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7 Metabolism Dos & Don’ts

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7 Metabolism Dos & Don’ts

“I have a high metabolism.” It’s the infuriating explanation given with a coy shrug by every model, actress, and skinny friend who still shops in the juniors department despite shoveling burgers and pizza in her mouth every chance she gets. Do you also have a high threshold for pain? you may want to ask while gritting your teeth. But sadly, it’s true. Some people are genetically blessed with a high metabolism. Luckily, there are ways for the rest of us metabolic sloths to boost ours. It might not be enough to get you in a bikini before summer, but it will give you more energy and may help you whittle your waist.

What is your metabolism, anyway?

Metabolism is the name for the chemical processes by which living organisms stay alive. When we talk about metabolism, we’re talking about the amount of energy, in calories (yes, those calories), your body needs to maintain itself. These processes are twofold, constructive (synthesizing proteins, carbohydrates, and fats to store energy) and destructive (breaking down substances into energy and waste), and are happening all the time. Whether you’re in Zumba class or vegetating through the workday, you are metabolizing. It’s helpful to think of your body as a car and your metabolism as the Little Engine That Could. You put fuel (food) in and get energy out.

The answer to the question “Can you change your metabolism?” is really yes, and it’s also no. Your metabolism is dependent on three things. The first and largest thing is your Basal Metabolic Rate (BMR). This is the amount of energy your body needs just to sustain your vital organs, like your heart, lungs, and kidneys. It’s the baseline—what the car needs to idle—and it’s responsible for about 60 to 75 percent of your metabolism. It’s also inherited and fairly stable. The other two factors, which can be fine-tuned, are exercise and digestion, both of which use energy. They’re like putting your foot on the accelerator.

The above is true for everyone, but there are other factors that influence an individual’s metabolism. You are not imagining that it’s easier for men to lose weight than it is for women. Between a man and a woman of the same weight, the man will burn more calories. That’s because men generally have more muscle and, because muscle requires more calories than fat, faster metabolisms. (Incidentally, this is also the reason they can drink you under the table: they’re metabolizing that alcohol faster.) Age is another factor. Along with wrinkles and light bladder leakage, a slower metabolism is something we have to look forward to after the age of about 30, when we start to gradually lose muscle mass. So what can we do to keep our engines revving?

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Read more: Diet & Nutrition, Eating for Health, Fitness, General Health, Health,

By Kathryn Williams, DivineCaroline

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Samantha, selected from DivineCaroline

At DivineCaroline.com, women come together to learn from experts in the fields, of health, sustainability, and culture; to reflect on shared experiences; and to express themselves by writing and publishing stories about anything that matters to them. Here, real women publish like real pros. Together, with our staff writers, they’re discussing all facets of women’s lives from relationships and careers, to travel and healthy living. So come discover, read, learn, laugh and connect at DivineCaroline.com.

133 comments

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4:36AM PDT on Oct 6, 2013

Thanks

3:31AM PDT on Oct 6, 2013

Thank you :)

9:44AM PDT on Mar 25, 2013

Thank you, sharing

12:10PM PST on Feb 6, 2013

thanks. this should be common knowledge by now. eat healthy foods, make exercise part of your routine, sleep well and when you are tired, ect.

9:10AM PST on Dec 18, 2012

Thanks

1:56AM PST on Nov 25, 2012

thanks for sharing :)

5:57PM PST on Nov 20, 2012

Thanks

9:33AM PST on Nov 19, 2012

Thank you

9:13AM PST on Nov 19, 2012

Found this article interesting. Thanks Samantha.
I feel unfortunate that I wasn't born with my mother's metabolism. I sometimes think it is too bad that so much is made of the size and shape of a person's body, especially when they are young - I know as one of my daughters had anorexia, then bullimia (sp), also several of her teen friends had anorexia, and some took pills. Maybe there should be more education on the subject of metabolism, for female tweenies and teens.

4:30AM PST on Nov 16, 2012

ठीक

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Disclaimer: The views expressed above are solely those of the author and may not reflect those of
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people are talking

thks intresting and informtive. dont sleep well ,never had even from a child my mum has told me…

Great ideas, thank you

That's a scary amount of toxins in a small developing body!

Good on Miss Kitty and good that the family called the vet to make sure Miss Kitty and the pups stay…

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