You may have heard of “metabolism”, but you don’t know the role it plays in the human body. You often hear that metabolism is fast or slow, but how many people know what effects metabolism has on the human body? How do we maintain metabolism to stay healthy? With Google searches for “boost metabolism” increasing by 90% in the past few months, VOGUE UK spoke to experts to learn more.
What is metabolism?
“Metabolism refers to the hundreds of chemical processes that occur throughout the body in order for the body to function properly!” explains Dr. Federica Amati, a nutritionist and author of “Recipes for Better Menoperation.” Simply put, a healthy metabolism means the body responds efficiently to food. “From a medical point of view, a good metabolism means you are away from metabolic syndrome. Once you develop metabolic syndrome, the chances of cardiovascular disease, stroke, type 2 diabetes and other diseases will greatly increase.” Naturopath, Nutrition “How to tell if you have metabolic syndrome includes blood sugar regulation, triglycerides, blood pressure and waist circumference, or more accurately, the ratio of waist to hip circumference,” says expert Rhian Stephenson.
A good metabolism not only protects us from disease, but also plays a key role in sensory function. As Stephenson analyzed, every organ in our body – from the immune system to the reproductive system and nervous system – requires energy to maintain. If our “energy production capacity” or metabolism is impaired, then the operation of the entire system will also be impaired. will be damaged.
“Slow” and “Fast” Metabolism
A “slow” metabolism is often associated with an unhealthy weight, as Professor Tim Spector, author of “Food for Life” discusses: “The genes we are born with do make our metabolic rates slightly different, but for most people For most people, metabolic rate is closely linked to diet and lifestyle habits.” “Maintaining a good metabolism means eating foods that are compatible with the body and making sure that we don’t sit down most of the day.” Standing Professional From this perspective, experts would not describe metabolism as fast or slow, but as “effective” or “impaired”. After all, metabolism is a complex system involving trillions of chemical reactions. Nutritional status, hormonal balance, intestinal function, stress and exercise all have an impact on metabolism.
What can slow down your metabolism?
Calorie restriction, when the body finds that it is taking in less energy, it will slow down its metabolism. “This is why extreme dieting – restricting caloric intake, will cause your metabolism to slow down, and when you return to your original caloric intake, it will lead to rapid weight regain.” Dr. Amati said. “On the other hand, our metabolism speeds up when the body needs a lot of repair and energy, such as after injury or illness, and after intense physical exercise.”
What happens to metabolism during menopause?
Metabolism does slow down as we age. For example, our blood sugar and lipid responses take longer to return to baseline, and hormonal changes also affect metabolism. “This is why women transition through menopause.” It is often difficult to maintain a healthy weight during this period, even though the food is the same,” Professor Spector said.
How to boost metabolism?
“Promoting metabolism requires a multi-pronged approach.” Stephenson suggests: eating right, getting enough sleep, and exercising regularly. These three seemingly simple principles but difficult for many people to achieve are the keys. Dr. Amati says, “It’s not so much about boosting your metabolism, but learning to work with it, eating foods that are good for your metabolism, and keeping your body strong and flexible.” Here are 5 things you can do to boost your metabolism.
1. Maintain a normal blood sugar diet
Focus on natural foods, pay attention to blood sugar management, consume enough protein, reduce excess sugar and refined carbohydrates, and add high-quality fats to a variety of fruits and vegetables.
2. Eat 30 plants a week
A healthy gut microbiome is closely related to metabolism. If you want to start with this aspect, diet is a good start. Professor Spector recommends a weekly intake of 30 plants – in addition to the obvious vegetables, including herbs, spices and grains, which have significant benefits in maintaining the diversity of the gut microbiome.
3. Maintain good sleep quality
According to research, sleep is extremely important for metabolism but is often forgotten. “Good sleep will make the metabolism respond better the next day, so we need to ensure that we have good sleep quality every day,” Professor Spector said.
4. Incorporate strength training into exercise
Building a foundation of muscle is also important to maintaining metabolism. Muscles are the storage warehouse of glucose. Where blood sugar is sent to the body is controlled by insulin. However, by exercising the muscles, the amount of blood sugar sent to the muscles can be increased. This means that the more muscles, the better the blood sugar control. Therefore, it is important to incorporate strength training into your exercise program.
5. Release stress at the right time
Stress is part of modern life, but it can also affect metabolism. It’s recommended to incorporate stress reduction into your life, whether it’s yoga, baths, meditation or breathing techniques. Do whatever works best for you and make sure you do it regularly.
Original text from VOGUE UK edition