Metabolism may be defined as the process by which your body burns calories and expends energy. For instance, when you take in carbohydrates, they’re converted into energy and other essentials through a metabolic process. The rate at which this happens may vary from one person to another because of various reasons.
One of the main determining factors is the physical tasks you engage in every day. If, for example, you run, go to the gym, or spend your time at a construction site, these activities will speed up your metabolic rate. Other things that may also have an influence include your gender, age, and muscle-to-fat ratio. With these factors in mind, you could have a slow, moderate, or fast metabolic rate, and all of them will have an impact on your health. Wondering how this is possible? Read on to find out more on this interesting subject.
Slow Metabolism And Weight Gain
Before getting into too much details, it’s important that you understand the meaning of this phrase. By definition, slow metabolism refers to a situation wherein very few calories are burnt both at rest and during active hours. Think of your body as an engine, and the slower it runs, the less fuel it consumes. Many people blame their weight gain on slow metabolism, and rightly so.
If the rate at which calories are burnt in your body is slow, then you might have a problem whenever you take in more of the energy-giving nutrients. Normally, the unbroken content is deposited in various parts of your body. As such, you’ll have a lot of fat across the body, and that can be quite dangerous to your health. For one, you’re at risk of attracting blood pressure and cardiovascular conditions.
However, research shows that not all overweight people have slow metabolic rate. In fact, there are those who engage in demanding activities throughout the day, but still end up being overweight. Similarly, other people eat a lot of carbohydrates, proteins, fats, and other nutrients, but still maintain their normal body weight regardless of being dormant for most of the days.
In other words, everyone’s body reacts differently to various conditions. For instance, eating and sitting on your couch doesn’t necessarily mean you’ll gain weight. However, you might develop complications as time goes by because of too much inactivity. Bear in mind that such conditions may not be directly linked to slow metabolism, but it still plays a vital role in weight-gain related diseases.
High Metabolism And Its Effects
If you exercise by running for several hours every day, go to the gym, or engage in demanding hands-on activities, then your metabolic rate will probably increase. In fact, that’s what should happen because there is a high demand for energy, and that can only be generated by breaking down the nutrients in your body.
Normally, this is expected to have a positive impact on one’s health. Theoretically, having a fast metabolic rate means a lot of toxins are removed from the body, and unnecessary weight gain is also prevented. Of course, as the body demands for more energy, a lot of calories are burnt to offset these needs. In the long run, you’ll reduce the risks of having various health complications, such as blood pressure and cardiovascular conditions.
However, it’s worth noting that these diseases are not entirely prevented through high metabolism. For one, family history and genetics play a role in this particular problem. That said, exercising regularly, which is one of the ways to up the metabolic rate, will keep your body fit and improve your immune system, which is vital to your overall wellbeing. With high metabolism, you also get to eat regularly without depriving your body of essential nutrients in the name of cutting weight.
High metabolism can be advantageous, but it also comes with its challenges, which can have adverse effects on your health. For example, as food content is converted to energy, the blood sugar level tends to reduce, especially when you’re busy during the day. In response, you’ll experience irregular heartbeats and excessive excretion of sweat.
Although it hasn’t been scientifically proven, there are claims that high metabolism can lead to high mortality rate. Perhaps, the main reason behind this theory is the fact that people in such situations are at risk of having life-threatening conditions, such as type 1 diabetes. To counter this problem, you’ll need to eat regularly, which can be a straining requirement. Alternatively, you could consult your doctor and see if they can prescribe some drugs to slow down the rate.
Factors Affecting Metabolic Rate
There are several factors that can either slow down or increase your metabolic rate. Therefore, you can consider avoiding or adopting them depending on your needs.
- Physical activities: The more you engage in physical activities, the higher the rate at which food is broken down in your body. That explains why most athletes take in energy drinks or glucose after a match.
- Diet: Your diet may also increase or reduce this process. For instance, plenty of proteins in your meal tends to increase the metabolic rate because of the thermal effect of food (TEF). With more intake of such food content, the body is prompted to break down the nutrients faster because of the extra calories that need burning, too.
- Age and gender: Of course, this is a factor that you have absolutely no control over, but it does influence your metabolic rate. Generally, men have a higher basal metabolic rate (BMR) than women because of their body composition.
Metabolism is quite a controversial subject, especially when it comes to its effects on one’s life. Perhaps, the most amazing theory given so far is that it might increase the mortality rate. Although it’s not yet scientifically proven, there are various explanations to support it. For one, high metabolic rate results in lower blood sugar level, which, in turn, may lead to life-threatening complications. Slow metabolism, on the other hand, is largely associated with weight gain. However, it’s worth keeping in mind that everyone’s body is different, and some of these theories may not be applicable to you.