For many people, metabolism is something of a mystery.
If you were wondering, it’s the name given to all the processes going on in your body that keeps you alive. This includes converting the food you eat into energy.
What Is Your Basal Metabolic Rate?
Your basal metabolic rate (BMR) is the number of calories your body needs to perform its most basic functions, such as maintaining your heart and lungs. Any calories above your BMR will either need to be burned off with exercise, or your body will store the energy as fat.
The speed of your metabolism will determine how quickly your body is able to burn off your calorie intake. This is down to a number of factors. Genetics play a role, while your metabolism will also slow down as you age.
However, if you’re worried about weight gain, it’s important to remember that most of the control is in your hands. As long as you’re not consuming more calories than your body is able to burn off, you won’t put on weight.
Recipes With Metabolism-Boosting Foods
Naturally, your diet has a big part to play in how many calories your body has to deal with. That's why we’ve created these exclusive, delicious recipes and explained how they’ll help you speed up your metabolism.
Rich in fibre and bromelain, which speeds up the digestion process and helps your body absorb nutrients more easily.
Takes just minutes to make and is packed with all the vitamins and minerals your body needs to improve your metabolism.
Other Ways To Boost Metabolism and Lose Weight
Get some exercise
You already know that exercise is good for you! While it won't necessarily 'speed up' your metabolism, it will increase the number of calories you burn. This will help you lose weight, which is ultimately what you're trying to achieve.
Be active get out and about!
Even if you don't have time for a run or swim, you can burn calories simply by remaining as active as possible throughout the day.
If you have a physically demanding job, this will already be taken care of. On the other hand, if you work in an office, you can try taking the stairs instead of the elevator, or walking to your colleague's desk to deliver a message, instead of sending an email.
Build your muscles
Exercise can help you lose fat, while it's also good for building muscle. This is useful for a number of reasons and you can add your metabolism to that list. Muscle tissue burns more calories than fat tissue, so with a bit of work, you'll be able to shift your BMR in the right direction.
If the idea of pumping iron in the gym doesn't appeal to you, don't despair. You can try our exclusive outdoor exercises to help you bulk up, while everyday chores such as gardening and DIY can help.
What Causes Slow Metabolism?
More often than not, a slow metabolism isn't to blame for difficulty losing weight. A poor diet or lack of exercise is usually to blame. However, in some cases, it may be that a medical problem is the underlying cause of your weight issues.
- Underactive thyroid - Your thyroid gland produces hormones that help control your metabolism. If it doesn't produce enough, you may put on weight more easily.
- Mental health issues - Comfort eating can be a symptom of stress or depression.
- Tiredness - If you're not getting enough sleep, you're more likely to turn to unhealthy snacks in an effort to give yourself enough energy to get through the day.
- Getting older - You lose muscle as you age. As we've already mentioned, muscle tissue is better at burning calories than fat.
- Polycystic Ovary Syndrome (PCOS) - Weight gain is one of the symptoms of PCOS, alongside irregular periods and an increase in body hair.
- Diabetes - Some people with diabetes are prone to overeating in order to protect themselves against low blood sugar.
- Steroids - An increased appetite is one of the side effects of long-term steroid use and can often result in you eating more than you actually need.
If you're worried about your metabolism and can't seem to lose any weight, you can see one of our doctors for advice, or check out some more of our healthy recipes for inspiration.See more healthy recipes