Metabolism is a concept not easily understood, except for individuals who study exercise science or other forms of medical studies. Metabolism comprises of several aspects, which is important to our overall daily caloric expenditure. Below is an easy to understand layout to see what lifestyle affect metabolism.
Digestion of Food
This part of the metabolism is based upon the energy expended to digest and breakdown food. Metabolism is affected by what we eat, when we eat it. There truly is no one-size-fits-all approach to eating. Some research suggests five small meals per day, others say eat three adequate meals. The one thing to note is the quality and quantity of food. The body burns more energy when it has to breakdown whole, nutritious food. That is part of the reason why we can eat a whole bag of Doritos. There is no fiber or lack of “whole grain” to make the body feel full and work to break it down. Therefore, although the quality is rough on digestion, due to slamming down the chips, the stomach will quickly pass it through to the intestine. Once again this another reason to advocate for fresh, whole foods, especially fruits and vegetables.
This component of metabolism is vital beyond “boosting” our metabolic rate. Physical activity reduces stress and promotes happiness and vitality. We expend energy through movement. This movement occurs through exercise sessions, running errands or walking to work. Moving the body throughout the day is now known to be significant indicator for weight management. In addition, those who strength train or complete metabolic conditioning classes can burn calories long after their workout, thanks to a concept known as EPOC.
Resting Metabolic Rate
This part of the metabolism is based upon the ability to expend calories at rest and our normal daily functions. This includes breathing, thinking and heart pumping actions. Our organs constantly work around the clock 24/7, so we are technically burning calories all day, everyday. However, as we age, the body naturally deteriorates. This is where having lean muscle mass is vital to keep our daily caloric expenditure high. Muscle burns more calories than fat at rest. This is based on the pounds. For example, the metabolic rate of muscle can burn 4.5 calories per per pound versus 2 calories per pound of fat.
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