15 things you need to know about metabolism to keep fit


You can boost your metabolism with water, spices, and a five-minute workout.

1. Most of the calories you spend just to maintain life

There is such a thing as the basic metabolic rate, or resting metabolic rate (RMR). This is the number of calories that the body expends for all the chemical processes necessary for life.

In other words, base metabolism is energy examining Variations of Resting the Metabolic Rate of Adults: A Public Health Perspective, which we spend when we do nothing at all – we do not move and do not even digest food.

And most sedentary people have a basal metabolic rate effect of dieting and exercise on resting metabolic rate and implications for weight management accounts for 65–70% of all daily energy consumption. Only the remaining 30–35% is due to physical activity and food digestion.

2. Your metabolic rate is highly dependent on genetics

Studies on siblings and twins have shown Genetic effects in resting and exercise metabolic rates that the metabolism by 40-45% is determined From the past to future: from energy expenditure to energy intake to energy expenditure genetics. The same goes for the thermic effect of carbohydrates: how much energy you use to digest food is 40-50% dependent on your DNA profile.

Even how many calories you burn during exercise depends in part on your genes. True, only when working with low power.

This explains why not all people are equally good at losing weight and gaining muscle mass on certain diets. Everything is individual, and you will have to try to find your ideal regime.

3. Metabolism slows down with age, but it can be prevented

The metabolic rate in adults gradually decreases. From 18-19 years of age, every year you spendExamining Variations of Resting Metabolic Rate of Adults: A Public Health Perspectiveless energy. A sharp decrease in metabolism occurs after 30, then there is a slight rise in 50-59 years, followed by a gradual decline until the very end.

This is one of the reasons why over the years it becomes more difficult to maintain a normal weight and get rid of extra pounds.

But the good news is that this downturn can be avoided.

In one study Regular exercise and the age-related decline in resting metabolic rate in women tested the metabolic rate in women of different age groups: 21–35 years old and 50–72 years old. In inactive young and old people, the difference between metabolic rate differed by about 10%. But in athletes running long distances and swimmers, such a difference was not found.

Although the study was conducted only on women, scientists believe that regular endurance sports can help prevent age-related changes in people of both genders. A great excuse to finally put on your running shoes or sign up for the pool.

4. The more muscles, the faster the metabolism

Skeletal muscle makes up 45–55% of body weight and contributes to Skeletal Muscle Thermogenesis and Its Role in Whole Body Energy Metabolism the largest contributor to energy expenditure, especially during physical activity.

Therefore, despite their high body weight, people with obesity have a lower resting metabolism. Examining Variations of Resting Metabolic Rate of Adults: A Public Health Perspective than those of normal weight.

The more muscles you manage to build, the more energy the body will spend on maintaining them. This means that resting metabolism will also increase.

5. Calculators can be wrong

Different formulas are used to calculate your base metabolic rate, but none of them give an accurate idea of ​​how much energy you actually burn or how many calories you need to consume to maintain or lose weight.

The most reliable are considered Comparison of predictive equations for resting metabolic rate in healthy nonobese and obese adults: a systematic review Mifflin – San Geor and Harris-Benedict equations Cross-Validation of Resting Metabolic Rate Prediction Equations, but they also give errors.

The average deviation according to common formulas is Cross-Validation of Resting Metabolic Rate Prediction Equationsfrom 314 to 445 kcal per day. In fact, this is a complete meal.

In addition, the more muscle mass a person has, the more formulas are erroneous, underestimating the need for energy.

When checked Accuracy of Resting Metabolic Rate Prediction Equations in Athletes the accuracy of calculations on young athletes, it turned out that the most reliable equations underestimate the daily calorie requirement by 284 kcal for women (23% fat) and 110 kcal for men (15% fat ).

6. Lack of sleep increases metabolism, but it does not help you lose weight

During the night’s rest, energy waste is reduced, so the less you sleep, the more calories you burn per day.

In one study Impact of insufficient sleep on total daily energy expenditure, food intake, and weight gain found that people who sleep for 5 hours spent 5% more calories per night than those who sleep 9 hours.

In another experiment, they found that 24 hours without sleep increases Energy expenditure during sleep, sleep deprivation and sleep following sleep deprivation in adult humans energy consumption by an average of 7% per day.

However, along with the activation of calorie consumption, the appetite also grows, as well as the craving for fatty and sugary foods.

