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Breaking down metabolism: Myths, truths & more

Our bodies need plenty of energy throughout the day. We need it to think, learn, speak, walk, run and so much more. The foods we eat and the beverages we drink give us the power to do all of this. But have you ever thought about how exactly our bodies extract and use this energy from our diets? It’s through a process called metabolism.

Metabolism is a large and complex process that involves so many chemical reactions that happen within our bodies. We’re here to break it down and debunk common myths so you can get a better understanding of what metabolism is, how it works within our bodies, and what you can do to support it.

Let’s get to it.

What is metabolism?

Simply put, metabolism is a term used to describe the many chemical reactions that happen within our bodies to convert the foods we consume into energy we can use. And thousands of these metabolic reactions happen at the same time!

How does metabolism work?

After we eat food, our digestive system uses enzymes to break down our food into smaller molecular compounds – it breaks proteins down into amino acids, turns fats into fatty acids, and carbohydrates into sugars like glucose. The sugar, amino acids, and fatty acids are then absorbed into our bloodstream, which carries them to our cells.

After these molecular compounds make their way into our cells, other enzymes come in and speed up or regulate the chemical reactions required for metabolizing or processing these compounds. These reactions cause the compounds to release energy, which can either be used by the body immediately or stored in our tissues, such as the liver, muscles, and body fat to use for a later time.

This whole process is regulated by a small gland located in the front of your neck, called the thyroid. The thyroid gland controls metabolism by releasing various hormones into the bloodstream. These hormones are what tell our cells how much energy to use. Metabolism never stops – even when your body is resting, it’s metabolizing and making sure you’ve got all the energy you need.

Factors that affect your metabolism

Metabolism is a process that involves the whole body, and there are a few factors that can affect how well it functions. This includes:

  • Age – As we get older, our metabolism starts to slow down. This is because we start to lose muscle mass as we age.
  • Sex – Males tend to have faster metabolisms than females since they generally have more muscle mass, larger bones, and less body fat.
  • Physical activity – Not getting enough physical activity can lower your metabolism. Running after your kids, playing sports, and other forms of exercise cause your body to burn more calories, which increases your metabolic rate.
  • Thyroid health – Keeping the thyroid healthy improves your metabolism as well. This is because thyroid hormones help our bodies burn fat, giving us more energy. So, when your thyroid isn’t functioning properly, your body burns fat at a slower rate, which also slows down your metabolic rate. 

Since metabolism is a process that plays a role throughout our bodies, it’s important to understand how it works so we can stay happy and healthy. But there are some common misconceptions about metabolism floating around out there.

Debunking common myths

Metabolism often takes the blame when it comes to struggles related to weight gain and weight loss. But it’s not always the culprit.

Myth #1: People with a faster metabolism tend to be thinner.

This is one of the most common myths surrounding metabolism. Although many people believe that a faster metabolism is the key to being on the slimmer side, it’s rarely the reason. This is because our metabolic process is unique to each of us, and it naturally regulates itself to meet the body’s needs.

Losing weight has more to do with the number of calories we burn in comparison to the number of calories we take in. Generally, if we burn more calories than we take in, then we will lose weight. And the number of calories burned per day is mainly influenced by the amount of muscle an individual has. The more muscle a person has, the more calories burned per day. Making sure you’re exercising regularly, especially strength training exercises, can help support metabolism and weight loss.

Myth #2: Eating several small meals can help to boost your metabolism.

Several small meals in plastic containers

You may have heard that eating frequently, and smaller meals throughout the day is a great approach to boosting your metabolism and losing weight. But in reality, how often you eat doesn’t have a large impact on the speed of your metabolism.

This method can work to support weight loss because eating more frequently helps to curb your cravings so you don’t feel hungry as often. This can build healthy eating patterns and help you make better choices on the quantity and types of foods you eat! But, it doesn’t technically boost metabolism.

Myth #3: You can’t change the way your metabolism functions.

It’s true that the speed of your metabolism is mostly determined by your genes or genetic history. But that doesn’t mean you can’t make changes to support metabolism and make sure it’s working as it should.  

Aside from having an impact on your weight, a healthy metabolism can support you in many other ways. Metabolic processes provide our bodies with energy, and without enough energy, we wouldn’t be able to do the things we love. The many reactions that happen during metabolism also help us remove the buildup of toxins, keep our blood flowing and circulating throughout our bodies, and as a result, lift our moods so we can stay active! 

And we’ve got some tips below that you can use to support your metabolic process.

What can you do to support healthy metabolism?

There are many ways you can support your metabolic process. It starts with a well-rounded diet, regular exercise, and supplemental support when needed.

Lifestyle changes

What you eat and how much you move your body are two important parts of a healthy lifestyle. Eating a well-rounded diet with plenty of fruits, veggies, and protein can help you feel full for longer!

Whenever you eat, digest, and store food, your metabolic rate increases. This is known as the thermic effect of food, and it varies depending on what food you eat. For example, protein has a higher thermic effect when compared to fats and carbs. That’s because it takes longer for our bodies to digest protein and absorb it. Research shows that eating adequate protein combined with weight training, can help boost metabolism. And weight training is known to build muscle, which can help you burn more calories throughout your day.

Apart from that, drinking green tea can also support healthy metabolism. Why? Studies have found that green tea has epigallocatechin gallate, a compound that can help increase the calories and fat our bodies burn. In fact, one study showed that drinking around 3 cups of green tea helped boost metabolism enough to burn around 100 extra calories per day.

Supplemental support

Sometimes diet and regular physical movement are just not enough. The impact of stress on the thyroid can slow down your body’s metabolism. This can happen through a common condition called hypothyroidism, where the thyroid doesn’t create and release enough of the thyroid hormone into the bloodstream. As a result, the speed at which your metabolic reactions occur slows down. 

That’s where supplementsOrange Naturals Thyroid Spark bottle come in handy. Thyroid Spark can help you rev up your metabolic engine. This all-natural formula is designed to supply your body with nutrients and herbs to help support the synthesis and metabolism of thyroid hormones, ultimately helping to speed up your metabolic rate. This formula also helps to prevent iodine deficiency!

A sluggish metabolism is no fun. It can leave you with not enough energy to do what you love. And when there’s so much varying information out there, it can be a bit confusing. We hope these tips help you to better understand what actually works when it comes to boosting your metabolism and staying healthy!  

Sources:
Metabolism
Metabolism
Top 5 Myths About Metabolism
What Is the Difference Between Slow & Fast Metabolism?
The truth about metabolism
Hypothyroidism
How Thyroid Levels Affect Your Metabolism – And Your Health

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