|Just what is metabolism, how does it work?||Darrell Miller||06/14/05|
June 14, 2005 06:13 PM
Author: Darrell Miller (email@example.com)
Subject: Just what is metabolism, how does it work?
Just what is metabolism, how does it work?
And how can I give mine a boost?
Metabolism is a measure of the amount of fuel, or energy your body burns each day. This energy levels is measured in calories. In short, your metabolism is the number of calories your body burns each day. How is that number determined?
Well, several factors are involved. You can think of metabolism as a puzzle. Everyone starts out with one basic piece, your basal metabolic rate. This is basically the number of calories your body would burn if you stayed in bed all day and did nothing. For most of us, this number is at least 1,000 calories. Those calories are used for basic bodily functions, such as breathing, body temperature regulation and circulation. So, at minimum, all of us need about 1,000 calories per day for basic bodily functions. Another large piece of the puzzle is body composition. Those with a higher percentage of lean tissue, or muscle mass, have higher calorie needs. In other words, the more muscular you are, the more calories your body burns each day, even at rest.
Activity level is another big piece of the puzzle. The more active we are, the more calories our bodies require each day. For example, a person who runs 2 miles per day will burn more energy, or calories than someone who does not exercise. Also, someone who uses stairs and takes short walks throughout the day will burn more calories than someone who sits down all day. To improve your metabolism, a combination of healthy eating and physical activity are recommended. First, visit an exercise professional for advice about weight training and aerobic activity. Look for a certified personal trainer and/or a professional with a degree in kinesiology, exercise physiology, or exercise science.
The first general nutrition guideline is to eat breakfast. Eating breakfast jump starts your body, providing the fuel your body needs to gets moving. Studies show that those who consistently eat breakfast burn more calories per day than those who do not. Do not skip meals. Instead, choose small, frequent meals. Doing so helps your metabolism to remain high throughout the day. Consume the majority of your calories during the day when your are most active. Drink plenty of water, at least 8 cups or 64 ounces. Choose high fiber foods, such as vegetables, fruits, whole grains, beans and legumes. Finally, choose a diet high in carbohydrates, moderate in protein and low in fat, but do not eliminate fats altogether.
For personalized nutrition counseling, consult with a nutrition expert, a registered dietitian. Registered dietitians, or R.D.s must complete a degree in nutrition, a supervised internship, and must have passed a national registration examination.