So if you are not in control of your diet, then after a bad night, you will quickly cut off Effect of shortened sleep on energy expenditure, core body temperature, and appetite: a human randomized crossover trial additional waste of energy with snacks.

7. Stress does not reduce metabolism but can lead to weight gain

Recent research has shown Life stress and background anxiety are not associated with resting metabolic rate in healthy adults that psychological stress and anxiety levels do not affect resting metabolism in any way.

However, chronic stress still can Impact stress on metabolism and energy balance lead to a set of extra pounds. Constant anxiety changes the concentration of the hormones of hunger and satiety, forcing you to eat more than you need, and lean on high-calorie foods.

In addition, stress reducesDaily Stressors, Past Depression, and Metabolic Responses to High ‑ Fat Meals: A Novel Path to Obesity the body’s ability to oxidize fats and waste energy after consuming fatty foods.

If you were nervous, in the next six hours you will burn about 104 kcal less than if everything was fine. Scientists have calculated that daily stress can result in an increase of 5 kg per year.

8. Strict diets slow down metabolism

When you drastically reduce calories and lose weight, the body goes into energy-saving mode: the basal metabolism slows down and may remain so even after you restore the normal calorie intake. And a number of studies confirm this.

Effect of a very ‑ low ‑ calorie diet on body composition and resting metabolic rate in obese men and womenEffect of calorie restriction on resting metabolic rate and spontaneous physical activityLong ‑ term persistence of adaptive thermogenesis in subjects who have maintained a reduced bodyweight

The slowdown in metabolism is partly due to the loss of muscle mass, which goes away with fat if nothing is done to preserve it. When you return to your normal diet, weight gains quickly. Fortunately, this can be avoided by choosing the right diet.

9. A high amount of protein speeds up the metabolism, even on a diet

To assimilate dietary protein, the body needs Clinical Evidence and Mechanisms of High ‑ Protein Diet-Induced Weight Loss spends much more energy than processing carbohydrates and fats.

About 20-30% of the calories you get from protein will go into its absorption.

Due to this effect, protein increases effects of energy-restricted high ‑ protein, low ‑ fat compared with standard ‑ protein, low ‑ fat diets: a meta-analysis of randomized controlled trials spending energy at rest, helping to maintain a healthy weight. Moreover, a high protein intake helps to maintain and even build muscle mass on the diet and thus avoid slowing down the metabolism.

10. Exercise Increases Resting Metabolism, Even on a Diet

Physical activity not only increases energy expenditure during the day but also affects the Impact of energy intake and exercise on resting metabolic rate, increasing it even in a calorie deficit.

And power loads do the best with this. They not only increase Effect of strength training on resting metabolic rate and physical activity: age and gender comparisons metabolism at rest and during sleep, Minimal resistance training improve daily energy expenditure and fat oxidation by 7-9%, but they also help Resistance Training Prevents Muscle Loss Induced by Caloric Restriction in Obese Elderly Individuals: A Systematic Review and Meta-Analysis maintain and build muscle mass.

11. Exercise too intensely can slow down your metabolism.

Both aerobic and strength training is equally good. The effects of either high-intensity resistance or endurance training on resting metabolic rate maintain basal metabolic rate, but if the activity becomes exhausting, the opposite happens.

Observation of experienced athletes-cyclists has shown that during the period of heavy loads – up to 150% of the usual intensity of training – the expenditure of energy at rest is significant. The effects of intensified training on resting metabolic rate (RMR), body composition, and performance in trained cyclists decreases.

The same was noted in the experiment New approaches to determine fatigue in elite athletes during intensified training: Resting metabolic rate and pacing profile on elite rowers – high loads for four weeks reduced their energy consumption by an average of 111 kcal per day.

12. Spices can increase metabolism

Some spices activate thermogenesis during the digestion of food, causing the body to burn more calories. These include ginger Ginger consumption enhances the thermic effect of food and promotes feelings of satiety without affecting metabolic and hormonal parameters in overweight men: A pilot studypepper Grains of paradise (Aframomum melegueta) extract activates brown adipose tissue and increases whole-body energy expenditure in men Heavenly grains and chiliCapsaicinoids and capsinoids. A potential role for weight management? A systematic review of the evidence

Add these spices to food and drinks and you can spend an additional 40-50 kcal per day. Moreover, ginger and chili-pepper have Anti ‑ Oxidative, and Anti ‑ Inflammatory Effects of Ginger in Health and Physical Activity: Review of Current EvidenceComparative anti-inflammatory properties of Capsaicin and ethyl ‑ acetate extract of Capsicum frutescens Linn [Solanaceae] in rats anti-inflammatory and antineoplastic Inflammation, Cancer and Immunity — Implication of TRPV1 Channel properties that can have a positive effect on health in general.

