Many questions are asked about this subject and many studies continue.

What is metabolism? How can we boost it?

What are the signs to show your metabolism has slowed down?

Metabolism is the process body uses to digest and absorb food eaten for energy. The energy is used for basic body functions such as breathing, growth and digestion. While you sleep energy is needed to provide fuel for all your internal organs and cells. It takes 70% of energy just for basic body functions

So, your metabolism is influenced by the energy you burn during sleep, during digestion, the amount of exercise you do and your day-to-day living.

Factors that affect your metabolism: can be the amount of muscle on your body – more muscle the greater the metabolism so resistance training is most effecting in building muscle mass, age can slows down your metabolism, your body size larger person having a greater metabolism, your gender males have higher metabolism over females , genetics, degree of physical activity, hormones- hypothyroidism can lower your metabolism, environment- temperature cold increase metabolism, drugs such as caffeine and nicotine can increase metabolism whereas anti-depressants and steroids can increase weight gain. Finally, the food you eat, timings and drinks can influence your metabolism.

Your metabolism can slow down if you are eating too little, poor balance lacking essential nutrients, exercising but your intake is poor and not eating regularly and not drinking enough water.

Your body will try carryon doing the basic activities to keep you alive such making sure your heart ,lungs ,kidneys and brain is active but you may slow down feeling tired and cold , have difficulty concentrating , develop low mood, circulations to your hands and feet are affected leading cold hands and feet , The condition of skin taking longer to heal ,hair becomes thinner and you lose more and nails damage more easily break and grow slowly . If you are female your period cycle will be disrupted. So, your body slows down to conserve energy calories.

There is growing evidence that sleep loss and sleep disorders have a significant impact on metabolism. Sleep deprivation can alter the glucose metabolism and hormones involved in regulating metabolism, that is decreased leptin levels that increase satisfaction and increase ghrelin that can increase appetite

Drinking water may stimulate your metabolism. the body must expend energy to warm fluid to body temperature and the more energy expended the faster your metabolism. The recommended is 6-8 cups/glasses per day (3l/day for men and 2.200ml/day for women). This does not include alcohol.

So, looking at your energy balance what happens if you reduce your intake: body loses weight, and your metabolism slows down and weight loss stops leading the symptoms described. Now when you increase your intake your body will gain weight and metabolism will increase reversing all the symptoms with better mood, improved concentration, and less tiredness.

The best way to boost your metabolism without affecting your body's health and lose weight gradually 1-2lb per week is to follow the top 10 tips below:

  1. Eat well healthy balanced meals

  2. Have regular four meals

  3. Do not over exercise- keep active

  4. Keep well hydrated-drink water

  5. Manage your mood if you think you eat for reasons other than hunger

  6. Ensure good sleep

  7. Self-monitor your food intake and weight regularly

  8. Read food labels for energy calorie content and make wise decisions

  9. Follow a -500calorie/day deficit which a small reduction from your current intake

  10. Your Dietitian can help you calculate your daily energy and nutrient requirements and will help you make meal plans to suit your needs and taste.

For Specialised Diet and Nutrition advice seek the advice of a Professional Dietitian and Nutritionist Tabby Kabeer

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