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Nutrition and Metabolism Disorder

What is the relationship between intake of nutrition and metabolism disorder? Is slow metabolism the cause of my overweight? Are there any types of nutrition that can speed it up? Could a pill speed it up?

There are many myths and misconceptions about metabolism. The idea that a low metabolic rate is always responsible for excess weight is one of them. Another is that a slower-than-average metabolism, means you're destined to be obese.

What is metabolism?

Metabolism is the rate at which your body breaks down the nutrients in food to produce energy. A person with a "fast" metabolism, for example, utilizes calories more quickly, in some cases making it easier to stave off excess pounds.

Your metabolism is primary determined by your body composition: the more total fat-free mass you have the higher your resting metabolic rate will be.

Other factors that determine your metabolism is

  • heredity
  • hormones such as thyroid and insulin
  • stress
  • calorie intake
  • exercise
  • medications
  • Your baseline metabolism is determined at birth.
  • When you've passed the age of 30 and without exercising, the metabolism decreases with the age.
  • However, you can increase your metabolism to a certain extent by exercising and building lean muscle.
  • Each time you significantly reduce calories to lose weight you'll experience a temporary decrease of 5-10 percent in metabolism.

Workouts for increasing your metabolism

  • A high-intensity cardio workout that really increases your heart rate will make you lose the most calories and represent the most significant short-term metabolic booster; between 20 and 30 percent. However, it won't have a permanent effect on your metabolism. After your workout, your metabolism will return to its previous level over several hours--but you'll continue burning extra calories in the meantime.
  • Though weight training is the most effective way to build and preserve your lean muscles, the muscle influence on metabolism is pretty slight. Each pound of muscle gained, can raise your metabolism up to 15 calories per day.

Can certain foods affect your metabolism?

  • Most of the scientific research reports that the type of food you eat has no significant impact on your long term metabolism rate. So fats, proteins and carbs seem to affect metabolism similarly.
  • Scientific data also tells that protein can slightly increase metabolic rate, but only temporarly.
  • The more calories you cut, the lower your metabolism rate will drop. An extremely low-calorie diet with fewer than 800 calories a day could cause your metabolic rate to decrease by more than 10 percent.
  • It is not what you eat but how much you eat what really matters. For a safe,sustainable weight loss, the average person shouldn't eat less than 1,200 calories a day.
  • Spicy foods, such as chili peppers and curry can increase metabolism, but not enough to have a weight loss effect. It's too small and short-lived.

Pills and Supplements

  • No pills or supplements have proven to increase metabolism enough to help you lose weight.
  • Some pills, have been shown to lower metabolism, and thus cause a weight gain. Examples of such pills are those used to treat depression and bipolar disorder.

Find out your daily calorie need

For losing one pound of body fat a week, you must create a deficit of 500 calories a day. The most reasonable way to do that, and thus avoid a big metabolic decrease, is through a combination of exercise and diet. You could for example eliminate 2.50 calories from your diet, and add enough activity to burn an extra 250.

Here is how you do it:

Determine your basic metabolism rate or RMR

1 RMR = 655 + (9.6 X your weight in kilograms*) + (1.8 X your height in centimetres**) - (4.7 X your age in years)

2 Factor in your daily activity: Multiply your RMR by the appropriate activity factor:

  • If you have little or no activity: RMR X 1.2
  • If you are performing light exercise 1-3 days a week: RMR X 1.375
  • If you are performing moderate exercise 3-5 days a week: RMR X 1.55
  • If you are performing strenuous exercise 6-7 days a week: RMR X 1.725
  • If you perform very strenuous daily exercise, sports or physical job or training twice a day: RMR X 1.9

3 Your final figure represents the minimum number of daily calories that you need to maintain your current weight.

(*) Your weight in kilograms = your weight in pounds divided by 2.2.
(**) Your height in centimeters = your height in inches multiplied by 2.54.

About the Author

Terje Brooks Ellingsen is a writer and internet marketer. He runs the website Terje enjoys to give advice and help people to burn fat with weight loss products and workout.


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