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Boost Your Metabolism

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Your Metabolism Explained

If you desire to increase your metabolism, it is first important that you understand exactly what your metabolism is and how it works. Metabolism is a continuous process that starts at conception and ends at death. It is an important process for every living thing. Your metabolism is made up of a mixture of various chemical and physical processes.

These processes are named catabolism and anabolism. Anabolism is the building part. It is a series of chemical reactions that produce molecules from tinier elements, often needing energy during the procedure.

Catabolism is the part of the process in which things are broken down. It is a number of chemical reactions that decompose complex molecules into tinier elements, often releasing energy during the procedure.

What Is Anabolism

Anabolism, also known as biosynthesis, is the process that makes it possible for your body to produce new cells as well as maintain all cell tissues. Your body makes use of simple molecules to produce complex molecules. Many compounds within your body are the result of anabolic reactions. Increased muscle mass is one such example of this.

Anabolic reactions make use of monomers to create polymers. Polymers are a sort of complex molecule produced from a lot of smaller, similar molecules. The smaller molecules are monomers, or simple molecules. Amino acids, for instance, are monomers that produce proteins, which are polymers.

Some anabolic hormones are growth hormones, insulin, estrogen, testosterone and IGF1. Growth hormones are produced in the pituitary gland. These hormones quicken the release of somatomedin from the liver, which results in growth.

Insulin is produced in the pancreas. This is what regulates sugar levels in within your bloodstream. It is not possible for cells to use glucose in the absence of insulin. IGF1 simulates sulfate and protein production. It is a part of the growth process of the placenta and uterus and, during pregnancy, early development of the fetus.

Testosterone is the male hormone created in the testicles. It is responsible for characteristics typical to males, like growing a beard and developing a deep voice. In addition, it strengthens muscles. Estrogen is the female hormone created in the ovaries. It is responsible for characteristics typical to females, the development of breast, for example. It also controls the menstrual cycle.

What Is Catabolism

Catabolism breaks down complex molecules and produces energy. It is the process from which your body receives energy required for exercise, physical labor, play, or any other physical movement. Catabolic reactions reduce polymers back down into monomers. For instance, complex carbohydrates like glycogen or starch are reduced down into simple carbohydrates like ribose or glucose. Proteins are reduced down into amino acids.

When you eat, organic nutrients are broken down by your body. This gives off energy that is stored within molecules of adenosine triphophate, or ATP. Some examples of catabolic hormones are glucagon, cortisol, adrenalin and cytokines.

Glucagon is produced within the pancreas. It hastens the breakdown of glycogen from the liver, resulting in increased blood sugar. Cortisol is created by the adrenal cortex. Often referred to as the stress hormone, it rises blood sugar and blood pressure while decreasing immune response. Adrenalin is created in the adrenal gland from the medulla.

It causes increased heart rate, strengthens heart contractions and widens the lung bronchioles. Cytokines are tiny proteins that affect cell behavior and their relationship with one another.

How Your Metabolism Works

Your body receives needed energy from food via your metabolism. Certain proteins within your body regulate the chemical reactions produced by your metabolism. Each of these reactions accommodate other bodily functions. Many metabolic reactions occur simultaneously, each controlled by your body, to maintain healthy, working cells.

After you eat, protein from the food are broken down by enzymes. These enzymes reduce carbohydrates into simple sugars and proteins into amino acids, fatty acids and fats. All of these are then used as energy by your body. Each of these compounds are absorbed in the bloodstream and carried to the cells.

Once they are in the cells, other enzymes work to hasten or control the chemical reactions used to digest, or metabolize, these elements. Throughout this process, energy provided by these elements may be released as energy for your body to use, or stored in your body tissues such as your liver or muscles.

Therefore, the metabolism process is actually a balance between two types of activity that happen simultaneously. That is, the production of energy and body tissue; anabolism, and the break down of energy and body tissue to create fuel for physical activity; catabolism.

How Your Metabolism is Regulated

Many hormones in the endocrine system work to regulate the direction and speed of your metabolism. Thyroxine is a hormone that is created and given off by your thyroid. This hormone is important for regulating the speed of the chemical reactions of the metabolic process within your body. Your pancreas gives off hormones that decide whether your body's primary metabolic action at any given time is catabolic or anabolic.

Three issues decide the speed of your metabolism. These issues include your basal metabolic rate-BMR, the speed at which you use up energy during active periods, and the amount of energy your body uses for food digestion. Your BMR refers to the amount of energy your body uses for vital bodily functions. To increase efficiency within your metabolism, you may need to change your activity level and what you eat.

