Metabolism is the process by which the body converts everything one eats into the energy, that is needed for proper functioning of the body and its many systems. It powers everything, from breathing to blinking of the eyes. The faster one’s metabolism is, quicker the calories burn. But, like with most things, there are many myths surrounding this process, and whether it is related to weight loss or gain.
“A thin person is always assumed to have a faster metabolism, whereas, in case of an overweight person, it is assumed that he/she might have a slower metabolism,” said nutritionist Nicky Sagar. But is it true?
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Signs of a slow metabolism
*The initial sign of a slow metabolism is unexplained weight gain. If, despite eating well and exercising you are still gaining weight, your metabolism could be blamed. Not only can a slow metabolism make you gain weight, but it can also make it very difficult to lose weight despite regular exercising, she explained.
*A slow metabolism also stops the supply of essential nutrients to the cells in the body. As such, you may notice that the our cells are not repairing as much or are losing their healthy glow — which could further lead to dry skin, hair, and brittle nails.
*”The lack of thyroid hormone in the body is also one of the main causes of slow metabolism. It also impacts mental health, some logical and cognitive abilities, and also cause loss of memory,” Dr Sagar told indianexpress.com.
*Hormone levels play a vital role in metabolic age and metabolism rate. Low estrogens or testosterone levels slow down the metabolism due to which the body ends up storing excess fat. For example, a caloric deficit is a diet in which the body burns more calories than it takes in, which results in weight loss. But, cutting out calories dramatically and suddenly may slow down the metabolism, and prevent weight loss. It can also be a result of many fast and quick fix diets (keto-diet, juice cleanse).
*Mood swing is also related to slow metabolism. Slow metabolism may result in mood changes or disrupt emotions. People with a slower metabolism may experience depressive symptoms or anxiety.
Tips to boost metabolism
“You may have tried black coffee, and spicy food, but the truth is that there’s no quick fix to boost your metabolism,” she mentioned.
Increasing your metabolism in the long run requires having a healthy and sustainable lifestyle that includes
*Getting 6-8 hours of sleep daily is essential as lack of sleep decreases the number of calories burnt; it also changes the way the body processes sugar and may also disrupt the appetite-regulating hormones to boost our metabolism.
*Working out five times a week and including strength training in your workout routine. Lifting heavy weights is very important for building muscle. Higher muscles mass will result in higher metabolism.
*Eating a balanced diet, which includes protein, as it can boost your metabolism and help you in burning more calories and suppress hunger.
*Moving your body often – doesn’t have to be in the form of a workout, you can simply help around with household chores. Sitting for a long time burns fewer calories and is bad for health as well as our metabolism. Try to move your body regularly at regular intervals.
“Try and make certain long-term committed changes in your life so that the metabolism remains at its peak consistently,” said Sagar.