The Top 10 Factors That Affect Your Metabolism

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The Top 10 Factors That Affect Your Metabolism

Metabolism is the sum of all processes and chemical changes that occur in our body and allow its existence, functioning and development. These processes affect the amount of energy required for our existence. Our body’s weight is determined based on the ratio of the calories we spend to the calories we gain from food. When our metabolism is higher, it’s easier for us to maintain our weight. It’s therefore important to maintain an efficient and optimal metabolism.

There are two significant factors affecting the metabolic rate:

1. Gender – metabolism is different between men and women. Due to the greater muscle mass, men have higher metabolism rate than women.

2. Age – when we become older, there is a natural decline in our metabolism. The weight gain is usually stored in the middle of the body and there is a loss of muscle mass.

Gender and age are factors that that we cannot control, but you can make a difference with the other factors. Here are some unconventional tips to help you improve your metabolism and maintain a proper weight:

3. Sleep less – burn less

When we maintain enough hours of sleep we burn more calories. Over the past 40 years, the average sleep duration of the U.S. population has been reduced in two hours, while parallel to it the obesity increased by 2 (the number of people sleeping less than 7 hours a night doubled during this period, and was about 37% of the population in 2001).

Recent studies (both in humans and animals) have linked insufficient sleep and a tendency to gain weight. Sleep duration affects the hunger and satiety, as well as the production of various hormones and affects directly the metabolism of the body. In addition, it was found that people who don’t sleep enough are less active the next day and burn fewer calories. It was found that 8 hours of sleep provide the best metabolism. If you find it hard to get to sleep, you may be interested to find out about the best foods to get a better sleep and the best 12 herbs for insomnia.

4. Jet lag

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Our internal biological clock regulates the cells for proper metabolism. Studies have found that transitions between different time zones make us have a jet lag which interferes and slows metabolism. So if you travel frequently, how do you adjust your body again? quickly return to a routine of eating and activity and go back to the regular hours of sleep to balance yourself until the next travel.

5. Pesticides

Pesticides may interfere with the body’s energy expenditure. These substances affect the thyroid gland activity which is responsible for our metabolism. Therefore it’s best to consume organic fruits and vegetables, or at least wash them thoroughly with soap and water.

6. Iron

The role of iron in our body is to help transfer oxygen to the cells and muscles. Low levels or lack of iron will cause a slowdown in energy expenditure and metabolism. Iron levels drop is common among women during menstruation for example, among people who consume diet low in iron and among people with health conditions such as anemia. The solution – add to your menu iron rich foods such as turkey and lean beef, beans and green vegetables. Read also my article How to Increase Iron Levels in Your Blood.

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7. Dehydration

All processes occurring in cells in our body, especially those related to our metabolism, depend on water. When we are dehydrated or when the fluid balance in our body is not right, many of these processes don’t work optimally. When we are dehydrated the body temperature decreases, leading to a reduction in fat metabolism. Therefore it is important to drink 8-10 glasses of water per day.

8. Calcium, vitamin D and Magnesium

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Studies have found that people who consume more calcium are better able to maintain proper body weight. Calcium and vitamin D are related not only to strengthening the bones, but also play an important role in regulating the metabolism of body fat. High consumption of calcium and vitamin D causes the body to burn more fat. Therefore you should add to your daily menu calcium-rich products, including milk, cheese, yogurt, lentils, tahini, almonds and fish like sardines. It should also be mentioned that calcium alone is often not enough. Without magnesium, calcium may be not fully utilized, as magnesium is needed for calcium absorption. If you are sensitive or allergic to dairy products, read my article Calcium for Healthy Bones – Discover Better Sources of Calcium Than Dairy Products.

9. Eat like a clock

Every cell in our body has an internal metabolic clock that is affected by the order of our meals during the day. This internal clock is working in coordination with the biological clock of the body. The moment we don’t keep our regular meals order, there is a lack of coordination between the internal metabolic clock of the cell and the body’s biological clock, and that disturbs our metabolism. Regular daily eating routine is a recipe not only for health, but also for weight control. Eat at regular times, especially your breakfast and lunch. You can find here the top 10 foods to increase your metabolism.