Why Metabolism Should Be Increased

There are several advantages to speeding up your metabolism. Some of these benefits include, higher energy levels all day long, you will experience better sleep and of course you find it easier to lose weight and prevent it from coming back. In addition to all of that, hastening your metabolic rate will even result in using up more calories while asleep.

If you need to lose weight, losing the suggested one to two pounds per week will become possible with a gradual but constant increase of your metabolic rate.

Speeding Up Your Metabolism

Exercise is important if you wish to increase your metabolism. Exercise decreases body fat while increasing lean muscle. Increased muscle mass will result in increased metabolism, making it easier to lose weight. Muscles have a higher metabolic rate than fat tissue, therefore, increased muscle mass means your body burns more calories.

Aerobic activity such as swimming, jogging or bike riding will also hasten your metabolism for up to eight hours after you cease exercising. Thus, your body continues to use up calories for quite a while after you stop moving.

Foods that are good for you, like vegetables and lean protein, can also speed up your metabolism. Be certain to consume fewer calories by eating foods that do not contain a high fat content. Get more fiber in your diet and take it easy on sweets, caffeine and alcohol. Great foods for speeding up your metabolism include tomatoes, dark green vegetables, whole grains, fish and blueberries. Drinking a minimum of eight glasses of water per day also helps.

To get needed energy, your body first breaks down carbohydrates, after that fat, and lastly protein. Your body transforms carbohydrates into glucose which your body easily uses for energy. When you consume to many carbohydrates, the extras are stored as fat. As a given, your body also stores fat as fat. However, if you eat healthy and exercise, you can burn off the fat and speed up your metabolism.

Foods That Increase Metabolism

There are several foods that have shown to be useful for increasing metabolism. You may want to include some of these foods in your diet. Following is a list of some of these foods and how each of them works.

Brown rice/Whole Grains/Oatmeal

Whole grains are loaded with complex carbohydrates and nutrients that increase your metabolism by stabilizing the insulin levels in your body. Gradual release carbs, like brown rice or oatmeal provide lasting energy without spiking your insulin. It is important to keep insulin low because elevated levels sends a signal to your body telling it to store fat.


According to studies, individuals that eat soup consume fewer solid foods with their meals. A study performed by Penn State University on soup showed that soup provided a mixture of solids and liquids that decrease appetite and the consumption of excess foods, which hastens the metabolism.


This vegetable is rich in calcium and vitamins A, C and K. In addition, it is among the best detox foods. Broccoli offers a good supply of fiber, various antioxidants and folate as well.


The State University of Rio de Janeiro performed a study which showed that pears and apples hasten metabolism and weight loss. In the study, women who consumed three small pears or apples each day experienced more weight loss than women that did not.

Citrus Fruits

These contain high volumes of vitamin C, which decreases insulin spikes. For this reason, citrus fruit aids in the process of fat burning and speeds metabolism.


According to a study performed in Canada, individuals who added spices to their diet used up a thousand more calories each day than people who did not use spices. Spices like mustard seed, black pepper and ginger proved to be especially useful for quickening the metabolism.

Foods Rich in Omega-3

Foods that contain high amounts of Omega-3 decrease the amount of leptin your body produces. Leptin is a chemical that decreases metabolism. The University of Wisconsin conducted a study on mice which showed that lab mice with low levels of leptin had higher metabolisms than those with high levels of the same hormone.

The Mayo Clinic performed another study that showed that tribes in Africa who consumed a lot of fish in their diet had much lower leptin levels than tribes who did not. Aside from fish; seeds, nuts also provide a great source of Omega-3.


The University of Tennessee performed a study that showed that individuals who take in between 1,200 and 1,200 mg of calcium daily lost twice as much weight as people who's diets were calcium deficient. To increase your metabolism, eat lots of calcium rich foods or take a calcium supplement.


Several studies have shown that water is excellent for speeding metabolism. In addition, it is a natural detoxifier and appetite reducer. The results of one recent study showed that water may speed up your metabolism by 30%. This is because you drink cold water. The water is then heated up in your stomach. When your body works to warm up the water, the energy used causes your metabolism to spike. Your metabolism will stay in this elevated state for over an hour.

