METABOLISM is recognised as an aggregate of chemical processes providing vital functions of our organism. Chemical reactions taking place in our body are carried out in two main opposite directions: synthesis of complex substances from simpler ones (a n a b o l i s m or growth) and decomposition of complex substances into simpler ones (c a t a b o l i s m or disintegration).
Lots of systems take part in metabolism providing it with the most complex regulation at all its levels. During metabolism those substances that came into our organism are transformed into its own tissue substances and terminal products that are excreted from our body. All these transformations are followed by energy absorption and release.
Metabolism can have such form when the processes of energy absorption and release are equal to each other or such forms when one of them is prevailing.
At any moment of your existence your body is either gains or maintains or loses weight and these processes take place directly in accordance with the quantity of consumed and spent calories. Let’s take a look at the following equation:
X = received calories – burnt calories
If X > 0 you’re gaining weight (calorie excess)
If X = 0 you are keeping your weight at the current level
If X < 0 you’re losing weight (calorie deficit)
If the processes of decomposition and energy release prevail (catabolism) in your organism you’re definitely losing weight.
If, on the contrary, the processes of synthesis and energy storing prevail – the opposite phenomenon (anabolism) occurs… In this situation people gain weight very quickly: if they train – they gain muscle mass, if they don’t – fat tissue.
Metabolic rate is determined by the amount of calories that are being spent at each particular moment. It’s natural that metabolism rate is higher when we perform physical exercises in comparison with the state of rest.
Metabolic rate is defined by numerous factors: age, sex, muscle mass, genes, constitution, emotional state, nervous system type and hormone balance. It’s clear that you can’t change most of these parameters.
As a rule, men have higher metabolic rate because they usually have bigger and more muscular body… Muscles consume energy all the day round; the more muscle mass our organism contains – the more calories it needs to maintain this mass. So, it’s possible to increase your metabolism rate by growing muscles. To do it you need to do power trainings or very hard physical work (lifting of heavy loads). As we grow older our metabolism rate slows down but this process is not always explained exclusively by the fact of aging. The most common reason is reduction of physical activity level.
Any movement activity requires energy; that’s why active people have higher metabolic rate spending additional 20-30% of calories on their muscular activity.
However, metabolic rate also depends a lot on the type of physical activity you are engaged into. Researches show that aerobic exercises (for example running or walking) don’t cause metabolism rate increase after a workout session. In comparison with them, bodybuilding looks more encouraging: due to the fact that anaerobic exercises develop muscle mass they assist metabolism rate increase. To put it in other words, the more muscles you grow the more calories your metabolism masters.
Nutrition also influences our metabolic rate to a great extent: metabolism rate increases during food digestion. This is the main reason you need to eat often and in small portions: it will assist speeding up of your metabolism rate. You can also speed it up for some time by consuming some food products such as protein, caffeine, green tea and spices.
It’s necessary to pay attention to such a concept as resting … Your organism is working 24 hours a day; it’s constantly regenerating its cells (even if you’re just lying on a sofa). All these vitally important processes require energy in the form of calories that your organism burns without any effort from your side…
One of the most unpleasant things about low-calorie diets is metabolism rate slowing down: as soon as your organism feels that hard times have come it will switch to the regime of economical energy spending… That’s why if you want to lose weight you need to consume more calories than your organism needs in the state of rest but less than the total amount of calories your organism burns throughout a day. For example, if the first figure amounts 2000 calories and you spend 500 more calories on every-day activity – your daily ration should include no less than the initial 2000 calories and less than 2500 ones.