10. Exercise

Incorporating physical activities into your daily life is one of the 70 habits featured in my e-book 70 Powerful Habits For A Great Health which will guide you how to take positive steps to improve your wellness and overall health. The metabolic rate increases as we exercise and stays high for a while afterwards. People who exercise regularly are usually healthier than people who don’t exercise. Resistance exercises have been found to boost metabolic rate, especially for aging people whose metabolic rate is slowing. Doing resistance exercises, like weight training, helps in increasing muscle mass. Research shows that this type of exercise is able to boost overall calorie burning and improve the metabolic rate.

You can also improve your metabolism by detoxifying your body. You don’t need to go for extreme detox diets that can do more harm than benefit your body. If you are interested in detoxifying your body, you can find more useful information in my e-book The Detox Guide. This guide will teach you how to use detox to cleanse and energize your body naturally and safely:

The Detox Guide

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9 Responses to The Top 10 Factors That Affect Your Metabolism

  1. Steven Wm. Fowkes says:

    #1 Factor. Very true, and very succinct. Although muscle mass is easily correlated with metabolic rate, there is a deeper correlation to testosterone and progesterone, which increase metabolic rate, and estrogens (particularly estradiol and estrone), which decrease metabolic rate. This is why women experience monthly changes in their metabolic rate. It is also why women do not usually experience much drop in metabolic rate during their menstruating years, but can have dramatic changes with menopause. Men, on the other hand, show 1) a smooth drop in metabolic rate with age as they gradually convert increasing amounts of their testosterone into estradiol, and sudden drops in metabolic rate with non-age-dependent onset of inflammation (infection, allergy, gluten intolerance, etc.). Although doctors like to promote estrogen as “female hormone” and testosterone as “male hormone,” this is fundamentally wrong. For example, postmenopausal women usually have lower estrogen than their husbands. And women have low but significant levels of testosterone. But most importantly, estrogen is the metabolic “off switch” for both men and women, and progesterone and testosterone are the metabolic “on switch” for both men and women. And to tweak the sexual stereotyping one more time, men rely upon significant levels of progesterone for their “anabolic” (healing) abilities, just like women do. —swfowkes

  2. Steven Wm. Fowkes says:

    #11 Factor. Eating cruciferous vegetables lowers metabolic rate. We are all told about the cancer-benefits of eating lots of broccoli, cauliflower, Brussels sprouts, cabbage, kale, etc. but are not told that they significantly lower our metabolic rates. As a result, many people eat excessive vegetables of this family and have a lower-than-natural-for-them metabolic rate. It can go the other way with shellfish, which seem to raise metabolic rate significantly.

    #12 Factor. Sunlight. The UV in sunlight raises metabolic rate through the creation of vitamin D3 and calcitriol. This is a very substantial effect. Also, the infrared portion of sunlight activates mitochondria, which are the cellular powerplants which define actual metabolic rate. This infrared portion of the sunlight spectrum is strongest at dawn and dusk, which are the wake-up and settle-down times for human metabolism. —swfowkes

  3. Steven Wm. Fowkes says:

    #8 Factor. I’d add magnesium to factor 8. Not only because it balances calcium and is more commonly deficient in the AMerican population, but because magnesium is a core structural component of ATP which is the energy currency of the cell and half of the mechanism of how metabolic rate produces functionality in the body. —swfowkes

    • Jenny says:

      You are right and thank you for pointing that out. I’ve added magnesium as well since calcium alone is often not enough. Without magnesium, calcium may be not fully utilized, as magnesium is needed for calcium absorption. And this is indeed something that I’ve wrote about in the past in my article about osteoporosis.

  4. dolores o neill says:

    Love to know about under active thyroid and the medication can it be stopped. Also to lose weight.

  5. Rashid Ghauri says:

    i want to reduce my body weight.

  6. Siti Azar Majid says:

    My doctor said sometine I can go hyper or hypo. I think am having both and I also have auto immune disorder. Who should i best see for medication or advise in this case

    • Jenny Hills says:

      If you refer to hyperthyroidism or or hypothyroidism then an endocrinologist (who treats people who suffer from hormonal imbalances) will be able to advise you. As for autoimmune disorders – Many of them are complex conditions with a variety of symptoms, so you may need to work with a team of health care providers. Consult with your GP who can point you to the right specialist as the starting point.

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