Green Tea

Several scientific studies have proven that green tea speeds up the metabolism quite a bit. It has many other health advantages also. Green tea is packed full of antioxidants which are necessary for the best health. One study proved polyphenol to be a primary ingredient of green tea. Polyphenol is an antioxidant that when combined with caffeine raises your metabolism.

Hot Peppers

Adding spicy peppers to your diet will speed up your metabolism and increase circulation. In addition, it also decreases cravings. This is due to the capsaicin, which is a natural element present in all hot peppers. Capsaicin activates pain receptors in the body which hastens metabolism and increases blood flow for a while. In studies, hot peppers have been shown to speed up the metabolism by as much as 25% for as much as three hours.

Experts in alternative medicine have recommended the use of cayenne pepper for treating obesity, diabetes, osteoarthritis and pain. Jalapeno peppers are thought of as a negative calorie food. They speed up heart rate, which causes the body to use more energy, increasing metabolism.

What To Do and What To Avoid to Increase Metabolism

In addition to eating healthy and including metabolism hastening foods into your diet, there are a number of things you can do, as well as things to avoid, in order to increase your metabolism. Here is a list of some of the things you can do, make use of, or avoid in order to speed up your metabolism.

Eat several small meals throughout the day, instead of 2 or 3 big ones. Although this sounds counter-productive, it will actually help keep your metabolism going. Also, by consuming your daily calories in this manner, you will be less likely to overeat at any meal.

Include only high fiber, complex carbohydrates in your diet. Refined carbohydrates, like white bread or potatoes spike insulin levels, which decreases your metabolism.

Avoid drastically reducing your calorie intake. When you suddenly cut calories by an obscene amount, your body believes you are starving. As a result, it goes into survival mode and significantly lowers your metabolism.

Include a lot of protein in your diet. Research shows that protein speeds up metabolism quite a bit. This is because protein consists primarily of amino acids, which is more difficult for your body to digest. Therefore, you burn more calories disposing of them. Try to include a little protein with every snack and meal.

Workout Tips

Take part in strength training exercises regularly. According to experts, there is no better way to increase your resting metabolism. Participating in strength training exercises on a regular basis can speed up your resting metabolism as much as 6.8 to 7.8 percent.

Break extended workouts down into several shorter sessions. If possible, instead of participating in one long, drawn out workout each day, take part in several short workouts. According to Kelly Tracy, M.A, a fitness coordinator for Duke University, breaking down your workouts in this manner will result in burning off 100 to 200 extra calories a day.

Jazz up your workouts with quick spurts of highly intense activity, known as interval training. This is an excellent way to hasten metabolism. According to study results, individuals who participate in interval training bi-weekly, on top of cardiovascular workouts, lose two times more weight as people who do not.

Make sure you get plenty of sleep and rest. Sleep deprivation can decrease your metabolism significantly. When you don't get enough sleep, your body finds it hard to process carbohydrates. The right amount of sleep is necessary for your body to have the required energy to function properly and perform daily activities. This includes the ability to use up calories.


Dietary Supplements Vitamins and Herbs

Along with a healthy, proper diet including a few foods that work especially well for turbo charging your metabolism, there are also a variety of dietary supplements, vitamins and herbs that are useful for speeding up your metabolism. B vitamins are particularly useful for transforming food into energy. This in turn, helps to hasten your metabolism.

Vitamin C has an indirect affect on your metabolism. It improves your immune system. A healthy immune system helps your body work properly. A study performed by the University of Colorado showed that one hundred elderly individuals who were given vitamin C burned an extra one hundred calories daily while at rest. Also, vitamin C and vitamin E are both good for cleaning out toxins from your cells, which keeps them in good health and ensures that they function properly. This too, can speed up your metabolism.

NADH and L-Carnatine assist in transforming fat into energy. Therefore, apple cider vinegar might speed up your metabolic rate.

Your muscles need energy and co-enzyme Q10 is one supplement that helps to give them this energy. More muscle means you burn up more calories. CLA and DMAE have proven to build up muscle in the same manner as steroids, only without the dangerous side effects.

Choosing the Right Herbs for You

There has been rumors about Acai, Noni, Mangosteen and Goji juices supposedly being excellent for weight loss. While there is not much in the way of scientific evidence to prove these claims, these juices are loaded with antioxidants, which are useful for burning fat and increasing metabolism.

Chinese herbs like ginseng, mate and schizandra fight fatigue and give your more energy. This may be useful in speeding up your metabolism.

