Is It Possible to Increase Metabolism?

A healthy breakfast, like oatmeal, can help keep metabolism working properly.
Article Details
  • Written By: Tricia Ellis-Christensen
  • Edited By: O. Wallace
  • Last Modified Date: 23 August 2014
  • Copyright Protected:
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    Conjecture Corporation
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The body’s metabolism is actually a series of processes that break down food and other chemical intake into smaller and smaller pieces. Often the term metabolism is used to refer to how quickly people are able to lose weight, or how much people can eat before gaining weight. Sluggish metabolism may be due to several medical or physical factors. There are some ways to increase metabolism, but each person’s body is different, thus these methods may only work for some people.

The best way to increase metabolism is by creating a higher demand for calories. This is usually accomplished through exercise. People who exercise on a regular basis naturally can eat more food without gaining weight because they use more calories. In a healthy person, cardiovascular exercise creates a demand for more calories. When the body is not supplemented with additional calories, as when the person eats a normal healthy diet, this tends to increase the metabolism with resultant weight loss.

However, one may not increase metabolism if one deprives oneself of food. People who are actually malnourished tend to break down food much more slowly. Their bodies slowly acclimatize to receiving less food. They tend to store food in different ways, usually resulting in higher fat storage. So while exercise may increase metabolism, it must be paired with a good diet. One should never skip meals as this may decrease metabolism. When doctors caution folks not to skip breakfast, they really are helping a person maintain a healthy metabolism.

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Some people have low levels of chemicals in their bodies that must be supplemented in order to increase metabolism. For example, people who have low thyroid hormone levels often have slow metabolism and may carry excess weight, even if they are not overeating and are exercising. For those who are earnestly attempting to lose weight through diet and exercise, and are not seeing any results, seeing a doctor and having a simple blood test performed may show reduced thyroid count.

Taking thyroxidine, a synthetic thyroid hormone, can help increase metabolism. It may also help with things like memory, fatigue, excess sweating, and hair loss. Thyroid hormones should only be taken when prescribed. Many diet preparations contain thyroid hormones synthesized from animals. These can cause significant health issues in the person who has adequate thyroid, and can be indicated in racing pulse, or dangerous heart arrhythmias. Do not share a thyroid prescription with others, and avoid thyroid hormones of animals in diet preparations.

Other medications can decrease metabolism and cause quick weight gain. Medications that are depressants, anti-psychotics or tranquilizers are all indicated in people gaining weight. Recent studies have shown that people with bipolar disorder may actually need thyroid supplementation even when they show low to normal thyroid rates. If one is suffering from bipolar disorder and are having difficulty with excess weight gain, an addition of thyroid medication may help increase metabolism.

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Discuss this Article

anon149323
Post 3

After taking very high dose of corticosteroids I gained 15kg (32lbs). I exercise every day, eat a fat free, low carb diet and have not lost any weight.

Seven years on I am thoroughly irritated by medics telling me I must reduce, and when I ask them how I should do that, they have no answer. The steroid treatment has permanently altered my metabolism. My cholesterol is so good I have negative CDR(cardiac disease risk) and no evidence of diabetes risk in my blood chem; all presumably because of my healthy diet and lifestyle. Any help and suggestions are more than welcome.

Crispety
Post 2

Latte31-I agree that it is important to eat right. For example, foods that increase metabolism are beans, oatmeal, tuna, almonds, and spinach.

These foods increase your metabolism naturally and also give your more energy. Increasing metabolism is important especially when you are older because at the age of 30 we start to lose lean muscle mass which allows us to burn more calories.

This is why people have that, “Middle age spread” because their metabolic rate is lower. Daily exercise which includes cardio exercise along with strength training is important to keep our metabolism high, and keep our bones strong, and our weight down.

latte31
Post 1

It is really easy to increase your metabolism. First, you have to look at your diet and make sure that you are eating foods rich in lean protein along with a good combination of fruits and vegetables.

Drinking enough water is important for a healthy metabolism and added some lemon to ice water seems to increase metabolism naturally.

You can also increase your metabolic rate by exercising daily.

Conducting high intensity exercises along with a weight training routine will help you to see a metabolism increase.

Weight lifting helps you to increase your lean muscle mass which will eventually help you burn more calories at rest. This means that even when you are not exercising you are burning additional calories and increasing your metabolism.

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