Anything that you eat or drink is either converted into energy for immediate use, or stored as fat for later. How this energy is used by your body is determined by your metabolism, which is the sum total of all biochemical processes in your body involved in converting food into energy to keep you alive.
What Exactly is Metabolism?
When people are trying to lose weight through diet and exercise but can’t, they often blame their slow metabolism. But the truth is, metabolism is dictated by your thyroid hormones (that butterfly-shaped gland in your neck), and unless you have thyroid disorders, or medical condition that interferes with your metabolism, your metabolism is just how as it should be. Your body has built-in mechanisms to fine-tune your metabolism so it meets your needs.
Your body is smart enough to detect whether you are entering famine, and one way it keeps you alive is the automatic adjustment of your metabolism, which slows down so you can survive longer even without food.
Metabolic Rate and Age
Your metabolic rate slows down as you age, and this is due to dwindling hormones, which in turn leads to decreased muscle mass. Age management treatments available to older adults today incorporate hormone replacement therapy, when medically indicated, and strength training in their programs to offset the effects of a slower metabolic rate.
The goal of the program is to transform an older adult’s body composition for it to have a higher muscle to fat ratio. Muscle burns calories more than fats, so the more there is muscle in the body, the higher the number of calories burned by doing the same activity for the same length of time.
What is Metabolic Rate?
When you are at rest, your body still needs energy to sustain various vital but invisible functions, such as repairing and growing cells, circulating blood, maintaining body temperature, breathing, and adjusting hormone levels.
This is why even when you are asleep, you are still burning calories to sustain these functions. This number, expressed in calories used over a given period of time, is called your basal metabolic rate. Your BMR usually accounts for at least half, and up to 60% for some people, of all calories expended.
(Incidentally, this is the very reason why people who are sleep-deprived accumulate belly fat: Not only do they alter their hormones that influence hunger, they also burn fewer calories by not sleeping as much.)
Factors that Influence Metabolic Rate
Metabolism is relatively constant, but your metabolic rate is dynamic. The latter is influenced by your age, gender, body size and composition – factors that are largely beyond your control. When people say they want to speed up their metabolism, what they probably mean is to increase their metabolic rate.
There are two other factors that affect the number of calories you burn each day: food processing and physical activity. Food processing, which involves digesting, absorbing, transporting and storing food and drinks you consume, take up calories, anywhere from 100-800, or 10-15% of your daily calories. This is called the thermic effect of food (TEF), and generally, this stays relatively steady.
How to Increase Your Metabolic Rate
Physical activity, on the other hand, is totally within your control. You can increase or decrease your calories burned in a day by the duration and intensity of your physical activity – whether in the form of interval training, resistance exercises, cardio workouts, or simply gardening or chasing a toddler.
This is why Optimagenics Age Management includes an exercise program with four primary components: cardiovascular exercise, resistance training, core training, and flexibility and balance training. While each component is customized by age management doctors according to their patients’ baseline profiles, the overall goal of this program is to control blood sugar levels, strengthen cardiovascular health, and transform the body so it has more lean muscle not just to increase metabolic rate, but also to provide balanced energy levels throughout the day.
If your primary goal for increasing your metabolic rate is to lose weight, consider the following suggestions:
eat sufficient protein – protein has high TEF; this means that your body is going to use up more calories to digest, absorb, transport and store protein than it would for carbohydrates and fat.
build muscle – compared to fat, muscle burns more calories within the same period, even when you are at rest. This is because when you build muscle, your body has to use up more calories to perform repairs on micro-injuries that your muscles sustained during exercise.
adopt an active lifestyle – interval training is the fastest way to torch fat in a short amount of time, but not everyone may be inclined or have the time to break up a sweat by pushing themselves to the limit, resting, and doing the routine all over again for 20 minutes a day several days a week.
Others may find that a combination of activities such as a morning brisk walk, climbing the stairs, running errands, parking the car far away from the intended destination, and picking up after the family better suits their schedule and lifestyle.
Fat Freezing Procedure: For When Your Fat Won’t Budge
Regardless of which type of activity you take, it is important that you remain on your feet most times of the day to prevent buildup of abdominal fat. While it can be a challenge to melt away, belly flab actually responds well to intensity training and intake of high-fiber foods.
To manage those last few pounds that seem to cling on to your body no matter your effort, consider a non-invasive, fat removal treatment for body contouring on the abdomen, thighs and arms. Using low but controlled temperature, CoolSculpting removes excess fat by targeting fat cells so the body eliminates them naturally and permanently. In aesthetic clinics in Singapore, CoolSculpting is FDA-approved for safe fat removal of stubborn fat in your flanks, abdomen and thighs, and in smaller areas that appear as double chins, flabby arms, armpit fat, and fat under the buttocks.