13. Five minutes of exercise can speed up your metabolism for a day.

This applies to high-intensity interval training ( HIIT ) – alternating short periods of hard work with intervals of rest or recovery activity. For example, 20 seconds sprinting and 10 seconds jogging.

Due to the high intensity of HIIT, they spend more calories than the same time of quiet work, they perfectly pump endurance and accelerateImpact of 4 weeks of interval training on resting metabolic rate, fitness, and health ‑ related outcome resting metabolism.

In one study Post-exercise basil metabolic rate following a 6-minute high-intensity interval workout with the participation of 10 people, we found out that a short HIIT can increase the basic metabolism for a whole day.

After a short warm-up, the participants did a four-minute interval workout. The set of exercises included squats, jumping in place, lunges, and stretching according to the Tabata protocol: 20 seconds of work without stopping, 10 seconds of rest, and so on eight times. Finished the workout with stretching.

During the six minutes of the session, the participants burned about 63 kcal – not that much. But when scientists calculated the increased waste of energy in the next 24 hours, it turned out that in fact, the workout burned 360 kcal.

This is just one small study, but the data sounds very encouraging. Now you know for sure that exercising for five minutes is much better than not exercising at all.

14. Coffee and tea increase metabolism

Two of the most common drinks help you burn more calories by containing caffeine, a substance that stimulates the central nervous system.

One cup of brewed coffee (about 250Caffeine content for coffee, tea, soda, and more ml, 100 mg caffeine) increases Caffeine: a double-blind, placebo-controlled study of its thermogenic, metabolic, and cardiovascular effects in healthy volunteers energy expenditure by 9.2 kcal per hour for the next three hours after ingestion.

Green tea also contains caffeine, as well as catechins – substances with antioxidant properties. Together they increase Catechin- and caffeine-rich teas for control of body weight in humansBodyweight loss, and weight maintenance in relation to habitual caffeine intake and green tea supplementation thermogenesis and helpHerbal and Dietary Supplements for Weight LossEffect of green tea on resting energy expenditure and substrate oxidation during weight loss in overweight females avoid slowing down the metabolism even on low-calorie diets.

15. Coldwater can increase resting metabolism

Some research suggests that plain water can increase resting energy expenditure.

For example, in the scientific work, Water-induced thermogenesis Michael Boschmann in 14 healthy men and women without excess weight found that 500 ml of cool water (22 ° C) increased the metabolism of participants by 30%.

People quickly burned calories within 10 minutes after drinking, and after 30-40 minutes the effect reached its peak. Scientists have calculated that by drinking 2 liters of water a day, a person can burn an additional 95 kcal.

Three years later, Clive M. Brown performed Water-induced thermogenesis reconsidered: the effects of osmolality and water temperature on energy expenditure after drinking a similar experiment involving eight healthy young men of both sexes was far from optimistic.

In his study, about 500 ml of cold water (3 ° C) increased the metabolism of subjects by only 4.5% within an hour after drinking. Brown concluded that this was too little to aid weight loss.

In addition, the scientist noted that in Boschmann’s work, direct calorimetry was used in a special chamber, and not an apparatus for indirect respiratory calorimetry, which is worn on the participant’s head in the form of a dome or mask.

Perhaps Boschmann really measured incorrectly, and twice (in 2007, he again conducted an experiment in a respiratory chamber and received Water drinking induces thermogenesis through osmosensitive mechanisms an increase of 24% after 500 ml of cold water). But in 2011, another worker came out. Influence of water drinking on resting energy expenditure in overweight children, which tested the expenditure of calories in obese children.

Here, as in Brown’s experiment, an indirect calorimeter was used, but the results were similar to those obtained by Boschmann. Within 40 minutes after drinking 10 ml of cold water (4 ° C) per kilogram of body weight, the resting metabolic rate in children increased by 25%.

It is difficult to draw unambiguous conclusions since the results differ and the topic requires further research. But if you are looking for weight loss, a couple of liters of cool water a day, distributed over several doses, can do the trick.