What is metabolism? It’s a word that many people discuss but don’t always understand.
Metabolism is the breakdown and rebuilding of nutrients for energy and proper body function. A fast metabolism is one that uses the stored nutrients quickly; a slow metabolism, on the other hand, stores nutrients for future use. This includes macronutrients (vitamins), carbohydrates, protein, and triglycerides (fat).
Long ago, before we were a society that had an over-abundance of processed food, a slow metabolism was a survival mechanism to help store energy when food was scarce. Today, we don’t need a slow metabolism. So how do we speed it up? This can be accomplished with exercise. Aerobics will help your body burn the fuel that is being stored (as long as you aren’t taking in too many calories), and strength training (lifting weights) will build more muscle. Muscle requires more energy (calories) for your body to maintain it. In other words, building muscle speeds your metabolism!
So the next time you want the “secret” or “miracle” product to “speed up your metabolism”, remember that you already know the secret: it’s your body’s natural ability to increase metabolism through exercise and muscle-building!
Diet Tip by Jill Foley, Assistant Manager at Lucille Roberts Roosevelt Blvd. and nutrition student at La Salle University.