Hello, my friends. When last you left my blog I told you what metabolism was and how our bodies react to foods and nutrients. Today, I’m here to share with you the things we can do to keep our metabolisms efficient and actually slow the slowing of them.
Start with Exercise
“Exercise actually increases the number of mitochondria. And also increases their metabolic activity,” explains Christopher Newgard, director of the Sarah W. Stedman Nutrition and Metabolism Center at Duke University Medical School. Exercise also burns calories, especially cardio mixed with weight training. Cardio activity burns calories while you do it but tends to stop when you stop. Strength and weight training is great because it keeps burning long after you’ve put down the barbells because muscle burns more calories than fat while you’re at rest.
Eat Balanced Meals
It may sound simple and boring, but there’s good reason that balanced diets are what the nutrition experts always recommend. “Each of the primary food fuels has important individual contributions to make to the whole metabolic scheme,” Newgard says. Fatty acids are important in the synthesis of cell membranes. Carbs are a quick energy source and used for a whole plethora of biochemical reactions, including building DNA. Amino acids build protein—the structural basis of our cells. Again, all of this is part of metabolism—converting and using nutrients to maintain healthy cells, organs and tissues. Diets that eliminate an entire food group will take a toll on the body in the long run.
Don’t Skip Meals
When you skip meals your body gets smart and starts to conserve fat. Also, skipping meals can lead to overeating because you’re hungry and you binge. And the calories you do take in are extra calories when your body is starting to conserve and store.
Drink Water and Green Tea
Drinking water helps with digestion and metabolism efficiency. Plus, when you are dehydrated, you feel lethargic and you move less. Water is also healthier than other drinks, like sodas. When it comes to green tea, on the other hand, drink up. Studies have indicated that drinking about five cups of green tea a day may increase metabolism slightly. Plus it’s a great source of antioxidants.
So you see? We can fight off the effects of aging, at least some of them. The wrinkles, bags, sags and other stuff may not go away but we can help ourselves ward off being overweight and boost these things we call metabolism. It’s like one of my old employers once told me when I was that young, energetic and cocky 22-year-old, “you get out of the job what you put into the job.”
And my friends, that is so true. If we do take the time to work hard at it, knowing we are worth that hard work and energy, we, too, will win our weight loss battles and hoist a really cool, big and heavy cup over our heads in victory (figuratively speaking, of course).