher the amount of muscle tissue you have in your body, the more energy your body needs to burn to maintain these muscles. 

Age is also an important factor affecting your metabolism. Metabolism generally slows as age progresses, often due to loss of muscle mass and changes to hormonal and neurological processes. On the contrary, children undergo extreme rates of metabolism during their growing up years. A larger body size has a higher BMR as they have larger organs to maintain. Males generally have faster metabolism rates as compared to females. Metabolism is also partly genetic and some people can just eat more than others without gaining much weight as they inherited genes that promote a faster metabolism which can burn off the calories faster than others.

Hypothyroidism, also known as underactive thyroid, is a medical condition whereby the thyroid gland underproduces thyroid hormone and slows down metabolism, resulting in weight gain. Hyperthyroidism, on the other hand, produces too much thyroid hormone and speeds up metabolism, resulting in unintentional weight loss and heart palpitations. 

Some of us may be interested in how to increase metabolism in our bodies for various reasons. Exercise is the best answer. Exercise can boost high metabolism by building lean muscle mass and increase your metabolic rate for hours after exercise. When it comes to losing weight and body fat, it is often recommended to combine both exercise and diet, rather than focusing on either strategy alone. There are also foods which can increase or decrease metabolism. Hence it is necessary to choose your food wisely during a diet. We will discuss this area in detail later in the article. 

Caffeine and nicotine can increase BMR while some medications such as antidepressants and steroids cause weight gain. However, it is unwise to rely on these to tamper with our metabolic rates.  

LIVER METABOLISM

The liver plays a key role in all metabolic processes in the body. More notably, the liver is the primary site for drug and alcohol metabolism. After the ingestion of drugs or medication, they are absorbed by the digestive system and enter the liver for metabolism. This greatly reduces the concentration of the drug or medication before it reaches the blood circulation. This is called the first pass metabolism. Liver enzymes also metabolizes alcohol into less toxic compounds via a chain of chemical processes.

METABOLISM IN TRADITIONAL CHINESE MEDICINE (TCM)

TCM has a different perspective when it comes to metabolism function. A strong metabolism function is reliant on a good digestive health. In TCM, the stomach and spleen meridians play vital roles in digestion. In other words, metabolism in chinese medicine is strongly based on these two meridian organs. They break down the ingested food and transport nutrients to the rest of the body. For the stomach and spleen to function efficiently, a smooth flow of qi (vital energy) is required to ensure the transport and metabolic functions are optimized. 

A poor or weakened spleen can lead to accumulation of fluids in the body, resulting in the buildup of “internal dampness” which interferes with the digestive system. Those suffering from “internal dampness” often experience symptoms such as unwanted weight gain, bloating, low energy and loose stools.

Therefore, TCM aims to boost your metabolism by restoring balance to your body. It can be either improving your stomach and spleen functions, promoting qi and blood circulation or removing dampness within your body. Acupuncture of certain acupuncture points can help to stimulate metabolism for weight loss, while herbal medications (now readily available in the form of powder for convenience) can help regulate your metabolism and digestion at the same time.

BOOSTING YOUR METABOLISM

Besides regular exercise, choosing the right foods to eat can also support a healthy metabolism while losing weight. What are some foods that increase metabolism? Protein-rich foods, such as lean meat, fish, eggs, dairy and nuts, may help to increase your metabolism for a few hours and more energy is needed to digest them. In addition, they also contribute to muscle mass during exercise, which maintains the metabolism in the body. These foods also make you feel full for longer periods of time which can prevent overeating.

Research has also shown that foods rich in iron, zinc and selenium can regulate the function of thyroid gland and ensures that your metabolism is on track. Examples of some great metabolism boosters are iron, zinc and selenium-rich foods include oysters, black fungus, meat, seafood, nuts and seeds. Alternatively, if you are not a fan of these foods, you may consider supplementing your diet with these essential elements and nutrients such as Black Fungus Extract Capsules. 

Black Fungus Extract Capsules

Containing 100% black fungus extract, it is high in calcium and iron content and also rich in plant collagen. Using Vegicaps for the capsules, it is suitable for vegans and vegetarians. 

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