Some herbs, such as Fennel, Burdock, Parsley and Alfalfa may be used as diuretics in order to cleanse your body of excess water weight. Other herbs such as Guar Gum and Senna work as a natural laxative, which keep your body clean of toxins. For fat burning herbs, there is Garacina Cantbogia, Chickweed and Kola Nut.

To clean out your cells and rid them of free radicals and toxins there is Nettles, Phyllium and Dandelion Root. Gymnema Sylvestre, Guar Gum, Phyllium, Flax Seed, Nettles, Parsley, Kola Nut and Garcinia Cantbogia are all natural appetite suppressants and all reduce cravings. Hawthorn, Citrus Aurantium and Cardamon all help with digestion in general. All of these herbs, either directly or indirectly may have an impact on your metabolism and could help to increase it.

Healthy Thyroid Means Faster Metabolism

Your thyroid gland is situated in the front of your neck. Your thyroid consist of two parts, each of these parts are referred to as lobes. There is one lobe on each side of your trachea. Your thyroid gives off triiodothyronine and thyroxine, which control your metabolic rate.

Richard Bowen, a professor at Colorado State University reports that your thyroid hormones are an important part in the process of metabolizing lipids, or fats, due to the fact that they activate the fat mobilization process. Fat is stored in your body inside fat cells as triglycerides.

Fat mobilization is the process in which these triglycerides are reduced down to independent fatty acids which then flow into your blood and go to muscle cells and other cells that require energy. In a catabolic procedure driven by thyroid hormones, the fatty acids are oxidized by the muscles, which utilize the energy put out by the process.

Your liver, and the muscle within your body, stores glucose as a big, complex molecule known as glycogen. When your body needs energy from that glucose, your thyroid hormones get involved in a procedure known as glycogenolysis, a catabolic process in which glycogen reduces down to glucose. Also, thyroid hormones activate gluconeogenesis. Your thyroid hormones are involved in the procedure in which insulin guides glucose from your bloodstream into different cells of your body as well.

Your heart's metabolism is also affected by thyroid hormones. According to Dr. Ramaswami Nalini from Baylor College of Medicine, evidence of this is reflected by how well your heart functions and your heart rate. If your thyroid is underactive, doesn't create enough thyroid hormone, the result is slow heart rate. If your thyroid is overactive and creates an abundance of thyroid hormone, the result is a racing heart rate and could include shortness of breath.

Lessor Known Secrets to Speeding Up Your Metabolism

A lot of people already know the standard tricks for increasing their metabolism, such as healthy diet and exercise. For those who do not already know, I have already covered most of that. However, there are a couple of tricks that are not quite so well known. So in addition to healthy diet, various forms of exercise and a few super foods, try the following tricks.

Fluctuate your calories from day to day or week to week. If you eat the same number of calories every day, your body adapts to that and your metabolism levels off. However, if you make it a habit to eat something like 1700 calories one day or even one week, then jump up to 2100 calories the next day, or for the next week, then go back down to 1700, and continue to fluctuate back and forth on the calorie count, it shocks your metabolism and forces it to work harder.


Make morning showers your daily ritual. The stimulation from a warm shower wakes your body up. Doing this in the morning gets your body going early. This is good because the sooner your body starts using up calories, the higher the amount of calories you will use up each day.

Keep in mind, your metabolism is the process in which your body uses up calories and transforms them into energy that it can use. A fast metabolism makes good use of energy that has been stored in your body as fat. Your metabolic rate is determined by several factors including age, body structure, diet, and your daily activities and routines.

You can speed up a slow metabolism with the right amount and right kind of exercise, as well as diet, which has the added perk of lasting health advantages for you. Along with building up muscle and losing weight, you will enjoy the benefit of increased energy and feel good.

More Tips on Speeding Metabolism Up

To speed up your metabolism, regular exercise is very important. Daily exercise burns excess calories as well as hastens metabolism. A healthy diet is equally important. Some foods especially, speed up your metabolism. Eating balanced, nutritious meals, in proper portion amounts and at the right time also speeds up your metabolism.

In addition to all of this, be sure to incorporate extra activity into your day whenever possible. The more active you are, the more calories you will burn. When shopping or running errands, park far from your destination, then walk the rest of the way. Opt for the stairs instead of using the elevator.

Your metabolism is complex. Increasing your metabolic rate can be a tricky, and often difficult procedure. However, if you follow the advice and tips given here, along with a little common sense, it is a goal that can be accomplished. A healthy metabolism is vital to a healthy you.

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This page was last modified on 3 August 2013, at 19:23.
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