Metabolism is often described as the rate your body burns fuel. The fuel is what we feed the body in the form of carbs, proteins and fat, which all gets broken down into usable fuel. We use that fuel or energy to breathe and to move and for a whole host of other actions. Because our bodies are designed to keep us alive, if we go through a period of low food intake, our metabolism will slow down to protect us.
Everyone uses fuel in a different way. If you are active, then you’re likely using fuel efficiently. However, if your idea of exercise is watching football with a beer in one hand and nachos in the other, chances are you have a sluggish metabolism. And what happens to that unused fuel? It turns to fat.
The two reasons for metabolism slowdown is the bad habit of not eating consistently and a sedentary lifestyle. Remember the days when families ate together, at least breakfast and dinner, and lunch was eaten at work or at school. Most people tossed in a snack or two between meals. Today, hectic lifestyles means families eat on the run, perhaps miss a meal or two, or wait far too many hours between meals.
Inconsistent eating confuses our bodies and it doesn’t know when it will get fed so it slows down and doesn’t work efficiently. Ditto with exercise — an active lifestyle increases metabolism.
If you know what slows your metabolism and increases your chances of gaining weight, then you also know what you need to do to rev it up to get you to optimum health.